He’s the indomitable Bucky Barnes, who told a pre-warhero Steve Rogers that, “I’m with you till the end of the line”. He wasn’t kidding.
“Yeah, I love having beers with all the guys, Anthony Mackie (the Falcon) and Chris Evans included. I’m still really close friends with all the people I’ve worked with,” he tells me. Here. the Romanian born New Yorker answers 7 questions for us.
From Gossip Girl to Winter Soldier, what was your actor’s process? And do you have a ritual that always helps you get into character?
I used to smoke a lot. And I had this ritual, where I’d show up for the audition, have a cigarette, and keep the stub until I heard whether or not I got the job. Now its a lot of meditation, music, I’m a bit music guy and I like to create my own playlists. Anything that helps get your concentration in order.
What’s your dream crew? As in directors, writers, or actors you’d like to work with.
I love Aaron Aronofsky. Hey, can I send him a personal letter through you? (sure, go ahead I reply.) Aaron, you’re the only man who can wear a mustache well. Please call me, I’d love to grab lunch or see a movie together. Talk to you soon (Stan laughs, because, and you can tell, he’s half serious). Other than that, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorcese, Ron Howard, amazing guys like that. Directors are important, movies are ultimately a directors medium. It’s their world, not so much an actors world. End of the day, it’s their vision.
On a scale of one to ten, how lucky are you in life?
Oh wow, I’m very, very lucky to do what I do. In fact I’m going to get a chance to travel to Malaysia soon for work. Everyday, I make a gratitude list of 10 things that I’m grateful for. (I’m incredulous so I reconfirm that anecdote) Yes, I do! I really think I’m really lucky. I’m so grateful for my family, my mom, my stepdad, they all made it possible for me to come here. Plus the opportunities I’ve had, for my friends, for the fact that I’m living in New York, in my own apartment in the city. I’m also grateful to have people that believe in me the way they do; my manager has been with me 17 years, my agent for 15 years. It’s also a friendly reminder that life is has got to keep going, you should never feel like you’ve arrived. You gotta stay hungry. It’s all over for you the moment you don’t. And in my job, it’s also about exploring yourself. Films are an incredible medium where you get to talk to people. I have these great fans, they write me everyday, telling me about their lives getting better from watching my movies. To me that’s more important than anything else. And as a man in the world, you have to leave something behind, if not what the hell am I doing while I’m here?
Okay, time for some fun questions. What kind of music gets you dancing when no one’s looking?
Haha… My favourite is 80’s music. There’s this one singer called Tiffany, her song was I Think we’re Alone Now.
Who would you want to be marooned on a tropical island with?
Easy. Endless pizza delivery.
How would the friends you grew up with describe you?
I hope – and this is a big one – that they say I’m loyal, driven and direct.
Who’s your favourite Disney princess and why.
Oh man… I think Princess Jasmine, from Aladdin? She’s just great and such a strong character that just stuck in my mind.
Here’s what the 33-year-old Captain America: Civil War star had to share with the mag:
On his biggest critic: “Myself. No one’s ever gonna beat me. I don’t care for reviews, because no one can say anything that even comes near to what I say about myself. I don’t ever relax, and I really don’t care about what people say. I will always say something worse about myself.”
On a secret about himself: “I have absolutely no patience.”
On what he would do if he wasn’t an actor: “I think I might have been a toy maker. I’m a kid at heart, and maybe some people might say that it’s immature, but the truth is, you gotta recall your childhood because it’s an important time. I guess I’ve always been fascinated by people who make toys, because they have to remain a child one way or another. I’m also interested in writing. I don’t have enough confidence to publish my own stuff yet. But with writing, you can express yourself in a different way from acting. Actually, learning to write has also made me a better reader, even with my scripts.”
A war movie? An action thriller? A super-powered face-off for the ages? However you’ve heard Captain America: Civil War described, you’ve probably only heard it called a love story in semi-jest. But that’s exactly how director Joe Russo termed it when Empire caught up with him on set.
“What’s fascinating about the Cap-Bucky story as well is it’s a love story,” says the co-director. Stop your sniggering at the back, he’s talking about the fraternal kind. “These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have that same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up.”
The picture, of course, is clouded by Cap’s guilt and Barnes’ ambiguous morality. “Is he good or is he bad?” ponders Russo. “Steve has to answer that question for himself, and there are other characters in the movie who hold the opposite point of view. It becomes a very explosive. It incites a lot of conflict.”
Bucky himself, Sebastian Stan, dials back a little on the love talk – hey, it’s not like that fan fiction needs help writing itself – instead likening the pair’s relationship to the Bad Boys movies’ Will Smith/Martin Lawrence dynamic. “I think it’s easy and generalising it to say that they’re lovers, when you’re forgetting that one has a lot of guilt because he swore to be the protector of the other, the father figure or older brother so to speak, and then left him behind.” Adds the actor: “I have no qualms with it but I think people like to see it much more as a love story than it actually is. It’s brotherhood to me.” Science Bros, eat your hearts out.
One thing that is clear is that Cap’s loyalty to his old friend, now compromised by that whole Winter Soldier thing, fuels the breakdown of another, more brittle friendship. Tony Stark is, as the movie’s most recent trailer shows, is a foe to be reckoned with.
Joe and Anthony Russo are directing this one, from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. It stars (deep breath): Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl.
Captain America: Civil War lands in the UK on from April 29, and US cinemas from May 6.