When Clark Gregg made his first movie, "Choke," he was that guy from "The New Adventures of Old Christine" who had a small part in "Iron Man."
With his second film, "Trust Me," which he wrote, directed and stars in, his profile has skyrocketed as Agent Coulson branched out from roles in the Marvel movies to the lead on ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
It's a big jump for Gregg, who has seen his film -- about a floundering agent representing child actors who discovers a unique new talent -- get a grassroots surge.
Fans of Agent Coulson have been "really supportive of the film and sharing it," Gregg says. "The film doesn't have a big marketing budget, but it's getting attention." It releases Friday.
amNY spoke with Gregg, who stars alongside Sam Rockwell, Felicity Huffman, Amanda Peet and others.
Where did the idea for "Trust Me" come from?
There was something about these agents for children that I had seen around, some of whom were so kindhearted and sweet and so struggling to try and find the 8-year-old that was going to launch them into the big-time. There's something that was so perfectly kind of nuts about that.
With a TV series and movie roles, where do you find the time do your own film?
I don't like downtime. A lot of actors have to deal with a lot of downtime. ... I just couldn't stand to sit still. I had to try something. I fell in love with writing. It's really difficult, but I really like having a voice of my own.
What you decide to also star in "Trust Me"?
I wanted to write and direct something. I swore I wouldn't act in it because even the three days I did on "Choke" felt unmanageable. And I wrote this thing and I had this role that I and a couple of people close to me realized was right in my wheelhouse. Also, I just turned 50 and it's the kind of thing I always wanted to play and nobody had ever given to me.
How was it for director Clark Gregg to be working with star Clark Gregg?
Let's just say we won't be collaborating again soon. It was interesting. I don't know. It felt ? I was terrified.
This is advertised as a comedy. Do you agree with that?
If it had been left up to me, I would have called it "a tragic, comic, noir fable." I got a feeling that wouldn't have sold too many [tickets].