Sebastian Stan talks exclusively with Movie Fanatic about the nuances of being the title character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Stan also dishes the challenges of portraying someone who in some ways is a secret for audience, while simultaneously for fans of the comic book and Captain America: The First Avenger -- it is a reveal that is hardly a surprise. Yet, through Stan’s performance, it is a shocking moment, even for this longtime Cap fan!
Stan also chats the honor of appearing in a movie with the legend that is Robert Redford, and how this box office record holder will serve as a diary for him years from now chronicling where he was in his life at this moment in time.
Oh, and don’t miss what he said about the fact that the Winter Soldier becomes Captain America in the comic books and his thoughts on that prospect for the movies.
Movie Fanatic: As someone who has been along for this entire ride, what was your first reaction when you saw the full Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
Sebastian Stan: I was a bit overwhelmed, for sure. When you’re seeing the movie for the first time, it’s interesting. It’s a process. You read the script, you shoot it over a period of time… like you, I found myself watching the movie and enjoying the movie as opposed to thinking about myself in it. I think that is a great indicator that I got lost in the plot and character. It was so clever. When I read the script, I knew it was smart. When I was reading it, I kept having to turn back and seeing if I read that right. On the way to the screen, so many things can happen to a movie. But, Marvel really nailed it.
Movie Fanatic: You, as a fan of this world, what did it mean to you that you are, in many ways, playing the title character?
Sebastian Stan: It didn’t register so much because -- though it felt great to be in the title -- the Winter Soldier is being introduced to some extent. But, in my own modest ways, I felt it was an ensemble. I was just happy to be a part of it with those actors.
Movie Fanatic: It speaks so much to how far comic book movies have come, as I stated in our Captain America: The Winter Soldier review, to have Robert Redford in it. You shared several intense scenes with him…
Sebastian Stan: You know, it’s interesting... You think, "What if he wasn’t in the film?" It’s almost like you can’t see anyone else at this point. When he read it, he saw something in it. He’s not doing comic book movies. He’s not doing a lot of movies period. He had this and All Is Lost, at pretty much the same time. It was amazing. I remember being in my car listening to the song This Is the Day by The The and I was just blasting it when I heard he was doing it.
Movie Fanatic: As an actor who has studied this art form, what did it mean to you to share scenes with him, and what did you take away from the experience?
Sebastian Stan: It takes you right back to acting 101. You feel all the emotions – you’re grateful, somehow you belong there at the same time. You feel scared, challenged. It all comes from a positive place. I think in this world of acting sometimes, it’s special when those moments happen.
Movie Fanatic: Thirty years from now, where will getting slapped hard by Robert Redford rank for you?
Sebastian Stan: [Laughs] It will be up there!
Movie Fanatic: I think this speaks volumes about the entire Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie. When it was announced that you were cast as the Winter Soldier and we all know your role as Bucky in the first movie... still when the mask comes off, I let out a gasp. But, I should have known who you were. How did you balance what you played in the first movie with what you did in this one?
Sebastian Stan: You knew who it was… but still. It’s such a moment, who the hell is Bucky? It’s one of those things -- fortunately I wasn’t pacing around trying to say the line a million ways. There were many times where I felt that the costume and the way the Winter Soldier looked was so specific. It had such a presence. Often the times that I actually stepped back and let his presence speak for itself, it would help me. There were a few moments where you have to see a trace of a person you recognize. I had a few scenes to be able to do that. Sometimes I didn’t know how I was going to do it. It was just instinctive.
Movie Fanatic: Years from now, is there one moment you will go back to more than others? Or, is it hard to choose?
Sebastian Stan: The thing is, I always look at the experience at working on a movie, for me, it’s a diary of your own life at that time. Every time that I’m watching that movie after years, I will remember where I was at in my life and my head and my family.
Movie Fanatic: In the comics, later on, the Winter Soldier becomes Captain America. Did you go there in your head?
Sebastian Stan: Of course. Because I read everything about him you can’t not go there to think about that.
In a Captain America mood? Watch Captain America: The First Avenger online!