“Early on, there was a conversation where Hailee was mentioned to me and that Marvel was already thinking about her as Kate and she was interested,” Rhys recalled. “Once that was whispered to me, I was kind of in a place where I couldn’t unsee it anymore. From there on, Hailee was the character we were writing to and the character we were building around. It’s exciting to take this strong female character and watch her evolve, too.”
Rhys explained, “There was a brief moment, for schedule reasons or something, that maybe she wouldn’t be able to do it. It was a little bit of a panic — and it was probably just a day — but it felt wild because Hailee is perfect.”
“We kept playing with Kate’s voice because she’s a very unique character in the comics, especially in her dynamic with Clint. I remember I would ask if we could have another run at some of Kate’s dialogue because she was either too juvenile, too snarky, or whatever,” Rhys said. “It’s a fine line. We went in a lot of circles, but it wasn’t until I met with Hailee, spoke to her, and we started reading scenes together in rehearsals that Kate suddenly unlocked for me. Hailee grounded it in a way that we couldn’t even write. Hailee’s something special in Hawkeye, and she brought it home.
“We have quite a big cast and an exciting cast, so to make it all work and get everybody when they needed to, we had to film more like a movie with blocks of time,” Rhys explained. “We shot in New York for the first few weeks and then we were jumping all over the place in terms of episodes. Me and the Berts [who direct the middle episodes] were sometimes handing off the crew day to day. I might start the day with them and do one scene with them and then they might go and do a scene from a different episode with the Berts.”
Rhys said, “I think what helped maybe not make this scene overwhelming was the fact that we were really trying to get to the originals and emotional connection between this new character that we are introducing to one of the original Avengers. That was always the focus, so while it’s obviously a big moment in the MCU, we’re sort of narrowing in and seeing it through this very specific set of eyes with Kate Bishop.”