Clark Gregg Returns as Agent Coulson in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Clark Gregg Interview for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Clark Gregg returns as Agent Coulson in 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' - Photo by Bob D'Amico – © 2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
He’s alive…but we still don’t know exactly how Agent Coulson survived what audiences believed was a fatal injury in The Avengers. Clark Gregg reprises his role in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which brings the world in which The Avengers and other big screen superheroes exist to the small screen in a dramatic action series on ABC. And after showing off the pilot episode to an appreciative crowd at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, Gregg sat down with journalists to – sort of – talk about Agent Coulson’s resurrection.
Welcome back now that Agent Coulson’s alive again.
Clark Gregg: “He is, or else he’s a ghost or a zombie. I don’t know yet. That’s probably in episode three.”
What’s it like to be making the jump to the television portion of the Marvel universe?
Clark Gregg: “I’m not going to lie, it feels bad-ass. I thought I was dead and I was not happy about it. Although what Joss [Whedon] did with that character was so spectacular, I was completely at peace. But the day I had to act that scene, I was surprisingly emotional. I had been playing the guy for five or six years, in four movies, and it broke my heart. I loved playing him. And yet, I was at peace about it. So when Joss called and said, ‘Listen, here’s what we’re thinking. You might not be dead,’ I had questions. I didn’t want to undo that part of The Avengers or do anything to cheapen it. So, when I got the spin on the direction they were thinking of going with it and it was really deep and interesting and Whedon-esque, I was signed on and thrilled.”
What’s it like to be the leader of a team versus having to wrangle uncooperative superheroes together?
Clark Gregg: “He’s very much like the poor bastard wrangling all the rock stars at Coachella in the movies. But the funny thing is, I feel like Coulson – with the exception of Director Fury – I feel like he thinks he’s been ordering these people around. You know, he really views them as divas who are one notch below him. They’re not Level 7. So, in a way, it’s a little bit of a jump and a change because now he’s got a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents working for him. And, I don’t know. He’s a different guy. I don’t think you get to have happen to you what happens to him in The Avengers and come back the same.”
Will we ever get to meet the cellist he was dating?
Clark Gregg: “God, I hope so! One of the things I find assuring as a fan of the Marvel universe is that they’ve done such an amazing job of taking every opportunity that I spot, as a fan, and root for them to go there. They’ve always used every piece of that. So, I have a feeling some Avengers and Pepper Potts are going to be quite unhappy when they find out that they’ve been messed with. I just wonder what the full story is going to be. I also think that Coulson is not going to be happy when he finds out that his mint cards have been messed with. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to want to know what’s happening with the cellist. I don’t know.”
How much could they divulge to you about how Coulson could come back, or are you going to have to wait to find out?
Clark Gregg: “More than you, less than Jeph Loeb. I’m not trying to be glib. It’s kind of the game with Marvel, I get the script a couple of days in advance. With the new series scripts, every episode I read, I think, ‘Oh, of course, he is! I didn’t know he could do that!’ Instead of having to wait eight months or a year for a new film script to find out more levels to Coulson, about every week, I get another one and I get to find out more.”
How exciting is it to explore all of these other facets of Coulson that there isn’t time for in the theatrical films?
Clark Gregg: “You know, it’s amazing. I’ve gotten little bits of it meted out to me. Joss took it and really expanded the guy in all the ways I imagined and more. So to get the chance to go in, in this different context, which has got all the spectacle of the movies but is a much more human version of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s much more people like Coulson who can die out there trying to protect the world after The Avengers. One of the things that frankly is exciting to me about it is that I think we have to find out more about where he came from and who he is and what it’s like to have gone through what he’s gone through.”
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Interview with executive producer Joss Whedon

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