Sebastian Stan talks The Winter Soldier
You probably know Sebastian Stan as James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger. He was Captain America’s sidekick and accompanied him on many adventures. On their final mission Bucky and Captain America hopped on an experimental drone plane to disarm a bomb. The bomb detonated and Bucky’s body was never found so he was presumed dead. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier he’s back as The Winter Soldier. Of course, you’ll have to see the movie to find out more.
I got the chance to interview Sebastian Stan while in Los Angeles for the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie that is now in theaters.
By the end of its first weekend in the U.S., the Captain America sequel had already earned over $300 million worldwide. With strong reviews and good word-of-mouth, it seems like a safe bet that The Winter Soldier can wind up above Thor: The Dark World ($645 million). boxofficemojo.com
Watch Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as they talk with Empire Magazine below and they have show us their “cool faces”. Very cool indeed!
I was just saying I always played that moment in my head over and over again and that when I was going to get that phone call no matter where I was at the time I was probably thinking I was going to be somewhere in New York you know on a crowded street. Regardless, I was going to scream and have this big reaction. It’s actually the opposite. I just sort of was quiet and still.
I was trying to replay the conversation in my head and was just really excited. I mean for me it’d really been two years of sort of not knowing what was going to happen next.
Q: So was it difficult to change form from Bucky into The Winter Soldier?
Well, yes and no. I would say no in the sense that everything is so spelled out for me in the comic books that I sort of feel like I have that to follow as a guide. Yes in that certain things from comic books are often not so easily translated to the screen, and so there were things visually that were new that we had to discover about the character. I mean in the comic books there was a lot of information but in terms of how The Winter Soldier moved, how he behaved, what his presence was like on screen, those were all things I had to sort of discover once I was in the outfit and we were actually shooting the movie. And that was more difficult I suppose. At the end of the day the most difficult part was playing someone that’s very different while at the same time the same person.
Q: Talking about the outfit, the training for your part and then working with your metal arm in the movie, was that difficult at all?
Yes the training is really hard for me. I was never really used to that type of training before. Some of the diet and the working out that was happening six months before we started shooting was really difficult at times. And then you’re learning to fight it’s basically just like going to dance class. You just have to have patience, and it’s really hard, you might get it quickly and you’re excited.
The stunt guys are phenomenal and you just wanna jump in and do it but the whole thing has to be so planned out and detailed, and you can’t have a lot of room for errors because people can get hurt. So, just practicing that and repeating that everyday for about two to three months I’d say was hard, but the results were always very gratifying.
Q: How do you mentally prepare for a roll like this in terms of playing someone who does not know who they are?
Well, it’s funny the way things happen in life. I just don’t wanna get too down here or anything but my step-dad was actually recently was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and he’s been going through that for at least the last two years. And so it was interesting because while that process was very painful as an observer, it was one of the things that I found to be very helpful for me to kind of observe as somebody going through Alzheimer’s. What their behavior is like because even though they don’t know certain things anymore, who they are per say, there is still that struggle within them to wanna try and kind of know things. They respond to certain things they see or sounds that they see, a song or something triggers a memory, and so it’s a very weird internal battle. I watched him a lot for sort of some references. Some of the things of how I was going to translate that on the screen I didn’t really know until we were literally on set. Um, but there is a lot of material out there to work off of.
Q: Some of the action sequences that you were a part of, was there one piece that you specifically enjoyed doing?
Any of the fighting stuff, once we had it down and we were in the costumes… any of the stuff that was shot outside which was in Cleveland was really exciting because there was no CGI green screen. It was literally long sequences like the car explosions, people sort of falling and being shot and then us jumping into that one on one combat. The combat was all really fun because again it was really all happening around you. You don’t often get that when you work on these big movies, you always have to deal with the green screen.
Q: What was your most memorable moment while filming?
Probably any of the stuff that I had with Robert Redford was pretty memorable. That’s where I really remember telling myself just be here, be present, take him in, on and off set. On set it was like I was in a situation where the whole reason for me going to acting school and everything was here I was with this man and he was being very generous as an actor with me even though he’s obviously who he is. And then off set just wanting to see if there was anything I could pick his brain about in terms of people he’s worked with, so that was pretty special.
Q: Who’s your favorite superhero and who’s your favorite villain?
I don’t know if I have one, I mean I’m so biased. Now that I’ve gotten to know the Captain America storybook so well, I’m kinda biased and they’re sort of like my favorite. If I had a choice and they were to come up to me and go do you wanna be a character in the Captain America story line or the Iron Man story line or the Thor story line, I would definitely pick the one that I’m in. And so, favorite villain, though I’ve had a few, the T-1000 was always somebody that I thought was an incredible villain. Also have to mention the Joker, both performances were phenomenal. Gary Oldman in Léon: The Professional! That’s a great villain, he’s played quite a few. So, there were a lot of – and then Terminator Two was another one, I mean those were all really great villains so that I was in my head very aware of. When you do have a really good villain that’s a realistic threat the movies are better.
Q: You said you are a fan of the comic books, what was your favorite comic book growing up?
I didn’t grow up with comic books, I beme a fan of comic books once I got cast in this movie, I didn’t have comic books when I was little. These are still the only comic books I’ve read.
Q: Since you’ve read a lot about Bucky in the comics, you know that he actually becomes Captain America. Are you prepared to, if the future of the franchise goes in that direction, to become Captain America?
I’m just going to treat it the way I’ve been treating it. Whatever I’ve done so far has gotten me here. So, I’m not going to change very much of what I’m doing…we’ll see what happens.
Q: What is your favorite scene to see on the big screen?
I thought this movie was so different in terms of just, it felt just so much more realistic in our world than some of the other movies in my opinion. I enjoyed the other movies just as much, but I think any of the car chases are really great I felt, that was pretty cool. That whole sequence with Nick Fury, the one with The Winter Soldier, those were great sequences.
Q: When cast as Bucky in the first Captain America movie, did you know that Bucky would come back as The Winter Soldier later? Or did you think he was dead?
No because I hadn’t read anything and there was no script for Captain America when I was auditioning for Steve Rogers, not Bucky. Actually all I really had was a scene between Steve Rogers and Bucky and I was auditioning for Steve Rogers. So, I obviously looked up things about Steve Rogers but I never looked up anything about Bucky and then I didn’t get that and then I thought that was that. I actually purposefully did not want to read any of the comic books or anything going into the audition process because I wanted to have a fresh perspective. When I talked to them about Bucky after that they educated me on the story. It was very confusing at the time.
Q: How did you mentally prepare to get into character? Do you put on the costume and you’re ready to go or something else?
In this case the costume was a very big thing. To myself I looked very different and that helped me a lot because I didn’t recognize myself looking in a mirror. Honestly, with the mask and the hair and everything it gave me confidence to embrace that and rely on things that I had been used to doing. I think for me I realize it’s important to look different sometimes, you have to change it up, you have to really – I mean I get that American Hustle hair, I do.
I love how you can see the strength behind The Winter Soldier in one of my favorite picture of him above. Watch the trailer below to see how strong he is and more from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Be sure to check out other great interviews with Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Producer Kevin Feiger for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases in theaters everywhere on NOW!