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Interview with Clark Gregg About ‘Nothing’

31 October 2011 Leave a comment

October 24, 2011

A To-Do About a Surprise ‘Muc Ado’ From Joss Whedon

By DAVE ITZKOFF

Having recently wrapped principal photography on “The Avengers,” a big-budget, big-stakes action film about that Marvel Comics superhero team, Joss Whedon has surely earned the right to kick back on his couch, eat bonbons and catch up on daytime television for a few weeks. Instead, Mr. Whedon, the overachieving producer of fantasy television shows like “Buffy,” “Firefly” and “Dollhouse,” has once again thrown audiences for a loop by announcing that he has just finished shooting a low-budget adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” that was filmed in 12 days.

Following a surprise announcement that appeared Sunday night at muchadothemovie.com – and, subsequently, many excited blog and Twitter posts from Mr. Whedon’s fan base – the production company Bellwether Pictures said Monday in a news release that the project, filmed in black and white and “entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica,” features “a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form.”

Clark Gregg, an “Avengers” star who will play Leonato, the governor of Messina, in this production of “Much Ado,” said he was as taken aback as anyone by the online response to the film’s announcement.

“Anything Joss does seems to inflame and animate his army of devoted followers,” Mr. Gregg said in a phone interview. “I had no idea anything like this was going to happen. I literally was shooting yesterday afternoon. I didn’t think I was going to wake up to 1,000 emails.”

Bellwether Pictures, an independent studio created by Mr. Whedon and his wife, Kai Cole, said that this version of “Much Ado” will feature Alexis Denisof (“Buffy” and the television comedy “How I Met Your Mother”) and Amy Acker (“Alias”) as the adversarial not-yet-a-couple Benedick and Beatrice; Nathan Fillion, a star of the ABC series “Castle” and Mr. Whedon’s online musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” will play the constable Dogberry; and Fran Kranz and Jillian Morgese will play the lovers Claudio and Hero.

Mr. Gregg, a veteran film actor and a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company, said Mr. Whedon approached him about the “Much Ado” project just as they were completing their work on “The Avengers.”

“We were at a party at his house,” Mr. Gregg recalled, “and I was saying, ‘What are you going to do for your vacation? I hope it involves beaches and foreign languages.’ And he said, ‘It’s funny you bring that up – I was going to call you.’”

Mr. Gregg, who was already committed to starting rehearsals on a new Ethan Coen play for the Atlantic, said he wasn’t sure he could take the two-week “Much Ado” assignment. “But then a few things worked out,” he said, “and the next thing I know, I was desperately trying to learn an awful lot of Shakespearean dialogue.”

Filming on Mr. Whedon’s movie was finished on Sunday, after which Mr. Gregg had to leave before he could fully celebrate the accomplishment.

“I heard they had a wrap party while I was gone,” he said. “From the energy that was on the set yesterday, my sense is they had a second one last night. I think one of the reasons this particular piece was chosen is because it’s a play that has several parties and two weddings. It just was an excuse to have a lot of catered parties.”

Bellwether Pictures said in its statement that Mr. Whedon’s version of “Much Ado about Nothing” was “dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.”

Asked if the film would be loyal to the period details of Shakespeare’s original play, Mr. Gregg said: “Let’s just say that my character has an iPad. When I talk about guests that might be coming to Messina, that news has reached me via my iPad.”

Mr. Whedon added in a statement, “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.”

No release date or distribution for this “Much Ado” was immediately announced, though the studio said the film “should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.”

Origianl Interview at The New York Times

Fake Avengers Spoilers with Clark Gregg from The Daily Habit

31 October 2011 Leave a comment

The Avengers’ Clark Gregg shares some spoilers from the film that may or may not be accurate.,

Collider Interview Clark Gregg

27 July 2011 Leave a comment

Clark Gregg Talks THE AVENGERS, Comic-Con, an Agent Coulson Spinoff Movie, and His Next Directorial Project TRUST ME

by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintrau

Posted: July 17th, 2011

The other day I did a set visit on writer/director Maggie Carey’s The To Do List (formerly titled The Hand Job).  The film stars Aubrey Plaza as a sexually inexperienced teenager with a type-A personality who decides to engage in numerous sex acts before she goes to college.  The film’s loaded with an amazing cast and sometime down the road, you can expect my set report and on set interviews.  It’s definitely a film that should be on your radar.

Anyway, one of the people we spoke to on set was Clark Gregg.  While we’re embargoed from reporting what he said about The To Do List, they were fine with us running what he said about his other projects.  So after the jump you can read his quotes on how The Avengers has been going, a possible Agent Coulson spinoff movie, Trust Me (his next directing gig which starts shooting this October), Comic-Con, and Tom Hiddleston’s (Loki) favorite Albuquerque restaurant…

Finally, for more on The To Do List, you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.  The cast features Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons, Donald Glover, Connie Britton and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  As I said, it’s something you should be excited for.

Question:  Another movie you’re in is The Avengers

Clark Gregg:  I was in Albuquerque two days ago. There’s almost nothing I can say, except that it’s the funnest ensemble movie in the history of the planet, and that Joss Whedon is God.

Who has the most believable superhero bod?

Gregg:  I don’t know why, but anytime you say ‘bod,’ I just have to say it’s got to be Scarlett Johansson. That’s a superhero bod. It’s a super bod, it’s a superhero bod. Agent Romanoff is the last person you want to mess with, but if there is a close second it has to be the Hulk.

You wouldn’t want to get in a fight with either of them?

Gregg:  If the Hulk was mad at me, or Agent Coulson, there are a number of people I would think of calling, but I would definitely call Agent Romanoff first.

Are you fitting this in between shooting? Are you shooting more on Avengers?

Gregg:  Shhhhh. No, I’m not.  I’m not completely wrapped on The Avengers. I have some more work in Ohio, but I’m definitely wrapped in Albuquerque.

So, in other words, you went on break, and you got to come home

Gregg:  Let’s just say there were a number of phone calls that went on between the producers of this movie and the producers of The Avengers. I think it looked like a giant flatting at a swy. Flatting at a swy? I’m going to keep that and make t-shirts. Somehow, it worked out.

Will we see you next week then?

Gregg:  Are you going to be in Albuquerque next week?

No, we’ll all be in San Diego next week.

Gregg:  Oh…. It’s possible. You’re talking about the Con. There may be a S.H.I.E.L.D. presence at the Con.

There are so many great people on that film. When you aren’t shooting, what’s it like between takes with everyone?

Gregg:  You know, it’s kind of bizarre to be in a comic book movie and a superhero movie, and to look across and… first of all, to walk in and try and have a serious conversation with a bunch of people with giant muscles, some real, some not, in neoprene, and they look very much like the people you’ve been reading in comics. It’s hard to keep a straight face. On the other hand, to see those people and have it be Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner or Sam Jackson, a lot of Academy Award nominations out there.  That’s kind of remarkable. Unfortunately, a lot of times, very few of us were there at the same time. There was one or two weekends, when everybody was there, and there were some hilarious ‘Avengers assemble’ texts that went out, with the location of Avengers assemble being some very rowdy Albuquerque nightclubs.

TGIFridays.

Gregg:  Pretty much. The English actor, Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, his line was, (in a fake English accent) ‘I went to this marvelous place called Chilli’s here in Albuquerque.’  We’re like listen Tom…

What about your own superhero spinoff flick?

Gregg:  You know, I certainly think it’s a great idea. I’m just trying to get the Marvel guys as excited about it as I am. They seem to be weirdly more open to it. There’s more talk about seeing Agent Coulson in some other mediums, lately, and I’m open to the idea.

Are there things you’re working on as well, as a writer now?

Gregg:  Yeah. I’ve been writing a project for Curtis Hanson at Fox Searchlight, just as a job, because I love his work and I want to work with him. It seems to be going pretty well. I wrote a little movie called Trust Me, that I think we have financing for. I think it will be a lot of the same crew (as The To-Do List) if I can talk them into it. That will shoot in L.A. in October.

Will you direct that also?

Gregg:  I will. I’m going to do a lot of jobs. I’m going to be doing hair and makeup. I’m going to be acting in one of the main roles.

Craft services?

Gregg:  At this rate, probably. I will be making sandwiches, trying to learn my lines.

You’ve worked with a lot of interesting people over the years. How much can you call in favors to be in your movie, in October, and how much do people really have to respond to the script?

Gregg:  A bit of both. It’s a much bigger favor if they don’t respond to the script, you know. ‘Can you do this thing that you may be lukewarm about?’ is a much tougher phone call. It’s already a tough phone call, because they’re going to be working on a budget like this, and be in a trailer that’s the size of the commode in their normal trailer. Luckily, the script turned out pretty well, and my friends seem to be signing up to come be a part of it. I may work on an Avenger or two to show up. ‘If you like this big movie…’

Original Interview at Collider

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