This weekend was a maelstrom of entertainment news, and one particularly low note was obviously the death of Bill Paxton, which occurred due to surgical complications. The outpouring of grief and remembrances has been huge, with many of Paxton's co-stars and more sharing stories and love, and though the Emmy-nominated actor didn't spend a huge amount of time within the Marvel universe for his stint on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Season 1, star Clark Gregg says it was enough to spark an instant friendship that lived on in the years between then and now. In his words:
He left the show after Season 1 and I showed up for work next season and they said Bill is in your trailer. People don't do that. That doesn't happen. He ended up doing Training Day on the same lot and I'd get to work and they'd say Bill is in makeup he's waiting for you. He was just the most incredible friend. He would come by all the time and we would just hang out.
Clark Gregg obviously has experiences that don't often match up with the lives of your average TV viewer, but he's not beyond understanding how badass it is for a work day to kick off with Bill Paxton waiting around. If that would have ever happened to me, it would have likely been because Paxton's car broke down nearby and he needed to use the bathroom, but that would still be something, because Bill Paxton. So long as everything remained Deathlok-free, that is...
I remember how awesome it was when Bill Paxton's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. casting was announced, and the actor delivered on expectations, providing a performance that worked in his best attributes, especially once Garrett started getting more unhinged. And it's lovely to hear that Paxton not only had a lasting effect on fans, with him showing up right as S.H.I.E.L.D. was sweeping its muddled early episodes under the rug, but also on those around him during production. Clark Gregg already seems like the kind of guy who would get along with anyone, and I'm sure it was a revolving door of positivity with him and Paxton hanging out.
Clark Gregg shared more with People about how much he'd miss Bill Paxton.
He had more great stories and more humility for a guy who had been more responsible for more quotable lines than probably anyone else. He was like a brother to me and I love him and I'll miss him terribly.
People underestimate the innate power that quotable lines from movie and TV have, which helps to keep actors and actresses alive in fans' hearts even beyond the impact of entire performances. (For a strange example, as much as Ridley Scott's Alien can be boiled down to the chestburster scene, Aliens' tone can be summed up perfectly by Paxton's "They're coming outta the goddamn walls!") And while his quotes on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. perhaps were not the most repeatable, he still had quite an effect on the cast and crew.
Here's another fond farewell from another S.H.I.E.L.D. co-star whose life was improved by Bill Paxton's role in it.
Bill Paxton can currently be seen on CBS' Training Day, which airs Thursday nights on CBS at 10 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won't be back in front of audiences with new episodes (and possibly more familiar faces) until Tuesday, April 4, at 10:00 p.m. ET, so there's more than enough time to rewatch Agent John Garrett's Season 1 arc, and then check out Paxton's other most memorable roles to get reacquainted with soon. And then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is coming to the small screen soon.