“I’m haunted by that movie Birdman,” Sebastian Stan tells me as we sit in a hotel room at the Los Angeles Four Seasons while the press day for Captain America: Civil War unfolds around us. Based on the number of men and women with headsets stationed near doors, you’d think there was a head of state in town — and really, how far off is that comparison? The Avengers actors aren’t running any nations, but they do represent Disney’s flagship franchise, one so elaborate they had to invent a term for it: a cinematic universe. By the time Civil War leaves theaters, this universe will have made Disney $10 billion worldwide; knowing that, the pomp and circumstance doesn’t seem so overblown.
Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier — namesake of the second Captain America movie and an even bigger part of this new one — is clearly trying to wrap his head around this superhero life. Thus, the reference to Birdman: a movie about an actor attempting to erase the memories of his superhero alter ego by staging a serious play; a movie in which an actor’s superhero alter ego follows him like a ghost, reminding him it’s the hero people want to see, not the washed-up actor and his play; a movie that exists as a rebuke to the tights-clad tentpoles that have taken over the industry. This seems like a matter for a licensed therapist, not one of the revolving door of journalists coming through press day. Is Stan worried that his alter ego, the Winter Soldier, will overtake Sebastian Stan, the actor?
“I think that depends on what choices you make as an actor in your time off,” he explains. “But it’s an interesting — I love how in Birdman, it talks so much about where the persona ends and when the person and the character become the same thing. Because I’ve seen that happen with certain people. Certain characters become so popular, right, because people just love to see them.”
It’s a valid consideration for a guy like Stan, who has chops and experience and was certainly not raised with the expectation of becoming a movie star. Born in Romania, Stan made his way to the United States by the age of 12 and studied at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts, including a year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London. After school, he did work on the stage, including a run with Liev Schreiber in Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio — here’s Stan doing a Bogosian monologue — as well as on film and TV, highlighted by a recurring role on Gossip Girl and parts in Black Swan and Rachel Getting Married. Continue reading
Sebastian was on The Late Late Show with James Corden on May 5th to promote his film Captain America: Civil War (which is now in theaters, by the way!), where he discussed the film albeit while charming the hell out of Sharon Stone along with ladies and gents everywhere (let’s be honest). It’s a great interview for sure with lots of laughs.
You can watch the entire episode below if you missed it, and check out HD captures in our gallery now.
This is only part one of Sebastian’s interview, so stay tuned for the second part coming next week!
On the eve of the US release of “Captain America: Civil War” hear Will speak with actor Sebastian Stan about managing relationships surrounding a massive premiere, growing up in a conservative home and the type of Uber driver he would be.
As Captain America’s best friend Bucky – and as the subsequently brainwashed-by-the-Soviets-to-be-an-assassin-Winter Soldier – Sebastian Stan has been a key character in what is now an iconic trilogy.
With the third installment, Civil War, he is a primary cause of the, uh, civil war, led on opposite sides by Iron Man and the red, white and blue Avenger.
“The appeal is simple,” Stan said at a recent Marvel press event. “It’s a challenge.
“Every scene the Russos [Joe and Anthony, the film’s directors] and I would get together and go, ‘Where is he now? Does he remember this? Does he not? Did he remember that he might have committed that crime or not? So there’s a lot of fun questions with how to play it.
“We saw in the first movie – that’s the [real] guy. Then, this is what happened to him in the second movie and this movie is, ‘How does he live with it now?'”
Stan’s Bucky is in fights with at least 10 characters during the course of the film and he says it was a challenge with the Russos to make each fight distinctive.
“It’s like a dance,” Stan said. Plus, “we just had an amazing stunt team. These guys come from places like Ip Man and The Raid and all those awesome Asian films. So, it’s just a lot of repetition over and over.
“It’s like ballet.”
Stan said there was additional excitement in the stunt work because he wasn’t wearing a mask.
“I was like ‘the audience is going to see it’s me,’ so I was determined to do as much of [the action scenes] as I could, to the point where I was a pain in the ass to them – but I didn’t care, because I can sit here and tell you that I’ve done 90 percent of those fight scenes. I was even on the motorcycle.” Continue reading
a child, Sebastian Stan occupied more countries than most people do houses. At the age of 8, he moved from his native Romania to Vienna, and then, four years later, to New York.
Now 33, Stan doesn’t think all that dislocation was always healthy. But it may have given him a certain psychological edge in understanding characters who slip from one guise to another.
“It was hard. You’re inhabiting different worlds, speaking different languages,” Stan said in an interview recently. “But it helped me in a way. When you’re young you just want to fit in. And when you’re older you realize that what it really did was make you OK with feeling different.”
Stan is decidedly a man caught between two worlds in Anthony and Joe Russo’s “Captain America: Civil War.” The new and well-reviewed superhero movie, which begins its U.S. run Thursday night after a massive opening overseas, has Stan revisiting his role as James “Bucky” Barnes, a.k.a “The Winter Solider.” As viewers of the erstwhile film named for him know (and the first “Captain America” before that), Barnes was a respected U.S. military man — and childhood friend of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) — later brainwashed into working for the Soviets as a kind of human instrument of torture, before (possibly) remembering his roots and seeking redemption.
As viewers of the new film soon learn, Barnes will continue to evolve, as will the significance of his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character in “Civil War” becomes, owing to past actions, a key fillip in the tension between emerging rivals Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Rogers’ Captain America. He is, in a real sense, the pivot point around which all the action revolves.
As Stan eats a burger at a restaurant near his downtown Manhattan apartment on a recent Friday afternoon, he shows little of the prepossession of a man whose actions are about to viewed and scrutinized by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
His long hair hangs straight to his chin, a ballcap sits in his hand and his face wears the kind of stubble that is neither shadow nor beard. A pair of designer-casual shoes are the only hint of someone with a more upscale day job.
Stan recently moved to the neighborhood, and he’s taking a breather from the kind of media siege that wasn’t exactly standard for past roles on the likes of “Gossip Girl,” “Once Upon a Time” and several New York theater projects. In a few days he will appear on a morning show (“GMA”) for the first time and is about to embark on the type of circuit of late-night hosts (Stephen Colbert, James Corden) usually reserved for Super Bowl MVPs
It is a far cry from the actor who, on graduating from a theater program at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, just wanted to stay busy. Continue reading