Agents of SHIELD: Clark Gregg Talks LMD Coulson and Opens Up About Elizabeth Henstridge’s Directorial Debut

It was officially announced on Wednesday that the next episode of Agents of SHIELD was directed by Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Jemma Simmons on the show. Recently, had the opportunity to chat with Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson) and we asked how he's managed to make his character feel like classic Coulson but with a new, robotic spin. While chatting about his character's latest change, Gregg also opened up about the next episode, "As I Have Always Been," and revealed what it was like to be directed by Henstridge.

"I was very curious, slash, confused at the beginning of this season going, 'So how does he feel inside? What does he feel like when he touches his fingers, does it feel like fingers?'" Gregg explained. "He feels exactly, it's such an advanced version of an LMD that... if anything throws him, it's how normal he feels. And at the same time, he discovers that he has a certain degree of invulnerability and strength. So in a way, he's had his kind of ultimate superhero dream come true, just in an A.I. form that he's always swore, he's really sick of being brought back to life at this point."

Gregg added, "And that's an interesting setup for this season, where he feels more himself than he has in quite some time, but it's in a form he never wanted to be and yet, his people need him and he suddenly finds himself back with the family he cares about. So, it's very... it's a conundrum. There's an episode, not the one that's this week, but next week, I think, that really gets explored in some very interesting and beautiful ways and we have a surprise about who directed the next episode."

"When you act and are directed, at some point, everyone goes, 'I think I could direct.' And it's a joke, right? And it's certainly something that I have done," Gregg added. "But from the moment I saw Elizabeth hanging around the monitors on a day when she wasn't working, I went, 'Oh, she's gonna be amazing.' And I've never seen anybody so cheerfully be the first to get there and the last to leave when she's just trailing, shadowing a director and learning, and she did it both episodes I directed for several seasons and so when you see this episode and what she did, and in my money, in my money, in my view, it's right up there with our best."

Stay tuned for more from our interview with Clark Gregg, where he also talks about the 20th anniversary of What Lies Beneath. If you don't want to wait to read all about it, you can also watch the full interview in the video above.


Agents of SHIELD airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM EST.