At the time of this writing, I am still on Cloud Nine. Perhaps Cloud Nine and Three-Quarters, I’m not really sure. Tonight was one of those evenings when I am so glad to be a New Yorker that I might be insufferable about it, because New Yorkers get opportunities to do cool things far more than people who live elsewhere (at least in my experience). Tonight it was the chance to see Clark Gregg talk about his new film, Trust Me, free at the Apple Store in Soho. Like I said, it’s good to be a New Yorker.
I had never attended one of these events before, but What’cha Reading’s Nancy Wetmore-Mathews and I have a friend who has, and she was consulted. We were told to RSVP for the talk via the Soho store’s website, and that celebrities who did these talks often exited through a side door so there was a chance of meeting Clark if we missed the talk. Nancy and I RSVP’ed this morning, and were seated a little before 5:30 (a good thing, since those chairs were almost full by then), and at 6, the Q&A began. It was hosted by MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz, who obviously had a great rapport with Clark from the start, since Clark greeted Josh with a hug. Clark talked a bit about how Trust Me came to be, including his struggles with the idea of acting in it as well as writing and directing it, and related how inspired he was by Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, which was also done on a small budget. Several clips from Trust Me were shown, and the film looks good—it’s got an excellent cast (using many of Clark’s friends, including William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, and Allison Janney, among others), it seems like a good story (about a children’s talent agent who is on the verge of being washed up), and I can’t lie, I’m downloading it right now from iTunes. Clark’s enthusiasm for the film was contagious, and his slightly skewed sense of humor, which was evident throughout the talk, made me think that this is probably just my kind of film. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
After this, the audience was allowed to ask questions. There were some good ones, although most were about S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers and not Trust Me. Clark was funny and engaging throughout, and obviously channels Agent Coulson a fair amount. At one point he spoke about Coulson’s death in Avengers and addressed fans of Loki by saying, “…and then that Asgardian bastard killed me. I know, he’s cute. Not to me!” The most touching part of the evening came when a young boy asked (and forgive me, because I’m paraphrasing here) “Do you remember me from Comic Con? I was there with Make-a-Wish and was dressed as Two Face.” Clark told the boy that of course he remembered him. The boy went on to ask if he knew when the role started that Coulson would go on to be “the glue of the Avengers and one of the most legendary cinematic characters of all time.” He also asked if Clark could sign his metallic briefcase, leaving Nancy and I with the sense that this boy wants to grow up to be Coulson. Clark turned red to the roots of his hair and had to wipe away a few tears before he could talk about how the character of Coulson had evolved through the films and the TV show, which was a fantastic story and showed just how much of a fanboy he really is. (And yes, he did autograph the briefcase after.)
As the Q&A was ending, it was announced that we could queue up for pictures and autographs, but only one or the other. I had brought a copy of Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D in the hopes of getting it signed, but decided that I would rather have a picture taken with Clark and my Coulson bobble-head, which I had also brought along. I knew I would have some explaining to do for my Loki iPhone case, but when it came my turn to get my picture taken, before I could even address it Clark spotted it and yelled “What the hell is that???” I apologized and asked if Bobble-head Coulson made up for it. He agreed it did, and the picture was taken, and then he asked if I wanted him to sign Bobble-head Coulson. I was blown away by the generosity of this offer, and told him that I’d actually brought something else for him to sign, if he would. I pulled out Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. Clark’s eyes lit up, and he told me, “I love that one!” as he signed the cover. I thanked him profusely, shaking with fangirl nerves all the while, and he seemed genuinely touched that meeting him meant so much to me. I get the sense that not everyone does these signings and photo ops in store, and I thought it was wonderful that Clark did this for his fans. (Also, pro-tip: one guy in front of us took a selfie with Clark, which was apparently a no-no because the Apple store employees went a little crazy and announce “No selfies!” to the rest of us. All other pictures were taken by handing over your phone to an Apple employee.)
As I’ve said before, I’ve come over to superheroes and comics relatively recently. The MCU has played a big part in my new-found interest, specifically Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I’ve followed avidly since its debut. While I love Cap and Iron Man (and Loki, but don’t tell Clark), I think it’s safe to say that I’m first and foremost a Coulson fan. He’s just a genuinely good guy in some crazy circumstances. After tonight, I can say with some authority that Clark Gregg is a good guy just like his alter-ego. Thanks again, Clark! You made this fangirl’s night!
Apple’s website says events are available as free podcasts from the iTunes store, here’s a link. Last night’s event wasn’t live as of 9am Friday but it should be soon!
Need more Clark Gregg? Check out the AMA (Ask Me Anything) he did on Reddit.com