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CLARK GREGG: Reflecting on Agent Coulson

AssignmentX caught up with actor Clark Gregg to talk to him about his career and all things Agent Coulson. What follows is an excerpt from that interview in which he relates his feelings about, among other things, working with the various directors helming the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
AX: Do you feel Coulson has a different relationship with each of the Avengers? He obviously has a very friendly relationship with Tony Stark’s love Pepper, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, but how would you say he feels about Tony?

GREGG: Well, I think of the Avengers as a dysfunctional family. That’s pretty much what Joss was going for and that really felt in keeping with the groundwork that’s been set up, that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a great respect for these people, but at the same time, no illusions about some of the damage that they have and some of the issues that come along with having one of these superpowers. I feel like Coulson, like a really good basketball coach, knows it’s one thing that’s going to get somebody to play their best game, and it’s something very else that’s going to get Tony Stark to play his best game. And I think that he admires Tony Stark a lot more than he would ever tell Tony Stark.

AX: What are his feelings about Director Fury?

GREGG: They seem very “classic boss,” although again, I feel like director Fury is someone who Agent Coulson idolized before he met him, kind of the way he idolized Steve Rogers. What I think is cool in THE AVENGERS is that Coulson is kind of revealed to be a fanboy and someone who chose this line of work because really, for all his sarcasm and his lack of tolerance for the diva behavior of the superheroes, he’s clearly somebody who really buys into the dream.

AX: You’ve worked with Jon Favreau on the IRON MAN films, Kenneth Branagh on THOR and now Joss Whedon on AVENGERS. Is there any kind of a difference in tone? I’m guessing there were logistical differences in the films, although I don’t know how much those would affect the actors.

GREGG: It’s funny – it’s the job that Marvel took on [as the producing entity], which is to do an origin movie for each of these characters that really respected the world of that character and then, at the same time, in a way that makes sense in the cinematic world, that has to feel different than the comic book world. The Marvel cinematic universe is different than the Marvel comics universe and within that, each of these directors had to find a way to connect what they were doing to the other movie that came before it, and nobody had a harder task than Joss Whedon, to bring tissue from all of those different movies into one movie and make it work as its own thing and still make those characters feel like they’d stepped out of their other movies, including Agent Coulson. And I think from the minute any of us read the script, we thought, “Oh, wow, I don’t know how he did it, but I think he did it.”

AX: Would you say Coulson has had an evolution over all the films he’s appeared in?

GREGG: The directors knew the other films. [On THOR, which came after the IRON MAN films], Kenneth Branagh and I would say, “Something feels wrong here. This doesn’t feel like Coulson” in one of the scenes. And then we realized, “Oh, he’s sprinting. He’s sprinting. I don’t think he sprints like that. It doesn’t feel right. Coulson walks. He walks briskly – maintain calm.” And it’s funny, because some of the Internet fans of Coulson, one of their things is that classic British poster, it may be from THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN, where they say, “Keep calm. It’s your duty to keep calm.” And they’ve done a bunch of these posters and they say, “Keep calm and call Coulson.” It’s something that they absolutely picked up about this guy, is that he’s seen things that you can’t imagine, and he believes in the philosophy of trying to stay calm.

For the rest of the interview, please follow the source link.
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