Clark Gregg has seen his profile rise in recent years thanks to his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel movies, capped with the Friday (May 4) release of “The Avengers.” But while fans mostly recognize him as Coulson now, he’s still surprised sometimes when people approach him.
“It’s one of the funny ting about being at this long enough,” Gregg tells Zap2it after an appearance on the “KTLA Morning News” (which you can watch here) Friday. “People start to come up to you and you realize, OK, they’ve seen me in something, and whenever I think I know what they’ve seen me in, I’m always wrong. The most kind of normal-looking people pull out the most perverse cable movies I did, and the most twisted, goth-looking people are big [‘New Adventures of] Old Christine’ fans.”
Coulson has been a common thread through several of the Marvel movies leading up to “The Avengers,” but Gregg says it wasn’t necessarily designed that way when he got the role in “Iron Man.”
“I was talking to Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel [Studios], and I said, ‘Correct my memory, but at first, I feel like it was just a couple lines in the script,'” Gregg recalls. “He said, ‘You’re right, but there was something that worked and something the character offered that we wanted to do, and we decided to make him the face of S.H.I.E.L.D. and expand the role. We never knew it was going to turn into four movies. So you’re welcome.'”
Moviegoers will see a different side of the usually jaded Coulson in “The Avengers”: fanboy. He definitely has a little bit of a man-crush on Captain America (Chris Evans).
“In the world of ‘The Avengers,’ Captain America was a comic superhero based on a real guy who disappeared at the end of World War II, and apparently had quite an impact on Agent Phil Coulson,” Gregg says. “So when they dredge him up from the ice, it’s a little bit like Babe Ruth coming back to life and I get to have batting practice with him.”
Hit play on the video up above for more of Gregg’s thoughts on Coulson and “The Avengers,” including what it was like for him to be turned into a comic-book character.