Panel Discussions Podcast: The Avengers Special

We're joined this week by actors Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg, who play Loki and Agent Phil [...]

We're joined this week by actors Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg, who play Loki and Agent Phil Coulson, respectively, in today's major motion picture release, Marvel's The Avengers. They're pictured at right in a courtesy photo from Marvel, taken when the pair opened the New York Stock Exchange on May 1.

Listen to the podcast here!

"I really enjoyed watching Jeremy Lin come off the bench in New York," Clark Gregg told us in his interview. "And it felt very much like that–like I'm getting a chance to play? You can't help but have those kind of–maybe demented–fantasies, like "Oh, man, just give me a shot! Give me a shot, I think I can sink this." And to get a chance to do that, and to be able to–because even though they had told me they wanted to do that, when I saw the cast that was going to be in The Avengers, I just thought there was going to be no way. I'm going to be, you know, scooping up pieces of Loki or handing Captain America a really cool machine gun, and then I'll be gone. And when I saw that they really made him a full-out part of the ensemble, and for me the direction Joss [Whedon] chose to take Agent Coulson was better than anything I could have imagined. Tom Hiddleston told us he was equally pleased to work with Whedon as well as his Thor director Kenneth Branagh, noting that the pair had a lot in common. "Ken is a huge fan of sci-fi, fantasy and more populist material–much more than his Shakespearean credentials may suggest," the villain explained. "And Joss is a kind of closet Shakespearean….Well, not so closeted anymore since he's just putting the finishing touches on his own movie of Much Ado About Nothing. But they both innately understand what makes a film great, which is a great story with great characters and conflict and drama and humor. So strangely they're more similar than they are different." The interviews ran here earlier this week (that's where those links go), but felt that it was worth sharing the uncut (except the hellos and good-byes at the end) audio, to give a sense for the excitement and passion these guys brought to the material and to the interviews, even after being on the road and doing press literally for weeks. One assumes just about everything I said to them has been said a dozen times before (except, apparently, the word "dandy"). You can follow Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg on Twitter. The Avengers opens everywhere today. Take a look at our review, and please consider donating to The Jack Kirby Museum or The Hero Initiative as well, in memory of the late Jack Kirby, who co-created the characters used in the film. This week's music is "Great Lakes Avengers" from Acoustic in Australia by The Kirby Krackle.