Sebastian Stan On ‘The Martian’ And How He Wasn’t Sure He’d Be A Part Of ‘Captain America: Civil War’

I know you were born in Romania. But every time I remember that, I’m surprised because you play these “all-American”-type roles.

I know. I’m not quite sure how that ended up, but I’m happy that people look to me that way. But, yes, I’m not from here!

Bucky Barnes is the epitome of an “all-American guy.”

But you have to remember that The Winter Soldier has this weird Russian background and his own Eastern European kind of background — and so do I. So it’s a great fit I guess.

The Martian is the most fun movie about being stranded on a desolate death planet that I could ever imagine. It doesn’t wallow in its own misery, and it could have done that.

Of course! And I think that’s one of the great things about it. The movie knows how to make fun of itself a little bit. Like, you’re rooting with him and you’re always aware of the stakes. But, at the same time, there’s a fun balance of humor there, just letting you kind of remember just how ridiculous this situation is. The fact that this guy is farming in his own sh*t on a different planet. And the movie doesn’t shy away from kind of making fun of that.

In something like Cast Away, maybe it’s more frustrating to know there are other humans probably 100 miles away, as opposed to being on Mars where the situation is so extreme, a person might respond with more levity.

I was talking to a couple people last night and they were telling me about how they had three screenings for The Martian when they were editing it. The first screening, the people who watched the movie walked away from it going, “You know what? He makes fun of everything. I don’t buy it. It seems like he’s going to survive.” So, the stakes weren’t high enough. Then there was another screening where they took away the humor and it got really serious. And then the third version is the one where they merged the two and they found the right balance — which is why editing is amazing and the key. That’s why they are composers, in a way.

There has to be humor for us to relate. Your character in this movie is a genius. All the characters are geniuses.

Yeah, absolutely. And as actors, it’s funny, everyone keeps asking, “Did you do research? Did you talk to NASA?” And, yes, we did research and so on and did our best to learn…

So you’re all set if you get stranded in space.

Not… at… all. In fact, we all agreed on just how quickly we would die.

The lesson from all of this is, unless you’re an astronaut, do not go to space.

Yeah, maybe not. It’s just funny to read about all of these privately funded projects. You know, because there are people trying to go there with a one-way ticket. And I go, I hope you know what you’re signing up for. That’s six months of radiation for a one-way ticket.

It sounds like they want to try to colonize it, but it’s not really that easy.

I don’t even know if people think that far ahead, to be honest.

I don’t think that trip is ever going to happen. NASA will go someday.

Of course. And I think it will happen in our lifetime.

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