Marvel's Hawkeye Disney+ series opened by making fans relive the Avengers Battle of New York from the terrifying ground-floor perspective of the citizens of New York City – such as one Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and her family. The Battle of New York was a traumatic day for Kate, bolstered by just one glimmering symbol of hope: Hawkeye (Clint Barton) fighting off marauders from another world with nothing but his bow and arrows. According to Hailee Steinfeld, it was a very necessary flashback, in order to establish why the Hawkeye name, and person, are so important to Kate Bishop (if not other people).
"What we see with the fans that come up to [Clint] and want to take a picture with him, it's like they're recognizing him in a public setting and being excited about the fact that he's in a place that they wouldn't have expected to see him," Steinfeld tells EW. "So they want to document it and we don't necessarily know if they're lifelong fans or not, but with Kate we do know. She made this discovery of Hawkeye at a time of extreme loss in her life, and she sees in him part of what she lost. This human who is as ambitious and maybe a little reckless, as she is, someone who wants to help people and wants to protect people, she recognizes that part of him. That's what she idolizes."
Indeed, much of Hawkeye hinges on the relationship between Steinfeld's Kate Bishop and Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton. The dynamic and chemistry between the two actors carry the show in a lot of ways, but it's Kate's idolization of the one Avenger who is idolized the least, which makes for a deeper connection on that father/daughter and mentor/mentee level.
If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out this Marvel fan video that shows the Battle of New York from both the Avengers and Hawkeye POVs. It's worth the watch.
We already have hints that Hawkeye will visit another pivotal flashback moment in subsequent episodes: The Blip. Steinfeld let on in a different interview that Kate Bishop was indeed a survivor of Thanos' attack on Earth (which would have given her more time to train):
"No, I believe that we see her survive [The Blip]," Steinfeld told The Wrap. "And we see, you know, loss there as well. And that didn't happen to her."
Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.