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.
When Sebastian Stan walked into our conference room at The Beverly Hilton it was a different vibe than the others. He was a lot more calm and quite. He seemed more shy. Where the others really knew about comics and the back story of their characters, he didn’t seem as well informed. He told us that he only had read the Captain America comic after getting the part and so he didn’t really know a lot about it. It was just a completely different experience than the others.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out that you were coming back as The Winter Soldier?
More like… I was just saying I always played that moment in my head over and over again and uh, that when I was gunna get that phone call no matter where I was at the time I was probably thinking I was gunna be somewhere in New York you know on a crowded street regardless I was gunna scream and I was just gunna have this big reaction. And um, it’s 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 gunna 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 often—don’t—they’re 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 um, 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 diff—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 mean I was never really um, uh 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 um – 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, you know, 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 doesn’t even know who they are?
Well, it’s funny the way things happen in life. Um…sometimes when you pay attention to certain things that happen in life [LAUGHS] I just don’t wanna get too down here or anything but my stepdad was actually recently uh, was diag—you know, uh been dealing with Alzheimer’s, and uh he’s been going through that for at least the last two years. And so it was interesting because uh while that sort of process was very painful as an observer, I kind of—that 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 and the way – 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 uh things they see or sounds that they see, a song or something kinda triggers a memory, and so it’s a very weird internal battle. And I mean…um, I allowed – I watched him a lot uh for sort of some references and um, um I just uh, yeah. I don’t know. Some of the things of how I was gunna sort of translate that on the screen I didn’t really know until we were doing literally when we were on set. Um, but there is actually a lot of material out there to kinda work off of, um, there are people like that.
Q: Some of the action sequences that you were a part of, was there one piece that you were just like enjoyed doing?
Well, um, any of the fighting stuff, once we had it down and we were in the costumes…um, any of the stuff that was shot outside which was in Cleveland I mean was really exciting because there was no CGI green screen, I mean 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—combat, that was all really fun because um, again it was really all happening around you so it’s – and 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 just my…any of the stuff that I had with Robert Redford um, was pretty memorable. I – That’s where I really remember sort of…telling myself you know just like be here, be present, you know, take him in, you know, on and off set, you know. 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 or um, so that was pretty special.
Q: Who’s your favorite superhero and who’s your favorite villain?
My favorite superhero is um, I don’t know. Um, 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, um, I’m kinda biased and they’re sort of like my favorite. You know, if I had a choice and they were to come up to me and go uh do you wanna be a character in the Captain America storyline or the Ironman storyline you know um, or um, the Thor storyline, I would definitely pick the one that I’m in. And so, uh favorite villain though I’ve had a few I mean the T-1000 was always somebody that I thought was an incredible villain. Cannot mention the jo—you know the without mentioning the joker uh, both performances were phenomenal. Gary Oldman in um, the uh, The Leon? What’s the movie that he did? The Professional! That’s a great villain, he’s played quite a few. Um, so, yeah 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. Um, because when you do have a really good villain that’s a realistic threat the movies are better.
Q: What is your favorite scene to see on the big screen?
I just thought this movie was so different in terms of just um, it felt just so much more realistic in our world than some of the other movies in my opinion. I, you know, and I enjoyed the other movies just as much, but um, I think any of the car chases are really great I felt, that was pretty cool. That whole sequence with Nick Fury um, the one with the Winter Soldier also, 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. So did you know that Bucky would come back to like as a winter soldier later? Or did you think he was dead?
Well I didn’t because I hadn’t read anything, and all I actually – 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. So, um, I you know obviously 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 wanna read any of the comic books or anything going into the audition process because I wanted to sort of just have a fresh perspective. But then when I talked to them about Bucky after that, um, then they educated me on the story. Um, and then I thought well, I mean I guess this is I was like well I—do I, you know I hope I—now I—I was like I should have auditioned for this, and then I was like maybe I shouldn’t say that ‘cause now you’re gunna make me do that, and maybe I should just say like yay let’s do it. Like, it was very confusing at the time.
Q: How did you just like mentally prepare as you get into character? Is it like a do you put on the costume and you’re ready to go or is there?
In this case, I feel like it always depends, in this case the costume was a very big thing, also I just to myself looked very different and that always – that helped me a lot because it, you know I sort of – it felt like um, I didn’t recognize myself looking in a mirror honestly, with the mask and the hair and everything I just thought um, you know it kinda gave me confidence to sort of embrace that and now rely on things that I had been used to doing. I think for me it’s 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.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters NOW!