The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Winter Soldier was a lot more talkative during his Salt Lake Comic Con panel than his masked, brooding supervillain character.
Though fans peppered Sebastian Stan with questions about the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War,” he couldn’t say much about the anticipated schism between the superheroes. His Friday afternoon panel marked Stan’s first solo outing on a convention stage.
Stan did say, though, that he gets to spend a lot of time with Anthony Mackie — who will make his own panel appearance Saturday — and that the action scenes are even better than those in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” That’s coming from the man who tore up Washington, D.C., with grenades, guns and a magnetic bomb.
He also gets to talk a whole lot more.
Of course, in the comics, Bucky comes back around and even assumes the role of Captain America in Steve Rogers’ absence. If Chris Evans were to depart similarly, would Stan rather put on the Red, White and Blues, or give that honor to Mackie, whose character currently is carrying the mantle in the comics?
The talkative Stan grinned and gave a more Winter Soldier-esque: “Myself.”
Whether the movies will let him wield the shield, though, is impossible for him to say.
“I’ll say this: They sure like to dangle a cheese in front of my nose a lot,” Stan said. In both movies, he’s picked up Cap’s shield in the middle of a battle, as a quick homage to Bucky’s tenure as Captain America in the comic books. “They’re like ‘Oh yeah, that’s where you pick up the shield,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. There it is again.'”
“But I don’t know. If I could say one thing, if anyone can have anything to do with it, to make it happen, is you,” he added, pointing from the stage to a roaring crowd of about 4,500 fans.
For now, though, he’s still the recuperating soldier, a role he prepared for by researching post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing stories about soldiers having difficulty reintegrating after war and reading the Marvel comics. Storylines about Bucky piecing his memories and life together were incredibly helpful for him.
“And everything about his childhood was extremely inspiring,” Stan said. “I didn’t know that he had a sister who ends up going into an orphanage and later ends up dying of Alzheimer’s. The fact that this whole story with his father, all those things were very real for me and very helpful in terms of pulling a person together.” They showed Stan “the fact that this is why he ends up being used by HYDRA and the Russians and so on, because he comes from a really troubled past.”
Though he hasn’t had many lines to imbue with that pathos, Stan isn’t on cruise control through the silent stretches, either. Music, in particular, helped him “always have something going on.”
“Music is a very important thing for me,” he said “… Where’s his mind? Where’s he going?”
Wherever Stan is going, Winter Soldier or not, where he is now is “extremely gratifying,” and not just career wise. When he was 12, he immigrated to the United States from Romania, with his mother. He definitely prefers his new home.
“I was very lucky to move to America,” he said. “Incredibly, incredibly lucky.”
At the panel, he had a chance to bust out his native tongue when two fans asked him a question in Romanian. The moderator, local movie reviewer Jimmy Martin, joked that Stan better not reveal the ending of “Civil War” in the European language.
So when Stan replied to the fans, he dropped in the movie title — in English — as a big tease to a packed room.
Here are a few more highlights from Stan’s panel:
• “Civil War” will answer how Bucky wound up in a snare, as seen at the end of “Age of Ultron.”
• Stan thinks the Marvel movies “really should” explore the relationship that Bucky has with Black Widow in the comics.
• At one point in his childhood, Stan wanted to be an astronaut, because “they really are superheroes.” In the upcoming movie “The Martian,” he gets to play one. When he recently visited NASA and met a real astronaut, “the guy had like veins protruding out of his arms, and a big watch and an amazing haircut and cheekbones, and I was like ‘Yeah of course they’re going to send you to space. You’re perfect; Buzz Lightyear.’?”
• His go-to karaoke song: Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.”