Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed to exceed all expectations and run for seven successful seasons, but it’s nearly time to call it a day on the MCU’s premiere TV tie-in. The show is full of fan favorite characters, from Melinda May to Daisy Johnson, but it’s fair to say that the series wouldn’t have lasted so long without Clark Gregg at the center of it as Phil Coulson. He’s certainly come a long way since having a walk-on part in Iron Man over a decade ago.
Coulson’s proved to be more durable than many of the Avengers, surviving multiple deaths and near-cancellations to stick around the MCU since its very beginning. However, with S.H.I.E.L.D. coming to a close, it’s possible that Gregg may be saying goodbye to the character for good. While chatting with Collider now that season 7 is underway, the actor reflected on the crazy twists and turns his Marvel career has taken him on, saying:
“I can’t believe it. You turn around and, all of a sudden, it’s over. Iron Man was in 2008, so it’s been 12 years. There was a lot of stuff in between, especially during the movie years. I wouldn’t trade any of it. It’s been an amazing ride. I’ve made some really great friends. I’ve gotten to play so many different versions of this really fun, cool character that I love, and interact and meet so many fans around the world. I’ve got nothing but gratitude.”
Gregg then went on to speak some more about how much the friendships he’s built thanks to playing Coulson across various different projects mean to him, including the stars from the movie side of things as well as the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast that he’s worked alongside day-in, day-out for years now.
“It’s the relationships and the people that I was in those early MCU movies with. When I see them, there’s a brotherhood or sisterhood. We did something together that really was special and became part of a different kind of storytelling, in my view, of movies that were each a chapter in a bigger story. And I feel the same way, and in some ways even deeper, with my S.H.I.E.L.D. team, from Chloe [Bennet] and Iain [De Caestecker] and Elizabeth [Henstridge] and Ming [Na Wen], and then later Henry [Simmons], and a lot of the other people who have come along, and the amazing guest stars, the ones that I miss so much, like Bill Paxton and Ruth Negga. The people that I got to meet and work, and were improved by working with, and the writers and directors, really just made my life richer, so I’m really grateful to all of them.”
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So, after Coulson has been such an impactful role for him, will season 7 serve as a grand enough finale to act as his possible last time playing the part? Gregg seems to think so, as he hyped up the time-traveling storyline that’s unfolding across this run to Collider.
“What I love about what our writers did, was that they went, “Okay, then let’s have the most fun possible. Let’s go full sci-fi with space demons and an evil alter-ego for Coulson. And then, in the last season, we’ll go popping through different decades, and we’ll make the most out of what those decades represent, in style and tone. And we’ll put our very diverse cast in different time periods, where diversity is a challenge for people, and really make the most out of that and have fun with it.” We’re going out with a, we have nothing to prove to anybody but ourselves, bang.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 just aired its third episode yesterday and continues next Wednesday on ABC.