SDCC 2010: Clark Gregg Interview THOR

     July 26, 2010

In the films of the Marvel universe, Agent Coulson is the glue holding all of the characters of S.H.I.E.L.D. together, and actor Clark Gregg is having a great time playing the role. Having just found out that he will be a part of The Avengers, he spoke at a roundtable, following the big Marvel Comic-Con panel, about how surprised he is with every bit he learns of his character’s evolution, as the individual bringing all of the Avengers together. He also gave a few hints about how he fits into the story in Thor.

Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Question: Since you’ve had some directing experience, have you ever thought directing a Marvel movie?

Clark: Yeah, I’ve thought about it more than they have. I wrote and directed this movie Choke, that was a small indie comedy from this Chuck Palahniuk book of the same name and, while there was a medieval village, I don’t know that I was the first choice for Thor. I would really be into it. I certainly watch what Ken [Branagh] and Jon Favreau do, in terms of the scope and the visual effects, and I’m fascinated by it. I feel like there’s probably one that’s more charactery and smaller, that I’d love to get a crack at, at some point. I want to just show up with a spec script for one of my favorites of their heroes and go, “What do you think?”

Were you always going to be in all of these Marvel films, once you were cast in this role?

Clark: It started out as nothing. It was just a couple of scenes in Iron Man, and it just became a better role. Every time they call, I’m like, “Really? I get to do this guy again?” Every time, they peel back some more layers and he’s got more interesting stuff to do. Getting to see some of the Thor footage, I was blown away by it, as a fan. And then, I had Joss Whedon tell me, “Oh, yes, we’d like you to be in The Avengers,” this afternoon.

You just found that out?

Clark: Yeah! So, I can barely focusing on talking because I just want to call my mom.

Do you know anything about the script? Do you know where you’re going to show up and how it’s going to look?

Clark: I don’t know a damn thing. I can’t get in trouble because I don’t know anything.

As the glue of the Marvel universe, how are the seeds planted in Thor, as far as where your character is and what he’s doing?

Clark: Without getting instantly evaporated by the Marvel ray-guns, I think it’s safe to say that Thor is an origin story. Obviously, a hammer is in New Mexico in a giant crater and Nick Fury is otherwise engaged, so it’s Agent Coulson’s job to show up and investigate that. I don’t think he knows, going into New Mexico, anything more than that. It reeks of superhero to him, with the giant hammer and the perfectly symmetrical crater. By the end of the movie, it becomes clear that this is very much in line with what S.H.I.E.L.D. is in existence for. More than that, I’m too scared to talk about.

Are you familiar enough with the mythology of the comics to know more?

Clark: One of the many cool things about my job is that Agent Coulson is about the only character that is not in the comics. He was invented for Iron Man 1, which is even more of a reason why I can’t believe that I’m still in these things. But, they recently put out an Agent Coulson comic, which is now the wallpaper of my house. There is free license there. He is whatever they want to evolve him to be, and I’m lucky because they’ve found out that they need somebody who’s connected to the real world, to help bring all these characters together.

Do you get input into creating him, in a way that the superheroes do not?

Clark: You know, I don’t want to take credit away from the great writers that they have. They really come up with this stuff with Marvel, and continually reveal new stuff about Coulson. Certainly on this film, I was surprised to find that Ken was really open to it. He said, “You’ve been playing this guy. Do you have anything else that you think he might say or think about this?” That’s plenty for me.

Any chance you’ll be in Captain America?

Clark: Captain America takes place in the ‘40s, during the Battle of Britain, so unless they write in a wormhole, I won’t be in it.

But, doesn’t he get unfrozen, at one point?

Clark: Does he?!

Maybe you find him in the ice?

Clark: Really?!

You had a great after-credits scene in Iron Man 2.

Clark: I don’t feel like I’ll ever get another one of those. That was too good.

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