Clark Gregg knows not only what it’s like to be a screen Marvel, but also to have a spouse expert in “Dirty Dancing.”
to revive the character of Agent Phil Coulson — supposedly killed in
last summer’s movie blockbuster “Marvel’s The Avengers” — in “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” on ABC, the actor-director-screenwriter is enjoying watching his actress wife, Jennifer Grey, react to his ongoing ride through the Marvel universe.
“When we got married, she was Jennifer Grey, movie star and ’80s icon who just wanted to be a mom,” Gregg recalls to Zap2it
of their 2001 wedding. “And I wanted that for her, and for me, and we
really just focused on starting a family.” The couple’s daughter,
Stella, is now 11.
“I was this former actor-screenwriter [Grey] had married,” Gregg reflects, “and she kind of marveled when [CBS sitcom] ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’
happened for me.” During that series run came 2008’s “Iron Man,”
launching Gregg’s tenure as Coulson — which continued through “Iron Man
2,” “Thor” and TV’s animated “Ultimate Spider-Man.”
he was “nervous to do ‘Iron Man,’ because there was only a scene or two
for me in the first script … not much. I was afraid they were going to
be cut out, and Jenn was like, ‘Oh, you love those comics. You’ve gotta
do it.’ She’s so supportive and terrific.
“She’s had such amazing victories herself, both as a movie star and on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
[she won Season 11], she gets such a kick out of watching me have a
crazy ride like this. And at such a different point in my life than
she did. She’d never seen anything like Comic-Con; she and my daughter
just went to their first one, and I don’t think they were quite prepared
for the Coulson Fever there.”
Still, Gregg knows Grey is reasonably familiar with the syndrome from her own enduring popularity as Baby, Johnny Castle’s (Patrick Swayze) dance partner whom nobody puts in a corner.
go to a reissue or anniversary screening of ‘Dirty Dancing,'” Gregg
notes, “and watch her performance in it — never mind ‘Ferris Bueller’s
Day Off’ or ‘Red Dawn’ or some of the other things she did — and the
connection that so many people of so many generations have to it is so
“That little independent movie that nobody thought would
do anything has just become classic,” adds Gregg. “I think that because
she loves the dancing part of it so much, even though it was so scary
and hard for her at the time, she does understand uniquely the way some
of these reactions to the Marvel stuff happens.”