I’m still not quite sure why I’m sharing anything about the love of my life with all of you; I suppose — like Hayley — I feel a certain responsibility, now that she’s playing Peggy Carter. When a kickass actress has the opportunity to play a kickass heroine, and she does it with the pure abandon and strength of mind and body, as Atwell does, everyone wants to know more about the character and the woman behind her. It’s practically my duty to promote her — and anyone who knows me will tell you I AM VERY SERIOUS ABOUT MY DUTIES. But, enough about me; you came here for Hayley, and here
In a recent interview with London Evening Standard, Atwell discussed how her childhood and upbringing prepared her to play Peggy; her tomboyish tendencies have given her the confidence to throw herself into stunts, even if by her own account, she’s got more belief in herself than refined stunt skills. Among the reveals is that she was a “rotund, introverted” bullied child nicknamed “Hayley Fatwell,” but of course, Atwell’s triumphed in a kazillion ways. The girl who would be Peggy is also a SINGLE, genderless, big-boobed beauty who knows her value as well as we do.
On playground warfare:
“I still have [this one girl’s] face in my mind. Sometimes I play in my head what I’d like to say to her. She tried to Facebook me a year ago. I ignored her. ‘Are you kidding me? You made my life hell.’ It’s like psychological warfare, the playground. She’d say: ‘Your trainers are shit.’ And I’d be empathetic and say, ‘I’m sensing hostilities. Is everything OK at home?’”
On ch-ch-ch-changes; rugby the gift of boobs, and how her parents taught Atwell not to rely on her sexuality:
“I started to get attention from boys. I got boobs, basically. They’re a great gift. [Playing rugby, the kids] called me Hulk Hayley back then. I used to wrestle with the boys…I’ve always felt quite genderless. Which is odd, because I have big boobs.
My parents would never say, ‘You’re so pretty.’ They’d say I was smart and strong, and had something to say. They said I should speak up and out.”
On the fabulous Emma Thompson’s positive influence after Miramax suggested she lose weight for her Brideshead Revisited role:
“I thought, ‘OK, I suppose I should.’ Then Emma Thompson [who co-starred] said to me, ‘You’re not a model. You’re an actor.’ In the end, they accepted me for who I was. If I’ve ever had an insecurity about myself in this industry, Emma always has an amazing ability to say something to put it all into perspective, so that you don’t hate yourself.”
She’s SINGLE! (Get out of my way!):
“I’ve always been in relationships. They tend to be back-to- back and last around two years.”
(Atwell’s just broken up with Evan Jones.) “We’re not together any more. It was a mutual thing. He’s younger but really mature. There was no drama. So I’m single and dating until the next two-year relationship comes along.”
And so is Peggy Carter…”Atwell has called for more physical and racial diversity for women in season two of Agent Carter… [Peggy] finds new love, potentially in the form of disabled agent Daniel Sousa, or even her best friend, Angie”:
“There are a lot of people on Twitter who want them to be lovers.” [Could that happen?] “Why not?”
Why not, indeed? Atwell has also confirmed that despite his new role as Preacher’s Jesse Custer, Dominic Cooper will return during Carter’s second season, though “Dominic and I have become like naughty children. I’m surprised we get any work done.”
I highly recommend reading the entire interview; just don’t get too attached. I plan on being Hayley’s new romantic interest for at least the next two years.