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‘Captain America 2′ Interview: Catching Up With The Winter Soldier, Sebastian Stan

Captain America 2 Winter Soldier Sebastian Stan
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Please don’t tell anyone you are meeting with Sebastian Stan!”

So came the offer to speak with The Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan, at Comic-Con 2013. Anxious to keep his appearance on the panel a secret (in the ‘Captain America 2‘ footage show, Stan only shows up for a brief money shot at the very end), Marvel asked us to also keep our interview secret. We met Stan deep in the bowels of a hotel in a room within a room with a large black curtain draped around us.

There are lots of ‘Captain America 2′ secrets and Marvel wants to protect them. So, we got started asking Stan all about them.

You must’ve just gotten in today, right?

Yeah, they’re trying to keep everything secret.

So, did they have to sneak you in? How does that work?

Well, I don’t know, we had a pretty nice right through town (laughs). I’ve never been to San Diego but it looks like a lot of fun. It’s a little crazy (laughs)…

Yeah, it’s definitely a little nuts. I’ve already seen some Winter Soldier cosplay today.

Ahhh great! I was looking out for some of those guys. I hope I can see it.

Are you done shooting the film?

No, we’ve still got a little bit more left if you can believe it.

What kind of a break do you get to come here?

We were shooting yesterday! And then, we start again in two days. But it’s kind of a neat getaway for a little bit. It’s the first time we get to see the fans and see their reactions. We’re all very excited about the work we’re doing so it’s an exciting day. It’s neat.

You get to meet those people who are dressed up as you.

I know!

This is the natural progression for your character in the comics. Did you hope after the film that this opportunity, to become The Winter Soldier, would be presented to you?

Absolutely. All I know was I was going out to play Captain America. I didn’t even know the comics and I only had about three pages to work off. Then, I didn’t get it and I thought everything was over. And then I’m sitting in an office and this storyline was being brought up to me. It’s amazing. If they had told me from the get-go, I never would’ve even gone for Captain America. This storyline was so interesting to me. I hoped they were going to take it this way but it was too early to know.

It seems to me that a lot of great roles are in television, where you get a great character and you have 13 or 14 episodes to work on the development of that character. So, when someone can go, “You can have this movie and then another where you can continue to work on it,” it’s just a great privilege.

Your costume looks like it could be a little restrictive as an actor. How does that effect your performance?

Honestly, it was kinda great. The thing about it is, as an actor it’s about losing that guy you see in the mirror. So sometimes having longer hair or a mask, helped me see someone else when I was looking in the mirror. You just don’t recognize yourself. You’re a different person. You’re moving differently and looking differently and trying to communicate with your eyes only. It was very interesting, for sure.

Here’s an example, everyone kept coming up to me on set asking, “Are you OK? Are you too hot in the outfit?”

It looked hot.

It was very hot by the way! But, no one could really read me. What I found was that when that happens, there’s something very unnerving about that. I would just sit and be quiet and people would notice me in a very different way and suddenly you could feel some tension. It was about what that meant and bringing that to the part. That was a neat discovery. In this circumstance, having a mask for some of the film was a neat characteristic. It added something to his presence.

Do you have a lot of verbal dialogue in the film?

Yeah.

Can you tell us a little bit about what your voice sounds like?

I don’t want to ruin it for you, but (pauses) you’ll see…

What did [directors] Joe and Anthony Russo bring to the film as two guys who have a history with comedy?

They’re so nice. It’s actually great having two directors. There’s another guy here who can help you. I think they brought something human and very light and very realistic to it. These are big characters and they have big shoes to fill in the sense that they’ve been established a certain way in the comic books and you’re trying to honor that work so that die hard fans can really be happy with what they see, yet bring something unique to it. It’s not easy for a lot of superheroes to make that leap from the page to the screen. But these guys have the comedy background and they brought a certain personality to a lot of the characters that was instrumental to us making these characters more real. Looking for a little bit of comedy, something light or human.

They were always very specific. They knew exactly what they wanted. It’s a blessing for an actor to have directors like that.

There are a lot of great actors – both returning and new to the franchise – working on this film. Specifically, did you get to work with Robert Redford at all?

Yes! I met him on set and he was…he’s a legend, you know? It’s funny. He actually started a conversation with me. For a while I didn’t want to approach him. But he read that I was in a play and we started talking about theater and he started telling me about Natalie Wood and people he worked with and how he’s always wanted to go back to the stage and how he prefers New York. For me, it’s great because I did get to meet Paul Newman before he died. So to have both of them was really cool.

What were your scenes like with him?

Hmmm…you’ll find out (laughs).

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