Disclosure: Disney provided me an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles to help promote Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America and other projects. All experiences and opinions are my own. Yours may differ.
It was really interesting to talk about the movie from the directors point of view. Their job is so unique and different from the actors that they really did offer a different perspective on the film. Read their interview plus check out these amazing behind the scenes photos I have to share with you!
Q: As brothers, what do you find challenging and do you work off of each other’s strengths?
Anthony: Without question, I mean, alright, there wouldn’t be a great partnership unless we compensated for, you know, each other, helped mitigated each other’s, uh–– uh, weaknesses and complement each other’s strengths. Um, we’ve been doing it for a long time now, about 15 years, very, uh, you know, there’s a real shorthand that we have. It’s not a very formal relationship, I know, like the Cohen Brothers, you know, divvy up producing and directing. It’s very specific. Ours is…
Joe: Not anymore, though. You know.
Anthony: Ours is less, yeah, ours–– ours is less defined than that. It’s, um, uh–– uh, we always say that if you’ve asked one of us a question and you get an answer then you got an answer from both of us. ‘Cause we–– we share a lot of the same influences, obviously, we grew up together, we’ve read the same comics, we read the same books, we watched the same movies, watched the same television shows, so all of our influences are very similar. So when we look at material we tend to look at it in the same way and it–– it seems to make it very easy for everybody. Sure.
Q: So you guys are primarily known for comedies. What was it about this, did you want to start something new or really interested in getting into the Marvel?
Anthony: Well once our, you know, once our comedy career got sort of up and running we–– we always used to say, if you had asked us before we got started if we would ever be known as comedy directors we would have never guessed that. I mean, we didn’t sort of start off our–– our directing career sort of like wanting, necessarily intending to be comedy directors. It’s, it was, we loved comedy and it definitely was a, you know, we–– we started down that road because we wrote a comedy called “Welcome to Collinwood” that we ended up, uh, directing. Um, but it was, you know we, our tastes run everywhere. I mean, we–– we shoot all kinds of things. We shoot TV, we shoot films, we shoot commercials, we shoot, you know, we shoot TV pilots, we, episodes, we, bah bah bah. We’re just, our tastes kind of run all over the map, just, uh, we like to explore everything as filmmakers. So–– so the action genre is something that’s been on our agenda for a long, long time.
Joe: Well, it was a double whammy for us. When Marlo came to us and said, “Listen, are you interested in–– in making Captain America – The Winter Soldier?” Uh– uh, one I started collected comic books when I was 10 years old and one of the first books I ever got was a Captain America Falcon Team Up so that’s like a 30-year dream come true for me to be able to make a comic book movie. Two, you know, we used, to when we grew up with our father in the ’70s we used to, egh, we used to watch The Late Show, we used to watch ’70s thrillers on the, that was his–– his, you know, he loved those movies. We’ve seen The French Connection 100 times. So when they said, you know, “it’s a comic book movie inspired by ’70s thrillers” we, you know, I think, you know, we–– we went out of our minds with excitement.
Q: What were your favorite scenes to work on, and the hardest scenes to work on?
Joe: Favorite–– favorite scenes, I mean, you know, we, I love the relationship between, uh, Chris and Scarlett in the movie, I think that’s the real heart of the film. Uh–– uh, and I, you know, they were extremely integral in–– in the, uh, in–– in the interpretation of those scenes, both Chris and Scarlett. Uh, they wrote some of their own dialogue. You know, they’ve been working together for so long, uh–– uh, you know, I think this is their fourth film together and they’ve been really good friends for years. And so they brought all that energy, uh, to, and chemistry to the movie and I think it really is a, it’s like the spark of life in this film. So those-– those are the easiest and funnest scenes to work on, where it was anytime we had the two of them together. Uh…
Anthony: I would also add the scene in, um, you know, with Robert Redford when he, and–– and Chris Evans when he’s in, uh–– uh, Nick Fury’s office. And, uh, I just, I love that sc-, well number one working with Robert Redford was certainly a career high, uh, secondly, it’s just, that’s such a great scene to just watch those two play chess with each other through that scene and watch Captain America be put in a position where he has to lie to somebody who’s like basically his commanding officer. It was just a really, you know, and–– and Robert Redford on top of it. Um, you know, is just a really exciting interesting scene and then I’ll just never forget that experience.
Joe: And the hardest scenes are the action scenes, obviously. There was a scene that’s, uh–– uh, near the end of the second act where Winter Soldier attacks Cap and Natasha and Sam in a car on the freeway, uh, we had to shut down a freeway in Cleveland for two weeks to shoot that scene. If you could imagine in your own town if a filmmaker came in and said, “Hey we’re gonna shut down your–– your, one of your major freeways for two weeks, what do you guys think?” Have fun getting to work, right? [LAUGHS] It’s not, it was not, uh–– uh, there was a lot of pressure on us ’cause there was no room for error. We, you know, it was a very complicated sequence, you’ve seen the scene. Uh, and–– and we had to get all that work from the time he lands on their car till, you know, that–– that, you know, time his–– his mask comes off. All that work has to be done in a two-week period. So he and I worked around the clocks, uh, 14-days straight…
Anthony:We had multiple units going, yeah.
Joe: …we had multiple units to make sure we got it. That–– that was, that was probably the toughest thing we did in the movie.
Q: Most of the Marvel films there is heavy C-G-I. In this one I felt like it wasn’t as much C-G-I, it was more grounded. Now what percentage would you say…?
Anthony: …basically the movie breaks down like this. You know, the first two acts, you know, are basically, you know, largely like shot practically, we say. And then the third act when, you know, you–– you get into the helicarriers that’s, you know, for obvious reasons, yeah…
Joe: Obviously it had to go to C-G-I but it was–– was a very…
Anthony: Even though we tried, we wanted them to build us a helicarrier.
Joe: Right. [LAUGHS] It was a very, uh, specific reason that we did that. It’s a thriller and it’s a grounded thriller and political thrillers need to be grounded ’cause they have to be topical and there have to be real stakes for the characters. ‘Cause if you don’t feel the stakes for the characters there’s no excitement in the movie, you know, if you don’t feel like he’s really in jeopardy, uh, so, uh, we wanted to pra-, you know, sometimes C-G-I can take you out of a film. And it puts you into a fantasy or a science fiction genre. In order to execute the political thriller component, and–– and that’s really the first two acts of the movie and then it becomes an adventure film. Or a more traditional superhero movie. But those first two acts it was really important to us to execute as much of the stunts as we could practically.
Anthony: Especially because we thought that was something fresh we could bring to the table and-– and Marvel, you know, Marvel as they make more movies and–– and they’re all great it’s just the–– the idea, egh, you know, the need to keep surprising people is so important and it’s like we knew that was a special thing that belonged to this movie, number one because our tastes went there, and number two because it wouldn’t service the character Captain America. You know, that, the thing, one thing we love about Captain America is like, he doesn’t fly across the sky like Iron Man. He doesn’t turn into a green monster. He doesn’t come from another world like Thor, he’s just a guy, only more so, you know. And that’s–– that’s sort of, uh, that kind of led to the–– the way we shot him in this movie with a handheld camera, veritae, trying to get very intimate with him. And that was, and that’s how we shot the action as well.
Q: Was there any certain amount of pressure knowing that, you know, Captain America’s Marvel film, was there any pressure with the fan base and make sure you got it right?
Joe: There’s always pressure with the fan base, I mean, it’s, clearly it’s, they’re, it’s an intense fan base. But what something that we’ve learned in our career is that–– that, you know, uh–– uh, that’s very important to us is, is that you cannot predict what people are going to like. You can only make the–– the movie based on how you feel and what you feel you would want to see. And then you hope everybody else likes it too. Uh, and, because we’re comic book fans and–– and film geeks, you know, our–– our approach to the movie was, “What if–– if, you know, I’m finally getting the opportunity as a fan boy to make a comic book film?’ What do I want to see in a comic book movie?” And then we put all of that into the film. And, uh, and, you know, again, like I said, you just keep your fingers crossed. But, you know, you’re never gonna make everybody happy. I know when we came out with the–– the, you know, we call it stealth suit or what’s the Steve Rogers suit, it’s the blue suit with the white stripe on it? You know, the Internet exploded, “How could they not have him in the, you know, the red, white and blue suit?” And all, you know, you got, egh, you’ll see in a year when you see the film, it’s a very thematic use of the costume, and the movie is supposed to represent his work for the government, his work for shield and then, you know, he-– he embraces his, you know, uh, the symbol of his old suit at the end of the movie in order to, you know, uh, fight the bad guys. So, um, you can’t, you–– you kinda have to tune that out a little bit, like I said, and just…
Anthony: Yeah and it’s like Joe mentioned a little bit, it’s important to remember, the fan base does not speak with a single voice. You find the entire spectrum of opinion. You know, there’s people who are fans of the Golden Age of the, uh, sort of version of the character and–– and then everything that came–– came after. So at the end of the day it’s like you just, you have to, because we are fans, because we love the material, it’s like, ultimately you just have to service yourself, you know, just–– just hope others like it.
Q: When you said you were a huge comic book fan and you’ve been reading since Captain Falcon Team in the 1970s, what was your reaction in the comic books when Bucky came back as a Winter Soldier?
Anthony: Yeah. We thought it was genius, I mean, that’s, you know, we told Kevin Feige, we’re went out on our first meeting with him we said, uh, “You know, you have Star Wars on your hands, it’s so rare that you get a–– a villain who has such an emotional connection to the hero, you know, um, uh, and that’s a gift as a storyteller, uh, ’cause you’re, you know, there’s an old adage that the hero is only as good as the villain and it’s so true. And you think about, you know, your–– your favorite hero/villain movies, the villain is always a very Seminole figure. Uh, and so basically to have your doppelganger or your this sort of antithetical Captain America character, he’s got a–– a robot arm that’s as strong as your shield, egh, you know, he’s, his strength is equal to your strength. He’s fighting for principles that are opposite of your principles. Um, you know, it’s, uh, it’s–– it’s, you know…
Joe: Yet he’s your best friend.
Anthony: Yet he’s your best friend, it’s just for fan boys that, it–– it plays into so many of our, you know, the hot button areas for us and things that excite us that, you know, we, like I said, egh, you know, we–– we, uh, we couldn’t have been more excited to–– to make this film.
Q: What was your favorite completed scene to see on the big screen?
Anthony: Ahh man that’s, I mean, so many of them but-– but I would, maybe have to say there was a particular thrill to watching, um, the climax, uh, the battle with the helicarriers sort of finally completed. Because that was such a long road, because it was computer graphics, you know, that-– that scene didn’t really come together until the last couple months. I mean, the–– the other, you know, like scenes like the-– the car, Fury’s car chase, or the fight on the bridge with the Winter Soldier, I mean, those things, we had those things edited back in September, you know. But the, uh, the final climactic battle is something that came–– came together at the very end of the process because of all the graphic work for it.
Anthony Mackie peeked around the corner at this point!
Anthony: Look who showed up. Ahh. And to see him, yeah and to see him fly in that act, you know, was very amazing, yeah.
Anthony: Oh yeah he did, oh yea did he tell you that?
Anthony: Did he say it facetiously, or…? Did he tell you we put him up on the wires and we, yeah, yeah.
Q: How long were you working on the film?
Anthony: We were working on the movie for two years, uh, probably a little bit more if you count the time that we spent winning the job, which was like a two- or three-month process. So it’s been a long, it’s a big chunk of your life so you–– you, like I said earlier, you better hope you like it and that you like it for yourself, because it’s something that’ll stick with you for a long time if you don’t.
Joe: Yeah. And we literally just delivered the movie two weeks ago, you know, so it’s, yeah, yeah, so.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters NOW!