Hayley Atwell is currently kicking butt in “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” but the Tom Cruise-led action tentpole is not the actor’s first go-around with a Hollywood mega-franchise. Atwell joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Peggy Carter in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” It’s a role she would flesh out in two seasons of ABC’s “Agent Carter” series, before lending her voice to an alternate version of Peggy in Marvel’s Disney+ series “What If…?”

Atwell’s Peggy Carter is a passionate fan favorite among Marvel lovers, which is why fans were so delighted when the character popped up as an alternate Captain America in 2022’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and then made furious when she was almost immediately killed off by Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). In a new interview on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Atwell called the cameo “a frustrating moment.”

“I’m like, ‘That wasn’t my choice!’” Atwell said about Captain Carter being mercilessly killed off not long after being introduced. “When she was like, ‘I could do this all day’ and then followed by she’s immediately cut in half by a frisbee. And the audience being like, ‘She can’t do it all day. Apparently you can’t, so, egg on your face.’ That doesn’t really serve Peggy very well.”

Atwell said her voice role experience on “What If…?” proved far more rewarding than her live-action cameo in the “Doctor Strange” sequel.

“I felt like I had much more to do in the ‘What If…?’ animation series,” Atwell said. “I mean, any actor will tell you, to be able to go into a booth in effectively your pajamas and do an animation is great fun because you’re focused on the voice as the instrument and your main performative tool…[by contract], it felt like a frustrating moment in ‘Strange.’”

Atwell was one of several “Multiverse of Madness” cameo actors who got quickly killed off by Scarlet Witch. Other actors included John Krasinski as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic. Screenwriter Michael Waldron told Variety after the sequel opened in theaters that killing off the cameos was always in his draft of the script.

“That was the madness of the multiverse to me, really,” Waldron said. “You introduced this superhero team that makes the audience feel like they’re finally safe, and then the Scarlet Witch eviscerates them. It was a great way to knock the audience off their feet. And then hopefully, you spend the rest of the movie terrified of Wanda and what she’s capable of.”

Audiences can currently see Atwell on the big screen in “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” now playing nationwide from Paramount Pictures. Watch the actor’s full appearance on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast in the video below.

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