Sebastian Stan didn’t know his role as Captain America’s sidekick Bucky Barnes was going to turn into the villain The Winter Soldier, but he planned ahead for it anyway. We talked about the transition from hero to villain, the transition from Rocketeer director Joe Johnston to “Community” showrunners Joe and Anthony Russo, and just because I always wanted to know, the origin of the weirdest line in the teen warlock thriller The Covenant. If you’ve seen the film, you definitely know which one I mean.
CraveOnline: When you were cast as Bucky, were you already familiar with the character?
Sebastian Stan: No, I wasn’t. No, because I didn’t grow up reading comic books. It was all a really new thing for me. But when I did meet for Bucky, then the storyline was explained to me and Winter Soldier was part of that. So then I learned about where the story goes, but I didn’t know that this was their plan, you know?
So they told you about the character, but they didn’t say they were thinking that, for the sequel, you were going to be the bad guy.
No, but they told me about the character, and this is his storyline in the comic books, and then when I did get the job, even without knowing where they were going to take the character for the first movie, I researched it and read up all about it and, in the hopes that they were going to make another one, try to implement some of that in the first one.
There used to be a saying in comic books that there were only two characters who could stay dead, there was Bucky and Uncle Ben.
That’s true. I heard that.
And then they bring you back.
[Laughs] Yeah! Ed Brubaker… Thank you, out there! Yeah.
But it works because you still get to retain that element of tragedy in Captain America’s life. Is that going to get played up a bit in Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
Well, yeah, you’re certainly going to… It’s a new dynamic to some extent. It’s a new relationship between the two of them, obviously. He comes from an entire different situation. You’re talking about a guy who doesn’t have anything, in a world he doesn’t know, and the one thing he kind of discovers – sort of, so to speak – is that there’s a possibility his best friend is still alive? He’s coming with a whole lot of baggage. And as far as Bucky is concerned, it’s almost like he’s an entire different person.
I think of that story and I imagine… Did you ever see Heat?
The movie, Heat? Great movie.
It is a great movie.
The Michael Mann movie…?
Yeah. And I was thinking about how I imagine, if I were doing this movie, there would be a scene like in Heat, with you and Captain America just talking like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Because I just want you guys to interact. I’m scared you’re going to fight the whole time. Are there going to be some moments…?
Well, yeah, but I can’t, but what’s the fun of me telling you that…?
I’m not asking you give anything away, I’m just asking if we’ll be able to get into that.
I think yeah. I think as a fan, if you know the story, if you know what happens with these guys… I think as a fan, I think you’ll be happy. I think you’ll see things you’re yearning to see. I think you’ll… Just because I don’t want to ruin any of the fun of it. There’s such rich characters in it. I think one of the things about it is [that] all of that starts coming to life. But it’s just scratching the tip of the iceberg for what’s in store.