"Iron Man" and Beyond: The Expanding Role of Agent Phil Coulson - NBC Connecticut
What's really worth watching

"Iron Man" and Beyond: The Expanding Role of Agent Phil Coulson



    Clark Gregg has made the most of being handed a small part as Agent Phil Coulson in "Iron Man." The actor has worked the character into a gradually increasing role in the superhero franchise -- moving to "Iron Man II," "Thor" and beyond.

    "Agent Coulson has been the gift the keeps on giving," Gregg tells PopcornBiz. "And it's a really fun, increasingly complex character to play."

    Gregg says his friend and former neighbor Jon Favreau offered him the "tiny role" of Coulson in the first movie. He didn't have long-term expectations for it, especially considering the character doesn't appear in the comic books.

    "I love Jon, I loved the cast, so I said, 'Sure,'" he says.

    This led to an even greater role keeping an eye on Robert Downey Jr. in the blockbuster sequel "Iron Man II," which came out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday.

    But Coulson's role as a member of the superhero/super-baddie monitoring group  --Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D) -- has led to even more roles for the blossoming character. Gregg just completed shooting "Thor" with director Kenneth Branagh.

    "We've shot it, but they are editing it now. I certainly shot a lot of scenes," he says. "I just hope they stay in the movie."

    Without going into specifics (some sort of superhero oath of secrecy at work here), Gregg says his character's role expands in each movie revealing more and more powers.

    "Agent Coulson is constantly revealing new dimensions about who he is and what he does," says Gregg. "And that will continue in 'Thor.' "

    Following that, will be a part in the all-star cast of "Avengers," which will shoot in February or March. "I only know what I read on the internet," he says.

    But either way, he's enjoying his first superhero ride, which is turning into a bigger quite a gig.

    "It's really a thrill. I don't know how it happened," laughs Gregg. "They keep unveiling new dimensions and new things for this guy to do. And it's maybe the most fun I have ever had in a role."