No matter how tight the shot is, if I'm narrating it too much, there's a barrier between you and the experience, because the process of reading a book, or watching a movie, or watching a play is that you're watching a dream.
When I was backstage at Comic-Con, about to go out and do the panel for Thor, and Joss Whedon ran up and introduced himself, I already almost passed out, right then. And then, he said, "I've been meaning to call you. You have a big part in The Avengers. Can we introduce you as part of the cast?" It was pretty Make-A-Wish Foundation. I was pretty sure I was dying and nobody had told me yet.
There was a day on the set of Iron Man where I said, "I remember some of this stuff. I definitely had some Iron Man books. But, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a little bit of a weak spot for me."
The tremendous Jeremy Latcham from Marvel showed up with this one-of-a-kind animated encyclopedia about S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers. Coulson wasn't a part of the comic books, which is a singular thing about him that I thought would get me killed off very quickly, but luckily, it didn't. It just became a thing that I fit into, and they kept finding new and better uses for me.
When Marvel put together Ultimate Spider-Man and someone came up with the idea of having Principal Coulson, they said, "Do you want to do the voice?" I thought, "I have to do the voice!" Because I have a daughter and we watch some cartoons, I couldn't bear the idea of tuning in and hearing somebody else's voice.
To go from Jon Favreau for Iron Man 1 and 2 to Kenneth Branagh for Thor and the very different world of Thor, it's about how to adapt to Coulson in a different setting and a different world while, at the same time, still have him be a part of the same world.
The world of Ultimate Spider-Man is funny. I can't imagine a live-action film where he's Principal Coulson and dealing with some of the pranks from these guys.
When I got the episode where Spider-Man meets Aunt May (voiced by Misty Lee), it was another one of those things where I was like, "I can't believe I have a scene with Aunt May. That's just amazing to me." And they drew her a lot younger and hotter then the Aunt May that I remember.
Agent Coulson takes the work very seriously. He certainly has some fun with Spider-Man and the others, but he takes each of their tasks, including when they get involved with the drama club, way too seriously. The adventures that they come up with are really exciting.
It was cool to me, as a fan of the comics, to see some of the villains that end up finding them there, and the way that they abuse Coulson before the superheroes come. I'm always, in the movies or in the animated series, getting into trouble that a superhero has to bail me out of.
With the tone of the show, like a lot of the films, the Marvel creative team has found a way to bridge really exciting stuff that has real stakes. They balance some of the action stuff that the fans of the comics really want to see with characters that people can relate to and who are very human.
The great thing about Coulson is that he's a little bit like a party game, where the next person who gets ahold of him gets to write another sentence. I'm constantly learning more and more about the guy.
What I love about Coulson is that he manages to do that and he manages to wrangle the diva superheroes, and really keep a sense of humor about it. And, you can tell that he really loves his job.
It's a little strange, after all these years of working on camera, but once you start to watch the other people who do this a lot and realize how much of what you're doing has to just come through your voice, I found it really interesting.