Clark Gregg Teases the ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Finale and Clarifies That ‘Loser’ Remark
With ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ wrapping up its first season next week, Clark Gregg (who of course plays Agent Phil Coulson on the popular show) would like to clarify that “loser” remark he made about people who had given up on the show early — a remark Gregg does’t deny, but does regret.
I met Gregg on Tuesday afternoon at a restaurant in the West Village to discuss his new film that he both wrote and directed, ‘Trust Me’ (a story about a sleazy child star agent, played by Gregg, which you can watch On Demand right now and will be in theaters on June 2). The full interview will publish closer to the theatrical release of the film, but with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ ending its season next Tuesday — with guest star Samuel L. Jackson — Gregg teases what we might see in the finale and hints at the implications it will have for the Marvel cinematic universe. And we won’t officially learn if the show is returning until next week’s upfronts, but Gregg says he’d be surprised if Coulson’s team isn’t back for another season.
You were quoted a few months ago calling the people criticizing the early episodes of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ as “losers.”
It was an unfortunate comment [laughs]. At the end of a long day, I kind of stepped up and portended to be speaking for all geeks.
You should defend your show.
I know, but it hurts some people’s feelings.
But you have every right to defend your show.
It hurt some people’s feelings and I didn’t mean to imply that people who had, as he said, “All the geeks had given up on your show. I consider myself in that category.” So, I didn’t like things spoken for by that guy and I got defensive and a little protective of my team. But, I know it hurt some people’s feelings when I said that and I really regret it. People can watch or not watch, it doesn’t mean they’re a loser. But, that said, I was kind of tying to speak for the nerd that I am, who grew up reading Marvel stuff and just say, look, have some patience. These are brand new characters — the only brand new Marvel characters you’re going to see; all of the other ones are 30-years-old and have had time to be refined with the comics — you’ve got brand new people putting together a team and kind of establishing these characters in a way that, trust me, to quote a title, is going to be useful once we get to the back half.
When I first read that quote, I thought you meant it as “you’re a loser because you’re going to miss out on something you might like,” not that you’re actually a loser, but maybe you did mean that…
It was a terrible attempt — and if I actually did the delivery — it’s something that we used to say, jokingly, you don’t even spell it the same way: l-o-o-s-u-h. You’re a loosuh. Maybe there’s a “z” in there. And it was just, yeah, you’re going to be losing out.
Have you heard about the the future of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ coming back next season?
I’d be surprised if it didn’t [come back], but like so many people — daredevils, you know, parachute jumpers — anyone who has certain amount of fate not in their hands, we’re all superstitious. But, it looks pretty good. It looks pretty good. I think it’s not just our fans who have been very excited by the way the second half of the season has gone and I think there’s stuff coming in the last two episodes that people feel optimistic about.
You mention the season finale. Will the story just have implications for the story ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has been telling this season, or for the larger Marvel cinematic universe as we know it?
You will like this answer — and not just because it’s brief: Yes. Yes, it’s both. It will affect both. There’s only one S.H.I.E.L.D., and it’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ and it’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. that I work for.
What are you privy to, script-wise? When ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ premiered, did you know that after ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ everything would change for the show?
Well, I’m an unusual case in that I still have, like Coulson, I still know a little bit about what’s happening. I knew that S.H.I.E.L.D. came unglued in ‘The Winter Soldier,’ but I didn’t know how much. And, I knew that people were saying two words that begin with “H.”
Which became an Internet meme.
Ernie and Bert, for me, crossed the line.
I liked that one.
I laughed. I laugh at all of them. I think my wife [Jennifer Grey] was on there with Patrick Swayze doing the lift and there was a Hail Hydra and I’m thinking, Not cool.
[The full interview with Gregg about his new film, 'Trust Me,' and much more on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' will publish the week of June 2.]
Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.