Agents of SHIELD’s Joel Stoffer Talks His Approach to Playing Enoch and the Character’s Growth (Exclusive)

Recently, had the chance to chat with Joel Stoffer, who is best known for playing Enoch on Agents of SHIELD. The 32,000-year-old Chronicom has had some fun adventures over the last few seasons of the Marvel series and has grown a lot recently thanks to the team's latest bit of time-travel. Sadly, Enoch was stranded in the 1930s and didn't reunite with the agents until 40 years later. While that time typically isn't much to a Chronicom, Enoch seemed pretty hurt that he was left behind. While talking to Stoffer, we asked about Enoch's emotional growth and how the actor approaches playing such a robotic character.

"I got the opportunity of a lifetime in a way for an actor, because I got to sort of invent the character and that whole Android species. I got to set that bar, which was really fun to play," Stoffer explained. "I had no idea until I read the script for episode one, season five, that I was even an alien, let alone what kind of alien or what I was, there was zero information. So, it was really left up to me to invent."

Since there have been two different versions of Enoch on the series, we asked if Stoffer took a different approach to the Enoch we know now. "I don't think I did in a conscious way," he explained. "You don't [always] get the opportunity to really sink your teeth into the arc of the character. And so, here I am with Enoch, and I'm getting a whole season and then another season and so you get more comfortable, you get more confident with the choices you make and that frees you up to explore other things. And I think they were encouraging me to do that, too, and gave me some great words to play with. And so, yeah as that evolved, I definitely got to explore the very limited emotional range."

He added, "[Enoch's] an anthropologist, he's an observer. And what that means to me is that as a human, any emotional reaction I have to a situation for Enoch, I have to kind of reinterpret that into just curiosity." Stoffer also confirmed that Enoch's sadness over being left behind was new for the Chronicom:

"I think it's a new thing," he explained. "I think him having developed a relationship with the SHIELD team, that's a whole new thing. And so, for 30,000 plus years, it was just 'sit back and observe' and maybe engage a little bit here and there. You can just imagine encounters he might've had, but I think this is all new... that's the more interesting choice as an actor to say that this is unique for Enoch, to be in this situation. And so, it has definitely, I think, caused you not to have new kinds of reactions and responses to situations that he didn't have before. And so, realizations of things like his existential angst and loneliness, and that kind of thing has kicked in for sure."

Stoffer added, "So, especially considering, what they set up with some of the storyline for Enoch... his planet was destroyed and that clearly hits home with him on some level. Even though he hadn't been there in however many thousands of years, it was still a shock. And I think that affects his sense of his identity and his place in the universe and then having to make the choice to side with earthlings, as opposed to his own people, and defending the human population, all of that affects where he sees himself on the timeline."


Stay tuned for more from our interview with Stoffer, which you can watch in full in the video above.

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

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