“Hail Hydra!” Clark Gregg joked when he sat down with reporters at San Diego Comic Con to talk about Agent – or should we say, Director Coulson in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And once we made sure that Gregg really wasn’t pulling our legs with that Hydra message, we felt comfortable enough asking him what it felt like to find out about his promotion – arguably one of the biggest reveals of the season.
“I read it about five days before we shot it, the end of the last third of the season, after the Captain America crossover,” Gregg revealed. “And we were finding out people we had been working with every day were traitors…every episode, every script we got was just more of a mindblower. But then, honestly, every step of the way with this guy – from my neighbor down the street, [Iron Man director] Jon Favreau, having a couple of lines in Iron Man and knowing I’m a fan, to Joss Whedon pulling me into a room here right before the Thor panel about five or six years ago saying, ‘listen you have a big part in The Avengers’…any one of those moments could’ve killed me.”
So what was the actual moment that got Gregg choked up? “The scene I read where Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] explains that the reason this ‘Avengers Initiative’ procedure was used to resurrect Coulson is because he technically is an Avenger and now he’s the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was speechless. I was a mess that day,” Gregg admitted. “To have someone of Sam’s caliber show up and just nail it…honestly, as an actor, I’d never gotten to play somebody this long, this much.”
When we asked Gregg to drop some hints about season two, the new Director was a little more tight-lipped. “I read the first script, and I’m not allowed to talk about it,” he laughed. “But I will say that we went from a guy who was having a lot of secrets kept from him last season in a way that made him suddenly hate secrets…to the Director who has no choice but to keep secrets, or he’s going to cost people their lives. The job he’s got is bigger than any personal loyalties, so it’s going to be very interesting to me to see how much of that bigger-hearted Coulson who came back to life is allowed to function within that job. Because the job he’s got – putting back together an outlawed organization that everyone wants to annihilate with very small resources – is a formidable task.”
Whereas season one was about setting up relationships and learning what the team could accomplish, season two will be a lot more about excising those loyalties – and a lot of ass kicking. “I think what’s exciting about it is that it’s going to be brass knuckles, old school, Cold War-era espionage, and the people Coulson’s come to trust – Skye, May, Fitz, Simmons – are going to be challenged. And there’s going to be new agents. We just learned about Lucy Lawless, who is such a bad ass coming to our team. And I just heard the words ‘Mockingbird’, and I don’t even know what to say about that!” Gregg teased with a laugh.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for its second season on Tuesday, September 23 at 9 P.M. EST. Stay tuned to Confessions of a TV Geek for all your Marvel/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. coverage this fall!