Agents of SHIELD’s Elizabeth Henstridge Talks Directing Herself and Her Peers, Teases Ensemble Episode

Tonight's episode of Agents of SHIELD will feature the long-awaited directorial debut of Elizabeth Henstridge, who has played Jemma Simmons on the series since its inception. Recently, had the chance to chat with Henstridge about her big episode, and she revealed how she prepared for the job. The actor also opened up about directing her peers and the challenges of directing herself.

"I’m sure it was much easier than if I didn't know them, everybody was very supportive and I know these characters so well," Henstridge said of directing her co-stars. "We've all lived together for six years, so that side of things. Yeah, I'm sure it made it much easier. Just to have the support of the cast, and they've seen me shadowing for years and they knew that this was something that I really wanted to do. And so, yeah, everybody really rallied for me."

During the episode, Henstridge has an extremely emotional moment, so we asked what it was like to direct herself in such an intense scene.

"It's funny because I was kind of nervous about that scene in that, usually for those scenes, I kind of go off on my own and I really get in the zone but when you're directing it, you don't really get that luxury. But actually, it came, the emotion changed so easily because I think I was under quite a lot of pressure and so any time that I could show some emotion, those tears came real quick. So really it was a gift."

Henstridge also explained why "As I Have Always Been" is now her favorite episode of the series, even beating "4,722 Hours," which followed her character alone on a deserted planet back in season three.

"Oh, definitely this one," Henstridge shared when asked her favorite episode. "I mean, I loved Maveth but ... my favorite time is when I'm surrounded by the whole cast and, apart from being on set all day every day directing it, this episode is such an ensemble episode. Everybody gets new stuff to do and we really see the team come together. And then we're also able to address some pivotal, emotional moments, particularly for Daisy and Colson. So yeah, I think this one has to be my favorite."


Are you excited for tonight's Agents of SHIELD? Tell us in the comments!

Agents of SHIELD airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM EST.