By Nur Hussein
Today we would like to wish a very happy 53rd birthday to Clark Gregg, the awesomely geeky actor, screenwriter and director who is best known for playing fan-favorite Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Like many geek icons, Gregg was born in Boston, Massachusetts. However, he grew up in different towns as his family moved around. Before getting a job as an actor, he worked many different jobs including a valet and a security guard.
As an actor, he had bit parts in movies and TV, including the films Clear and Present Danger, The Usual Suspects, and Magnolia. He had a small role in one episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, where he plays an engineer working on automobiles. Rewatching the episode, I couldn’t help but think of a recent episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where Coulson tells a nostalgic tale of his fondness for fixing automobiles with his father.
Gregg first appeared as the affable SHIELD agent Phil Coulson in the very first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie: Iron Man in 2008. Since then he was in Iron Man 2, Thor and the Avengers where Coulson met his untimely death at the hands of Loki (don’t worry; he got better). Since then Gregg has played Coulson in Marvel short films The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Thor’s Hammer, and proceeded to reprise the character in the ongoing TV series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson was an instant hit amongst superhero fans, even though he has no super powers; it’s Gregg’s inherent likability and groundedness that make him someone the audience can identify with in a fantastic story setting.
Gregg’s directorial debut was the dark comedy film Choke in 2008, the same year he debuted as Coulson. He directed another film in 2013 called Trust Me, which he also wrote and starred in. It is about a struggling acting agent who was a former child star, and now representing child actors himself. Gregg originally envisioned his film to be an “edgy comedy” but ended up blending genres of comedy, drama and romance.
Gregg continues to thrill audiences weekly as Agent Coulson, and although he isn’t appearing in any future Marvel films yet, he would welcome the prospect, as would his throng of adoring fans. We at SCIFI.radio wish Gregg a very happy birthday, and the best of luck to his current and future projects.
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Nur is a tinkerer of programmable things, an apprentice in an ancient order of technomages. He enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, comic books, and Lego in his spare time. His favourite authors are Asimov and Tolkien. He also loves Celtic and American folk music. You can follow him on twitter: @nurhussein