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

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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,

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