Interview: Clark Gregg and Ming Na Wen
With Comic-Con in the books, it’s time to start sharing some of the work we did that needed a little more editing than our Insta posts. Here is the first of our interviews from San Diego Comic-Con. This one features Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) and Ming Na Wen (Agent May — and new Disney Legend).
Ming Na (MN)Hey guys. What’s up?
Opening question: We just learned that a season 7 will be the last season. So Where would you like to see the characters in the world?
Clark Gregg (CG): Well, the emotional double whammy of this particular comic-con is that we’re shooting that final episode. So we know where our characters end up, necessarily, but we know where the show ends and where they are with the show ends. And
MN: I mean, the only great thing about knowing that it’s our season, not our season finale, but our series finale–oh, what is hard to say is, is then it gives the writers our writers a chance to really wrap up the stories the way they want to, you know, and with our characters. A lot of times when it’s just the season finale, we don’t know what coming back for another. It’s kind of like these haphazard cliffhangers and endings…and so in a way it there’s a there’s an absolute completion that that is very rewarding, as opposed to not knowing if we’re if it was our last season
CG: But I also think there’s a real challenge to finales. Sometimes we see they’re very hard to pull off, they’re very hard to stick the landing of the series finale. Because there are not really a lot of moments where, okay, my life’s all set now. That’s it. That’s the conclusion of it unless they’re burying you. And unless they kill off all the characters in the last episode, which I’m not going to spoil if that’s what they do. You are really seeing a direction people are headed in and you don’t know really where it will go from there, but you have you given idea.
Some Results. Results life,
MN: But you know. That is life.
Daniel Rasmus (DR): You are hard to kill off.
CG: I must not be too hard to kill of because they certainly try to do it all the time.
MN: Yeah, I think you could go into the Guinness Book of World Records for the one character and how many times that character has done
CG: I mean, there’s a guy on South Park.
MN: But Yeah, that’s true.
CG: When I saw the yesterday the panel they showed three minute clips from every season, The sheer volume of story that our writers have done, and the way that they’ve kind of gone off into different corners of the Marvel Universe. And To be honest, a lot of the Marvel Universe they’re using it for the movies, or they’re protecting it in case they do. So they really have to carefully mind what isn’t being used. And then a lot of stories I knew from various comics I read but it’s taken a lot of cool parts of it and made them their own. So to see all that and I mean every character almost but especially I look and I see the long history of going to Melinda May when she’s working in an office in terrible PTSD from the moment that made her the cavalry and then the…Oh my god, the amount of character blocking with a did between us to keep us from
MN: And it’s great because it keeps it fresh for us. You know, I mean So to answer your question, though, I think for me, it’s the laughter You know, every day being in the trenches with some of the most amazing actors crew people behind the scene, visual effects you know, the makeup and hair,, it’s just the laughing the sheer joy and fun that a lot of times we have it you know, it makes those 15 hour days tolerable.
DR: I’ve had the chance to be on set through Mark Kolpak on an article (here at GeekWire) I wrote about AR and VFX. I’m wondering how his team’s growth, and now him sitting in the Director’s chair, has affected the show?
CG: I mean, there’s a lot of people without whom the show would never have taken off I’m sitting next to one of them ..You know, the the other one is Mark Kolpak, serious. This guy you know, the, the game of visual effects, When we started could not really sustain could just barely sustain the kind of visual effects that people are used to from anything from the Marvel Cinematic to Game of Thrones to anything they’re seeing the whole world of what’s expected and what’s available on people’s giant beautiful TVs really changed and Mark, Mark’s relentless desire to tell the story at the cutting edge level of what’s possible when you see the difference between what was done in season one (MN: Yeah) the number of effects the character stuff that I look at the Quinn Jet and the the reality of that world if one of those shots doesn’t work, it checks you out of the preposterous sci fi world we’re creating and just he’s leveled up all the time and I think that’s why this we ended up with seven seasons and the stuff you’re going to see in the end of season six (MN: woh!) When you start to find out the world of Izel and Sarge and going into season 7 is not like anything you will ever have seen on TV before
MN: He makes the impossible possible.
Interviewer from Taiwan: Do you get the dialog just a day ahead of shooting? It’s very challenging to do the acting. Is that the same case with your show?
MN: Very Similar, Yeah, we usually get our script like a day or two days.
CG: But it’s for the whole episode. We don’t get that thing, thank goodness.
MN: To get the dialog on the day?
CG: we wouldn’t have a chance.
MN: Oh, yeah, no, no. That’s an Aaron Sorkin thing.
More from BER on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. here.