On Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grant Ward is busy rebuilding HYDRA after vowing to take down Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. Rebuilding an organization like HYDRA isn't a one-man operation. Ward may have the vision but having a right-hand man is key in ensuring things get done. That's where Kebo comes in.
Daz Crawford first appeared as Kebo in the season 2 finale. After Episode #304, "Devils You Know," you could say Ward even owes him his life. We spoke to Daz about the role and how it expanded from that one appearance along with the other movies and projects he has in the works.
DAZ CRAWFORD: [laughs]
CV: When he picked up the…whatever off the desk and started bashing you, I said, “There’s no way he’s off the show already.”
DAZ: [laughs] Yeah, that was kind of a bit of a cliffhanger there, wasn’t it? It wasn’t really shown what I took.
CV: This week, it was great seeing you getting in on more of the action.
DAZ: Yeah, I have a bit more going on now. I was just warming up a bit.
CV: When you signed up for the Season 2 finale final scene with Brett Dalton, when did anyone talk to you about coming back for the third season?
DAZ: That was really strange because it was only meant to be the one episode. Obviously it was the end of the season and I had actually gone back to the UK. I was renovating a property back in London. Then my agent called me. I must have been back a couple of weeks and they called me and said I’d be back in the new season. I was talking to a writer during these last few weeks we’ve been shooting and he said to me, they liked what I did, even though it was just the one scene. They just liked what I did and decided to keep it going.
CV: We don’t know a lot about Kebo aside from that one scene, will his past be explored during this season?
CV: “Wait and see”?
DAZ: Yeah, you’ll definitely see more. I can’t elaborate more on that really.
CV: How would you describe Kebo’s loyalty to Ward after their first encounter in the bar?
DAZ: It’s kind of funny because a few people have asked me that. My reply is, imagine if your boss whacked you over the head and smashed it against a bar. How would you feel about them? I’ve got my own personal reservation about how I feel about Ward as a boss. If you work for somebody, you have a boss. Some people like their bosses, some people don’t. I’ve got my own reservations and my own journey. It’s what I do as an actor. If writers don’t write a history about each character, you have to bring in your own history. For me, the relationship is a boss/employee one. How I feel about him, like I said, how would you feel about it if you went to work and your boss whacked you over the head in the morning. You wouldn’t be very happy, would you?
CV: No. Not at all. What’s your favorite thing about playing Kebo?
DAZ: I like the dynamics. Because the writers are very good, I like the dynamics and what you can do with the character. Even though I’m Ward’s right hand man, I’m kind like a gopher. He sends me out, “Go and do this job. Go and do that job.” And I do it. In the back of my head, I’ve got an agenda as well. It’s just that no one knows what that is. Not even him
CV: Interesting. I hear you do a lot of your own stunts as well?
DAZ: Yeah, I’ve always done my own stunts. We used to have a show over here, American Gladiators and I was a gladiator in the UK for a couple seasons. I was used to climbing up walls, wearing harnesses, and things like that, twenty, thirty feet in the air. I’ve always been a bit of an action-man. I used to box. I would prefer to do my own stunts rather than a stunt guy. There is a stunt guy on hand, just in case it’s a big stunt and they don’t want you to get injured or something. For me, it just breaks up the day. If you’re just delivering dialogue all day, it’s just much nicer if you can actually have a bit of fun with the character as well.
DAZ: Yeah, that’s a good point. Working on Blade was brilliant. It’s kind of strange if you look at the ten year difference. It is a TV series so it is slightly different with regard to…it is an expensive show and there’s a lot going on, but compared to a movie, where you’re talking 60, 70, 80 million dollars, it’s different in that regard. I still feel it’s the same. It hasn’t really changed. What’s changed is people’s perception. I feel that today, we want everything now. We don’t want to wait. That keeps everyone on edge. It keeps it exciting. So writers and producers are finding ways to keep everyone on their toes all the time. You have to do that in the action and the writing. When you look at Marvel as a whole, if you look back at Spider-Man and all the rest of them thirty years ago, are they any different from today? The costumes might be slightly different, but is the dialogue any different? Stan Lee was behind it all and he hasn’t changed. He knows what he wants and he’s the man.
CV: You’ll also be in the movie Vanquisher next year. What can you tell us about that?
DAZ: Yeah, I’ve got Vanquisher. That’s coming out soon. I don’t know exactly when that’s coming out. That’s a sci-fi movie. Funny enough, I have a hand like Coulson’s in that movie. It’s very very similar which kind of made me laugh when I saw that. I have superpowers and it’s sci-fi and that should be coming out soon. There’s lots of action, lots going on.
There’s a couple other ones I’ve been working on. Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter which should come out maybe the end of this year. If not, early next year. That’s sci-fi. It’s a pretty good one. We shot it down Salton Sea, that’s where they shot Star Wars. It’s kind of a cross between Star Wars and War of the Worlds. My character is in jail on a planet and my girlfriend comes to rescue me. There’s lots of bustles and monsters and stuff going on. I shot that earlier this year and I think it’s going to be really good. It’s something to watch out for.
There’s also Awaken, which is a thriller. We shot that in Belize last year. It’s just come out now in the last few weeks. It’s being screens across America right now.
CV: What was it like filming in Belize?
DAZ: That was…I’m a traveler. I love to travel and experience the local culture when I get there. We were filming that in the bush. One day we got in a military truck, which took us out into the jungle. They could only go a certain distance. They had all the camera equipment, lights, etc, in the back of the truck. We were actually in the back of the truck with all the gear. When we got to the spot where the truck couldn’t go any further…we were literally going through shallow rivers and things like that, the crew had to carry all the equipment further into the bush. We had a guide with us, a Special Forces guide. He would brief us, “Don’t touch any of the trees, there’s snakes coming down.” You can see the monkeys flying around, it was amazing. It was an amazing experience. I actually stayed a few extra days at the end because I wanted to spend more time there.
That was definitely a good project to work on. Also, there was a great cast in Awaken, a good ensemble cast. We had people like Daryl Hannah, Eddie Furlong, Jason London, Robert Davi, and Vinnie Jones. It was a really good experience. The movie has a good story with a lot of twists and turns. There’s a lot of killing and a lot of stunts.
CV: Sounds like you’re keeping busy.
DAZ: Yes. It’s been a good year so far. I even worked last year and this year on the new Jungle Book from Disney. It was very different. It was more motion capture. I played Shere Khan for the motion capture in that. I had to learn to walk like a tiger.
It was very different from normal motion capture. It was basically the same as filming. You have to learn all the lines because Mowgli is a real boy. When you step onto the arena, there are huge TV screens around the arena. When I would look at myself, I see myself as a tiger. You look at the TV screens and all the characters in the arena are seen as the animals. That was another great experience.
There was also Dawn Patrol. I didn’t get as big of a role as in the other stuff. That’s with Scott Eastwood and it’s an action drama based in the far east and in LA. It’s been an excellent year. I can’t fault it. As an actor, it’s up and down. You work some, you don’t work some. That’s the way it is. There seems to be quite a bit of a buzz going on right now.
CV: That’s great. And it was great talking to you. Hopefully we’ll keep seeing you on upcoming episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
DAZ: Yeah. Just keep a look out. There’s some exciting stuff coming up. Obviously I can’t talk about but it’s definitely interesting with the world and different story lines. There is three different story lines going on at the same time so you do have to keep your eyes open. There’s a lot going on, fun and games. I’m sure the fans are going to love it. Definitely some curve balls in there for everybody.
CV: Thanks so much for your time talking to us and, like I said, I’m glad that Strucker kid didn’t get the better of you.
DAZ: [laughs] It’s a shame I can’t say anything else but just keep your eyes open.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9:99/8:00c.