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Clark Gregg

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ClarkGregg

Clark Gregg

Clark Gregg portrayed Agent Phil Coulson in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Consultant, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer and The Avengers. He currently portrays Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He reprises the role in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man: Great Power/Great Responsibility.

Significant roles

  • The Stranger in Sports Night (2000)
  • Supernerd in A.I. - Artificial Intelligence (2001)
  • Bill in Lovely & Amazing (2001)
  • FBI Special Agent Michael Casper in West Wing (2001-2004)
  • Capt. Tom Metsker in We Were Soldiers (2002)
  • Officer Hannagan in 11:14 (2003)
  • Nelson Primus in The Human Stain (2003)
  • Miller in Spartan (2004)
  • William Faulks in The Shield (2004)
  • Ben Johnson in When a Stranger Calls (2006)
  • Richard Campbell in The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-2010)
  • Nelson Hardwicke in In the Land of Women (2007)
  • Henry in The Air I Breathe (2007)
  • Lord High Charlie in Choke (2008)
  • Vance in (500) Days of Summer (2009)
  • Nat Jones in Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011)
  • Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
  • Phil Coulson in Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)

Quotes

  • "I thought I was a big comic fan until I went to Comic-Con, but then I saw what comic worship was actually like. I definitely had a couple of comics I was really into, I spent more time than I should have attempting to recreate those tales in my notebook. I was an Iron Man fan. I always liked Iron Man, I thought that flawed character who's working with technology more than any superpower was always a cool thing."
  • "I was really into Bruce Lee and the kung-fu craze when it hit the States in the '70s, so I really liked this guy Iron Fist, and I liked this trippy guy, Warlock. I liked Silver Surfer a lot, because I was skateboarding...I'm that guy. I'm the 1970s guy."
  • "It's my wallpaper! It's weird, on the one hand, it's a childhood dream come true, but on the other, I felt like someone from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I kept expecting someone to tell me I only had a few more months to live."
  • "I have a more prominent role in Thor, a bigger job to take care of than I have in the Iron Man movies, in that Agent Coulson has been doing some legwork for Nick Fury in Iron Man and basically babysitting bad boy Tony Stark a bit in Iron Man 2, but when the hammer shows up in the desert of New Mexico, it's my operation. Whatever happens, it's my problem."
  • "I'm ready. I'm waiting for that call. Definitely Agent Coulson is really shrewd, he doesn't get into fights that he can't win. So he's waiting for the right moment, for a feeble enough opponent to come along. Certainly in Thor, there are some exciting moments involving Agent Coulson. I'm not going to say another word."
  • "I think it's safe to say that, having seen the Iron Man movies and read early drafts of Thor, that everything in this Marvel Universe is part of a grander scheme and it seems, at least, a first act of this giant epic that they're attempting really seems to be culminating in The Avengers, so you're going to see some of the elements of Thor paying off in the Avengers movie."
  • "I've been acting a long time. And every time you get excited, you hear, ‘Guess who’s playing Coulson in the next one!’ It was this little part, but something worked. They needed a real person as the face of S.H.I.E.L.D., and every time they ask me to be in another film I’m like, ‘Really? Fantastic! Okay!"
  • "I feel like I represent what connects the Iron Man and Thor worlds together, and also what connects those worlds to the audience. Coulson's a smart ass, but has clearly been trained in a serious way to have a spot in Nick Fury’s organization. Yet, to me, it still feels like he's a guy who goes home."
  • "I was intimidated about taking my character into the world of ‘Thor.’ I wanted it to feel like the same guy the audience was getting to know…but instead of being exactly the same, I got to unveil more about Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. For me, that’s the fun part about showing up for work. I get to find out where they’re going to take this guy."
  • "Oh, yeah, [I thought] a small gig! And then they just kept adding scenes, and then they started adding movies, and now I'm in Albuquerque doing "Avengers" with this amazing cast. I don't know how this happens. It's not the kind of thing that normally happens to me, and yet it's been the most amazing ride. I'm just kind of kind of a goofy 14-year-old: like, "Really? Look what I get to do in this version!"
  • "No, no. [Laughs] I can't believe that they just keep putting me in them."
  • "Yeah, from the first one, I signed up for a multi-picture deal – and they keep using them."
  • Some of the sets that they build, just some of the featured set pieces of "The Avengers," you walk on there and kind of go, "Wow – This is going to do a LOT of my acting for me." Also, you walk out there and there's Chris Evans or Scarlett Johansson or Sam Jackson and you go, "This is a superhero movie? This is an Oscar movie, with this cast."
  • "I’m just kidding. “Skrull armada single-handed…” No, they’re Kree! No, I’m just kidding. Yes, there’s definitely new stuff. Much different, new stuff for Agent Coulson to do in this one. You know, it’s kind of “all hands on deck” in terms of combating the threat that has shown up. And Joss… Joss is a master at taking what we know about each one of these characters, the superheroes and Agent Coulson, and building on what’s already there."
  • "Yeah, I’ve read this! I’ve read this. I’m flattered that people care, but I wish they would stop saying this because they’re going to put it in somebody’s mind! I’m talking to them about doing "Iron Man 3" right now, and somebody’s going “Maybe Agent Coulson should die,” and I’m like, “Hey, hey, hey! This is the best job I’ve ever had! Stop talking about killing Agent Coulson off.”"
  • "It's a little hard to believe, coming from a supporting role that they kept beefing up and adding to new movies, that I would actually walk into that room I walked into and see that collection of people in their various versions or incredibly worked up neoprene. When I walked in the first thing I did was go, "Oh my god! Look at all these actors in costumes!" But then you look at them a little closer and you go, "I just walked into a room with Captain America, Tony Stark...oh my god!" And then you go, "That's Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr.!" Then all of a sudden Sam comes in and gives me a look and I'm like, "There's som big problems we've got to take care of so let's go do it!"
  • "The thing about The Avengers that I think is clear from the trailers is that they've spent a lifetime preparing for a moment like this. Whatever is coming down the pike, everyone is taking care of business to the best of their abilities. It may cause some tensions but they're going to hit it head on."
  • "I had to pinch myself because I'm not that jaded. I got to show up and put on the Coulson suit and I've got enough lines that I have a trailer, plus I get to do this amazing script by Joss Whedon. I don't know how I got to be a part of it, I just feel very lucky about it. When you look at the team it's made out of rock stars, divas, and giant muscles with superpowers so somebody has the job backstage at Lollapalooza to make them all play in the same concert and super band - and that's what Agent Coulson does."
  • "You, know….it didn’t suck to have Coulson [of] S.H.I.E.L.D. front and center and not behind a bunch of superheroes . It was this really cool guy named Abdelkareem Abonamous [of Leythum], terrific director from a number of countries. He’s a terrific, talented guy, really enjoyed working with him. Marvel had this idea that they wanted to fill in some of the gaps and for my money, it felt like a warm-up for The Coulson film. That’s how I was pitching it [laughs]. They were like, ‘You mean the S.H.I.E.L.D. movie’ and I said ‘I think I mean the Coulson movie.’ [laughs]"
  • "It’s funny, because they all seem so completely different in a lot of ways and yet to me, they were really similar in some core ways. The three of them are really, really funny and I love working with funny directors because it makes your day fun even when it’s kind of long and arduous. They’re each really brilliant guys. John and Kenneth are also actors, who [happen to] direct so they really understand an actor’s process but then I was working on this top-secret Shakespeare project with Joss a couple of weeks after [The Avengers] and he read one of the parts for a minute and he’s a really good actor. So every time I think I understand what’s different about them, they seem really similar. They all really love comics and they all really love the stories and really take them seriously and get what needs to be humorous. Luckily for me, they all seemed to get what was cool about Coulson and his role and his snide sense of humor. It was really a treat to see how different each experience was going to be and I had a truly amazing experience on The Avengers with Joss."
  • "Yeah, I’ve definitely been talking to [Marvel] about working with them and hopefully directing something. I’d love to direct one of the ‘Shorts’. I’m about to make another Indie feature of my own, actually it’s starting right after the New Year but after that, yeah."
  • "No. Definitely, I was rusty on my comics but I’ve been a comic book fan so I knew some stuff about Tony Stark and Iron Man and a little bit about S.H.I.E.L.D. but not much. There’s this amazing guy at Marvel named Jeremy Latcham whose been on most of the movies with me, and about the third day of [filming] Iron Man, when I started saying ‘Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division’ and I realized what that was, I went to Jeremy and said you know, ‘I know a little bit about S.H.I.E.L.D. but perhaps I need to know more’ and he beautifully, showed up the next day with just a comic book fans wet-dream of this 500-page encyclopedia of comic excerpts and background information on the Marvel Universe and S.H.I.E.l.D. and it’s a treasured possession in a vault in my house right now."
  • "When you look at the team, it's made up of rock stars and divas with giant muscles and super-powered egos, so somebody has the job backstage to make them all play in the same super band—and that’s what Agent Coulson does."
  • "There was a lot of theories about who Coulson was, like 'Is he really a Skrull?' There were a whole bunch of theories and I started to take those on a little bit. I didn't want to reveal anything but [I'd say things like], 'He might be a Romulan,' things from Star Trek just to mess with 'em."
  • "I was signed up for a bunch of pictures, I think it was six."
  • "No. But I’m going to be speaking with her [Patty Jenkins] very soon. And I’m looking forward to it because I’m a big fan of hers and I thought the movie she made [Monster] was great."
  • "Vision is cool, but I would hate to be any A.I. life form. If I got to come back, I would need to still be somebody who could wisecrack, because my favorite part of the job was that if anybody was going to tease anybody about their diva superhero outfit or whatever, it would be me."
  • "I don't know if we'll see Agent Coulson again, but I certainly do his voice in their animated series, The Ultimate Spider-Man, and you never know, there may be a flashback or something sometime. I really hit it off with those guys [at Marvel], and I've talked to them lately about some ways I can continue to work with them, perhaps as a writer or director."
  • "You know The Vision is synthetic with a soul, sort of, and he's an amazing character who I loved when I used to read those comics. I love the idea of Coulson as that guy, but I don't know if that's in the cards."
  • "I signed a multi-year deal for Agent Coulson when it was just three lines. It just turned into something more. It’s always a little nerve-wracking because it’s not something you’re used to. We have designed obsolescence, we actors. At the same time, the relationship between Agent Coulson and the fans is moving to me, and I don’t think it comes along very often, and I’ve been doing this a while. And some of this stuff is happening to me when I’m not in my 20s, not by a long shot. Once I knew that Joss and his brother Jed and Maurissa, his wife, were involved, and I saw the script, and thought, “This is what it’s going to be like,” then there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing."
  • "After people see the show, they’ll have some clue as to why I’m still there, still breathing. But I don’t think they’ll know everything..."
  • "I’ve been so happy and living this geek fantasy as they kept adding Agent Coulson to everything including The Avengers and then gave him this magnificent, almost Shakespearean death scene, and I found out on that day how much I loved this guy and had come to identify with him partly because of the way fans responded to him, and also because he had such a great niche in those movies. He got to be funny, he got to be, in this case, heroic. And then I got to say good-bye to him, and it was a very emotional day. And yet I feel what Joss did with that was a fantastic conclusion of the character. And even though my friends at Marvel said, “You know, we spent a lot of time talking about how Coulson lives, and we know that there’s a movement out there, and there are t-shirts and people paint on bridges ‘Coulson Lives’, we’re going to bring you back”, and it’s one of the many things people tell you that never ever happens. And then I get this call from Joss saying, “Well…there’s a script. And here’s what we’re thinking, and it’s after The Avengers, and here’s the concept.” By the time Joss finished telling me, I was in."
  • "Joss is right over there. That’s a really good question. I want to go ask him. I don’t know. If my schedule doesn’t conflict, and they need him in one of the movies, will they come calling? My feeling is that there’s no breaks in continuity with this and the Marvel movie universe. It makes sense in that universe, and I certainly feel like his chances of appearing in those movies are far better than when he was far out dead."
  • "I recently completed a pilot for ABC/Marvel called SHIELD which would represent the resurrection of Agent Phil Coulson of the Avengers series..."
  • "The Marvel guys were sweet -- they’re nerds, so they are also part of Coulson’s army -- and they said, “C’mon, maybe he’s not that dead.” You know, I got this call -- much sooner than I imagined it would come, if it ever came -- and they said, “We want you to come to New York Comic Con. We have some news.” And when I saw this video where Joss and Kevin Feige came out, and Kevin was wearing a “Coulson Lives” t-shirt, It was really moving to me, because I felt the fans had brought Coulson back to life. Two days ago, I was shooting my last couple pick-up scenes in a show called Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.."
  • "I thought they were pranking me a little bit because there was so much blood on the set of The Avengers, I kept waiting to see, are we going to shoot a version where Loki misses? And they didn’t, so I was really surprised to get that call and I wanted to make sure it didn’t do anything to undermine what we achieved there and when Joss explained the mystery and how they planned to deal with it, with Agent Coulson being around, I was very sold."
  • "He’s [Coulson] back. He’s thinks he knows how he’s back. We’ll have to see."
  • "I have a feeling if they killed me off again it would be for good so I’m very careful to read the end of the script every time I get one. It’s like getting struck by lightning. I kind of hope it hits somebody else first before it comes back to me."
  • "I can't say this because these guys are like, giant muscular superheroes, but if I had a magical transformation, I wouldn't mind being Captain Marvel. Although, there's a new Captain Marvel in the comics who's a lady alien, and she's hot. I would be a lady alien Captain Marvel."
  • "What’s the deal with Tahiti. Tahiti’s a magical place. I keep saying that… it’s where I went to recover after being impaled and as I say in the pilot, it was a spectacular experience, I had a beautiful physical therapist and I read Travis McGee novels all day. But every time someone mentions it lately I seem to go into post traumatic stress so I think there’s a little more to Tahiti than meets the eye. There’s a much darker, more interesting story there. Something much more magical has gone on to bring this guy back to life."
  • "I know more than the audience but less than the writers. There’s plenty they haven’t… I know a little bit, I have some hints, know from where Joss told me roughly where we’re headed."
  • "We have another episode coming up that really connects to Thor: The Dark World and kind of may contain some additional story elements. I can’t spoil anything, but it’s great to be connective tissue. That what I was. Now, it’s what the show is. And it’s nice when they get to the part where there might be some superheroes and some fighting, and they don’t say Coulson’s gone now. They say, ‘Coulson suit up.’ "
  • "I'm not disappointed. Joss gave me a kind of vague answer [abut Coulson's resurrection], and it was as complex and dark as you might expect from him."
  • "People have been patient in really wanting to know the true nature of the secrets. ... We're going to get a big fat window at the real truth, and it's going to be very, very surprising. When I read the sequence, I just stopped and put the script down and went 'Wow. That was worth waiting for.' "
  • "The way our team has kind of turned the back half of this season into a reveal that uses the mystery of Coulson's death not just as a standalone reveal but as an integral part of the bigger reveal, which is that this organization Centipede, run by this person the Clairvoyant, has been part of almost everything we've done and connects on a deep level to everything going forward. Centipede is determined to destroy SHIELD and, to Coulson's chagrin, has some of the same questions about SHIELD that Coulson himself is starting to evolve."
  • "The fact that they've already managed to kind of make the reveal of what Coulson's doing alive [be] the one thing that the Clairvoyant wants is just part of the way the back half of this season is going to be -- more exciting and more satisfying than the first half of this season, where so much work had to be done to kind of set up this world of these people and this team, and all these separate pieces get kind of woven together."
  • "While this tragic secret doesn't really have a satisfying answer that he initially seems to feel would benefit Skye, on some level he decides not to tell her. I think it remains to be seen how comfortable he is with that, and one of the things that's being executed quite artfully by the writers is the more that Coulson is denied the truth by Nick Fury and the people he works for, the less comfortable he is keeping secrets from his own team."
  • "In the present day and age, I don't think you can have an organization like SHIELD exercising that kind of power without raising questions about the possibility of having power like that without abusing it. What I think they've done so artfully that's just starting to be revealed is that Coulson after this traumatic near-death experience is not the same kind of company man that he was in the films. Yet he's trying to stick to that idea, but everyone who knows him from before kind of shows up with a plan and goes 'something's different,' and then he himself starts to realize something's different. ... [It] seems to be manifesting in a kind of lack of ruthlessness or a discomfort with some of the kind of pragmatic decisions that people like Victoria Hand within SHIELD are all too comfortable making."
  • "What I love most about the movies from Iron Man to The Avengers is the sense of humor, and to have someone in the world who's going to really slam the not taking himself too seriously component out of the park is perfect. I hope Rudd does a lot of films with them and he comes onto our show, I love that idea. I love that idea. I think he's amazing and, for me, what's great about Marvel is the kind of outside the box casting that they've done, starting with Robert who now seems so perfect, but I think was a little bit of a tough sell at the first moment,People who you don't associate initially with superhero movies is what works so well for Ant-Man, who's so smart and has an intellect."
  • "Those aren’t geeks. Those are losers. You start to have people like Deathlok showing up; You start to understand that a bunch of these different episodes were connected. A lot of the geeks that I respect most...are very excited about where we’re going. So I’m going to choose to work for them. I guess I don’t mean to say that people who have been frustrated by that discovery period are necessarily losers. I just think they should be, perhaps, a little more patient."
  • "I knew we were going to shoot a pilot right before we started shooting Trust Me, during preproduction I got a call from Joss saying, ‘We think you might not be dead,' and I gotta say it felt like a nice vote of confidence going into what was about to be the scariest thing I'd ever done."
  • "It was so tense and fun, but we do more in eight days in terms of visual FX, action, fight choreography, especially when we finally get to the place where the show interacts with The Winter Soldier and HYDRA is revealed – that's everything cranked up to another level."
  • "I knew there was going to be some bad stuff that was going to happen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier within S.H.I.E.L.D.. I didn't know that we would potentially become agents of NOTHING. That said, the level to which that's a gamechanger becomes very clear in the season finale and there are a couple things that happen in the season finale that blew my mind and suggests the direction of what might be happening in Season 2. I didn't understand that the level of treachery would reach into my own team and I think it's really cool that it does."
  • "There's something really fun about getting the scripts together in the room and having special red pages handed to us where we find out there's HYDRA within. Our life is like S.H.I.E.L.D. to see the actual faces of the other actors reacting to this."
  • "The bastards don't tell me sh*t [about T.A.H.I.T.I. project being related to other Marvel movies]. What I sense as a fan, and this is my opinion is that there's definitely more to the secret of T.A.H.I.T.I. and we had a huge reveal at the end of the last episode when we find out who is in charge of the project and we know that both Coulson and Skye have been saved using this serum from a blue alien. I would be surprised if we don't find out pretty soon what species that is, super-early in Season 2 I'm suspecting, and I have a feeling that the ramifications of what it means to have that inside of you are much more far-reaching than we know."
  • "I'm in the middle of it and I feel a great responsibility to satisfy the fans. he fans are who brought Coulson back to life. I think ‘Coulson Lives' is why there's a show. I want so much for them to like what we're doing. I want it to be great and I feel really protective of my young co-stars and the 200 people who work on that show, supporting their families. When people were frustrated with not having enough superheroes or wanting the pace to move faster, it was hard for me and when people started to click with the show more and the numbers started to build and people seemed to start to get what we were going after, it has really been rewarding to me to see the build as the season went along. It's actually really interesting because due to social media, you really find out a lot more about what people are thinking then you ever used to and in some ways, that can be really hard, in some ways that's really satisfying, but I guess the one thing as an artist that's kind of useful is that you realize that the same moment that is somebody's favorite thing ever, somebody else detests and you kind of go ‘Wow! The span of reactions. Everybody is bringing something different to the party.' I watch it with my daughter and if we like it, I'm really happiest now. That's my barometer."
  • "For the most part, it's one after another but there's carry-over where a lot of times it's so big that they can't get it in eight days so there'll be two different units shooting on the same set or else one on location, some doing the last pick-up day of the episode before, some on the new episode and sometimes there'll be a third unit doing a VFX or action shot from the one ahead or one behind."
  • "I don't think what we're doing now on the show would be achievable if Marvel didn't have a fantastic system in place and a way to do VFX fast. That's the only thing about the Avengers that's similar is that if you took the Avengers and it was a giant car and you put it into one of those car compactors, it compresses what would be seven weeks of shooting into seven days."
  • "I’d be really disappointed if I don’t get to show up in New York for Daredevil or Iron Fist, he was a huge favorite of mind in comic books as a kid. I’ve had more than my share so I shouldn’t be greedy but it would be a huge geekout moment for me if I got to meet Daniel Rand."
  • "I think perhaps in a deeper way. I think he’s experienced a kind of vulnerability himself that makes people more protective of those who have vulnerability. As a guy who sacrificed the idea of a family to do this job, to protect other people, I think the relationship that he has with Skye and sometimes Simmons and Fitz is as much a family kind of relationship as he has or perhaps will ever have."
  • "I don’t think it’s fully played out, but what it turned out to be and all the different layers, I was really excited about that. This mysterious blue gentleman who seems to have brought me back to life, I love the whole idea that the biggest mystery for Coulson in Season One is to find out who’s been lying to him and why about how he was really brought back to life, and that the version he was told is completely untrue. The crisis of faith he has with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Director Fury who only in the very last episode of this season do we find out why he’s been deceived in a way that restores a lot of his faith in what he’s been doing."
  • "It’s going to be lo-fi. You’re going back to basics. You’ve got to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. from the ground up in a much more dangerous world where your group is outlawed. So it feels like the early, Sean Connery James Bond with the brass knuckles and not afraid to knock somebody off."
  • "I thought there were so many things stacked against us last year and one of them was where the ABC television schedule would put us on for three episodes and then take us down for four weeks. Nobody could get a momentum going and when the show started to be on consistently and having story that carried over in an episodic way, that’s when things started to click. So the great thing about the announcement was, A., we’re moving to nine, where it can be a little darker, like I think Marvel needs to be. Then they’re going to show, I believe it’s ten [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes], eight of [Agent Carter], then twelve [more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]…For the most part, this is straight runs of our show, which is when I think it really works."
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Trivia

Clark Gregg is the 7th Marvel actor to be nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. The first six were Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus, Kelsey Grammer as Beast, Jeff Bridges as Iron Monger, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Stanley Tucci as Abraham Erskine. Clark Gregg won for his part, making him the first to do so.

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