'Agents of SHIELD' inspired by Brett Dalton and Iain De Caestecker's bromance

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Remember that adorable "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" episode "The Hub"? The one where Fitz and Ward have to go on a mission with little hope of survival and become true friends after? That was inspired by the real-life lovefest between stars Brett Dalton and Iain De Caestecker.

"It was kind of, I think, this really sweet love letter from the writers to us," Dalton tells Zap2it and a group of other reporters during a visit to the "Agents of SHIELD" set. "From the very beginning in the pilot, we just hit it off. He's literally my best friend."

That immediate chemistry wasn't always a boon for the pair. In an anecdote that caused Dalton's onscreen love interest Ming-Na Wen to cackle in glee, he reveals, "From the very moment [De Caestecker and I] met each other in pilot, it was like, OK, this is good. And then [the crew was] like, 'No, no, no, you're supposed to be into Skye!'"

Wen quips, "Can I just say, that's going to sound so weird in print?"

There's not going to be much time in "Agents of SHIELD's" last nine episodes of Season 1 for Dalton and De Caestecker's bromance to shine through, but Dalton says the brief moments viewers will see will be from sheer force of will on his and De Caestecker's parts. For now, "The Hub" -- which was originally titled "The Sandwich Incident" after the episode's prosciutto sandwich gag -- will be our best look at the FitzWard bromance.

"We were super happy," Dalton recalls of getting the script for the episode. "That was one of our favorite ones to film, because it was just him and I, like, 'How about if I do this?' 'Oh, that's great! How about if I do that?' It was very fun."

For De Caestecker, "The Hub" was a key turning point in the relationship between Fitz and Ward.

"I think that episode where they kind of came together, they did form a friendship but I think it was more about forming an understanding of each other," he says. "I think Fitz had the opinion that [Ward] was just a big muscly guy who had no brains, and I think Ward thought of me that I was just very smart but I didn't have any courage to go out and do stuff. We had to kind of prove to each other that we had that other side to ourselves -- and they had to prove that to themselves."

As to why the focus won't just be on Fitz and Ward going forward, De Caestecker says, "Everyone collectively has very strong relationships with each other, so every time you're going out in the field, it's a lot more intense for everyone now because everyone's in danger and you care about everyone just as much as we care about each other."

"Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Photo/Video credit: ABC