Clark Gregg reprises his role (from Iron Man and Iron Man 2) as agent Coulson in the forthcoming superhero hitbuster, “Thor”. Moviehole had the chance to talk to the amiable actor about being “the glue that holds the Marvel universe together” at this past weekend’s Comic Con.
Ever thought about directing a Marvel comic book movie?
Yeah, I’ve thought about it more than they have [Laughs]. 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 [in it], I don’t know that I would’ve been the first choice for Thor. But yeah, 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. Maybe if there’s one that’s smaller, and more character driven, I might get a crack at that. Maybe I’ll just show up with a spec script I’ve written on one of their heroes and go, “Whaddya think?”
Did you know you were going to be in all the Marvel movies?
No. 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. I was blown away by some of the stuff in Thor. This afternoon I had Joss Whedon tell me, “Oh, yes, we’d like you to be in The Avengers!”
You just found that out?
Yeah! So, I can barely focusing on talking because I just want to call my mum.
What do you know about “The Avengers”?
I don’t know a damn thing. I can’t get in trouble because I don’t know anything [Laughs].
What’s your character up to in “Thor”?
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. 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. Scared to say more than that.
Are you familiar enough with the mythology of Thor?
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 the movie, which is even more of a reason why I can’t believe that I’m still in these things. But hey, they recently put out an Agent Coulson comic! I have it as the wallpaper of my house now! 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?
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?”
Any chance you’ll be in Captain America?
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?
Maybe you find him in the ice?
You had a great after-credits scene in Iron Man 2.
I don’t feel like I’ll ever get another one of those. That was too good.