Monday, 14 May 2012

[551] Clark Gregg Interview

One way of looking at the recent run of Marvel Studios films, which reaches its apex with the release of The Avengers this week, is to read it as The Rise of Agent Phil Coulson. The suit from SHIELD, played with great poker-face by Clark Gregg, has slowly developed over the years, from cheeky cameos in the Iron Man and Thor movies, to a full-blown supporting role in The Avengers, where he not only steps up alongside the superheroes, but finally gets his fair share of screen time, too.

At the Avengers press junket last week, we had a chance to chat with Gregg about superheroes, the hard slog of being a working actor, and the slow-burning development of fan-favourite Agent Coulson.

What do you think is so fascinating about superheroes?

That’s a really good question. You’d think it would be done by now! There have been so many of them, for many years. I thought it was a specifically American, bizarre pop phenomenon, because we grew up with it... Superman, even Batman, from the 40s! And yet, there’s something about when I saw this film, it felt like all those ideas had been taken and, as I guess always happens, the culture calls out for what it needs, and there’s something about this that feels very self-aware, and the superheroes seemed much more flawed.

Yet you notice their egos and their psychological complexities are very much like hubris. And then you go, well wait a minute, this has actually been around kind of always! And there’s always the idea of a hero, and a super antagonist, and those are the building blocks of story. And I don’t think that this movie would work if it didn’t connect somehow to something deeper, because then it’s just a bunch of people flying around and we wouldn’t care.

Read the full interview here.

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