Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? If not you might not want to continuing reading this post. It contains a major spoiler – who the “Winter Soldier” truly is.
If you have already seen the film you know that the Winter Soldier is someone that Steve Rogers (Captain America) holds near and dear to his heart – his best friend Bucky Barnes. This comes as a huge surprise to fans of the comic book series.
James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (the Winter Soldier) is played by Sebastian Stan. He played the part in the original Captain America film too. Sebastian Stan also stared in one of my favorite television series on ABC, Once Upon a Time. He played the role of Jefferson (“Mad Hatter”).
Here are some highlights from a group interview I participated in with Sebastian Stan and several other wonderful bloggers.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out that you were coming back as a soldier?
Sebastian: I always played that moment in my head over and over again. 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, on a crowded street, regardless I was going to scream and I was just going to have this big reaction. It was actually the opposite. I just sort of was quiet and still and 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: Was it difficult to change form from Bucky into the winter soldier?
Sebastian: 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 often are 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?
Sebastian: Yes, the training is really hard for me. I mean 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. I mean with the person and the thing is you just have to have patience, and it’s really hard, you might get it quickly and you’re excited, you see the stunt guys are just phenomenal and you just want to jump in and do it but the whole thing has to be so planned out and detailed. 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 doesn’t even know who they are?
Sebastian: Well, it’s funny the way things happen in life. Sometimes when you pay attention to certain things that happen in life [LAUGHS] I just don’t want to get too down here or anything, but my stepdad has been dealing 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 sort of process was very painful as an observer, I kind of found it to be very helpful for me – to observe 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 want to try and kind of know things. They respond to certain things they see or sounds or a song Something kind of 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 doing literally when we were on set.
Q: Some of the action sequences that you were a part of, was there one piece that you were just like enjoyed doing?
Sebastian: 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 I mean was really exciting because there was no CGI green screen. It was literally long sequences that all the car explosions, people sort of falling and being shot and then us jumping into that one on one combat. That was all really fun because 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?
Sebastian: Any of the stuff that I had with Robert Redford was pretty memorable. I really remember telling myself to just like be here, be present. Take him in. On set it was like suddenly I was in a situation where the whole reason for me going to acting school and everything was sort of 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 sort of just wanting to kind of like see if there was anything I could pick his brain about in terms of like people he’s worked with.
Q: Who’s your favorite superhero and who’s your favorite villain?
Sebastian: I don’t know if I have one, I mean I’m so biased, you know. With these movies now especially now that I’ve gotten to know the Captain America storybook so well, I’m kind of biased and they’re sort of my favorite.
If I had a choice and they were to come up to me and go “Would you want to be a character in the Captain America storyline or the Ironman storyline or the Thor storyline?” I would definitely pick the one that I’m in.
As for favorite villain, though I’ve had a few, the T-1000 was always somebody that I thought was an incredible villain. The Joker was phenomenal. Gary Oldman as Leon in The Professional. That’s a great villain, he’s played quite a few. Terminator Two was another one. Those were all really great villains.
Q: What is your favorite scene to see on the big screen?
Sebastian: I think the car chases are really great. That whole sequence with Nick Fury um, the one with the Winter Soldier. Those were great sequences.
Q: When you were first cast as Bucky in the first movie, you hadn’t read any comics before then you started reading them. Did you know that Bucky would come back to like as a winter soldier later? Or did you think he was dead?
Sebastian: Well I didn’t because I hadn’t read anything and there was no script for Captain America when I was auditioning for Steve Rodgers, not Bucky. Actually all I really had was a scene between Steve Rodgers and Bucky and I was auditioning for Steve Rodgers. I looked up things about Steve Rodgers but I never looked up anything about Bucky and then I didn’t get that and then you know I sort of thought that was that. And I actually on purpose didn’t want to read any of the comic books or anything going into the audition process because I wanted to have a fresh perspective. But then when I talked to them about Bucky after that they educated me on the story.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is crushing it at the box office. It’s grossed over $100+ million already and it opened less than a week ago. I have heard a few people that I know say they have been to the theater TWICE so far to see the movie – they loved it that much.
Feel free to check out the interviews with other cast members – Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie – as well as the film’s directors, the Russo brothers, and the President of Marvel Kevin Feige. Simply type in the name of the person in the search box on my site (top right) to pull up their interview.
Have you seen the film yet? If so, what are your thoughts? How do you think Sebastian Stan did as the Winter Soldier?
*I was not compensated for this. I attended a press junket. My travel expenses were covered.