Interview: Cobie Smulders of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Where did one of the most prominently featured actresses in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” decide to spend the Saturday night of the film’s release? It was attending the Chicago Critics Film Festival, greeting admirers and participating in Q&As – after her two new films, “Results” and “Unexpected.”

The popular actress, best known for her nine year run on the TV series, “How I Met Your Mother,” was born in Canada, like her character Robin Scherbatsky on the show. She began her career as a model, but soon shifted to acting. She had a recurring role in Showtime network’s “The L Word,” before landing “How I Met Your Mother” in 2005. While she was working on the sitcom, she became part of the Marvel film universe with her role as Maria Hill in “The Avengers” (2012). She has since appeared in “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” TV’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” and the current film release “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Cobie Smulders
Cobie Smulders at the Chicago Critics Film Festival, May 2nd, 2015
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for talked to Cobie Smulders on the red carpet, as she appeared on behalf of her films, “Results” and “Unexpected.” Your new film ‘Unexpected’ has many themes regarding a women’s role post the millennia. What do you think the film says about being a woman and mother right now?

Colbie Smulders: It’s a modern world, and I feel blessed to have been raised by two women – my mother and stepmother – who taught that women can have it all, both kids and careers. And as a result, it has become an issue that our generation of women are facing, and it is a challenge, and we portray that turmoil in the film. I’m a working mother, and when I’m with my kids, even though I love it, I’m thinking about work. And when I’m at work I’m thinking about my kids. It’s a little more difficult to ‘have it all.’ Your acting style in approaching the character in ‘Unexpected’ was decidedly low key. How did you and director Kris Swanberg arrive at the point to establish the tone?

Smulders: It basically came out of the situation in the screenplay, and in my experience and Kris’s experience in childbirth. In the character’s case, it happens accidentally, and she is forced to roll with it in a way, and be adaptable. What is weird about working a long running sitcom when it comes to keeping a character somewhat consistent and not clownish?

Smulders: I know what you’re talking about. But I was lucky with the character of Robin, because besides being a teenage pop star in Canada [laughs], she was pretty grounded, and she could be dramatic as well as comedic. It wasn’t so much the set-up-set-up-punchline thing with her, she was more versatile. Finally, how is your own personality most like the following characters – Samantha in ‘Unexpected,’ Robin in ‘How I Met…’ and Maria Hill in the Marvel Universe?

Smulders: With Samantha, it was the experience of my own pregnancy. With Robin, there is a bit of a brassiness that she has that I share. And with Maria Hill, although I wish I was as smart as she is, I do share her comfort with hanging with the boys, and running things efficiently, which I’m able to do in my own life. I am the ‘Manager of Schedules.’ [laughs]

The 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival will take place May 1st - May 7th, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport, Chicago. Click here for film schedules and information. Click here to purchase tickets and passes. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2015 Patrick McDonald,

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions