Agents of SHIELD at SDCC: Clark Gregg & Henry Simmons

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At a press event this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, the Marvel Report got a chance to talk with some of the cast and crew of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and ask Clark Gregg and Henry Simmons questions about the upcoming season of the show, which premieres on September 20 later this year.

Clark and Henry go into detail about what it’s like working together in their full interview which you can watch or read below.

The relationship between Mack and Coulson is really unique relationship. Coulson kinda has gone from not trusting Mack to even making him temporary director for a while. Can you talk a little bit about that relationship between your two characters on screen right now – going into next season?

Clark: (To Henry) – Yeah, what’s your problem, man? Why are you always giving me a hard time? Mack came at Coulson at every turn, and was very suspicious and certainly came out of stuff that comes at the end of season two, when Mack was taken over by the Kree energy – he had that alien possession and it made him very suspicious of all things Inhuman. Which is to be suspicious of Coulson. And yet, Coulson’s leadership style is he kinda welcomed it, and in fact, when Inhumans started popping up everywhere, he assigned the first response team to be Daisy, and Inhuman, and Mack – the person most suspicious of Inhumans, which I felt was an interesting choice and I liked it. Somehow or another, it seems like he’s won Mack’s at least grudging respect to the point where now they’re in the field together and he hasn’t killed me yet.

Henry: It’s funny, the thing is I remember there was a speech I made when I initially left – the writers had all these lines and everything…but I wanted the line “I respect you” in there. Did you know that?

Clark: No, man!

Henry: I thought at that moment, even though Mack felt that way, I wanted to establish that Mack did respect Coulson.

Clark: So that I would know that when you cut my hand off?

Henry: Exactly. No hard feelings.

Can you talk about the challenges you guys both overcome in your roles and how is it working each other?

Henry: There’s no challenge. That’s the thing I like about Clark, is because he’s a director as well, I don’t know if y’all knew that. He comes to the scene with a different perspective and that’s – as an actor – I like to work with people like that because, he sees things from a director’s perspective as well. And for me, I watch him to try to learn as much as I can. So it only helps me be a better actor.

Can you talk a little bit about how Coulson is still dealing with Ward and the ramifications of that decision he made? How has that changed him?

Clark: They had a great line last season, which was, “I thought this would come back to haunt me, I just didn’t think this would ACTUALLY come back to haunt me.” When Hive showed up, Ward was his responsibility and I think he always felt guilty that he hadn’t seen Ward for the Hydra traitor that he was – who when he killed all these people, and maimed his team members, I think he always felt responsible for that. And then we he actually made a deal with Ward and they took him on a mission because they had no alternative, it was so pure, pragmatic Coulson. And that really backfired and it cost Rosalind her life in front of him. I think Coulson really feels responsible for that and I also think on the one level that it was time for him to resolve the issue and to end this guy because that was his responsibility. And later, I think he felt like he really crossed the line. Complex stuff our writers wrote there, because I don’t feel like he had a lot of choices. There were those who said that he could have left him on the planet, but we’d already seen two or three people come back from this planet. You know what? It’s weird to show up at work and not have Brett Dalton be there since the first day of season one. We really miss these people, they’re really close friends of ours. Luke, Brett, Powers Boothe, even the bad guys, we just love them.

How much is Ghost Rider going to affect the essence of the team?

Clark: It’s really too early for us to tell, it’s a big deal that this guy’s here, it’s a big deal for our show, it definitely takes us into a slightly different branch of the Marvel Universe. I love Ghost Rider and I really love the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider with the car, but as any Marvel property that might join our show, I have to think, “okay well, we’ve established a certain kind of visual reality on our show, how are they going to make this part of what we’re doing?” And every time Kolpack and his VFX team seems to blow us away, so we’re nervous but we’re very excited to see what that is. And I love that that’s the run from the comics that they chose.

How’s the team dealing with Daisy as a rogue agent?

Clark: (To Henry) You lost your partner.

Henry: Yeah, it’s devastating. The best word I can say at the beginning is “unsettled.” And, “uncertain.”

Clark: The first episode is what you would think after the finale – everyone is kinda reeling and not sure what the hell is going on.

What would Coulson say about Cap becoming Hydra in the comics?

Clark: That’s a tricky one. That’s so meta, it might blow my mind.

Be sure to check out our other Agents of SHIELD interviews with Ming-Na Wen, Iain de Caesetecker, EPs Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb and Jeff Bell.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returns on September 20 at 10pm on ABC.

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