How the ‘Agents of SHIELD’ cast kept Jeff Ward around

 It is no secret by now that Jeff Shaw has been signed as a regular for season 6 to reprise his role as Jemma and Fitz’s Grandson Deke Shaw. But what wasn’t known was how close he came to being a one and done character…but not as Deke.

The cast of the ABC show visited the L.A. Times’ video studio during Comic-Con last week, and Jeff Ward told the story of how he was originally reading for a different character altogether.

“I was cast as Virgil. I was supposed to play Virgil, and I got to the table read,” said Ward.

Both Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons) and Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Yo-Yo Rodriguez) said that Ward nailed the table reading. “We loved him so much.” Unfortunately, Virgil was a character that died immediately. However, Ward so impressed the cast that they went to the executives and pleaded his case for a bigger role.

“At the end of the table read, we all went to our bosses and said, ‘He’s got to be Deke, he’s so amazing, we can’t lose him after one episode,’ ” said Henstridge.

His performance was not missed by the fans either as his performance showcasing the almost child like innocence of Zeke won them over. This might have had a hand in persuading the producers to sign him for this season. Now they need to figure out a way to bring Coulson back.