Melissa Rauch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch and director Bryan Buckley swing by HuffPost Live to talk the twists and tucks of gymnastics-centric Sundance comedy “The Bronze.”
Can we all agree that the ideal husband is one who encourages you to hook up with Sebastian Stan, and even helps script scenarios that will allow you to do so? If so, then Melissa Rauch may be the world’s luckiest woman: In this weekend’s new comedy The Bronze, which she co-wrote with her husband Winston, Rauch plays a foul-mouthed former gymnast who gets it on with Stan’s Olympic coach in what is surely the young year’s wildest sex scene. Both characters bring all their athletic prowess to bear on each other, cartwheel-flipping and vaulting into each other’s naughty portions in the most R-rated floor exercise ever conceived. And with each gymnastic thrust, Rauch could count on both Stan and her husband to egg her on.
“Oh, Winston was so game throughout,” Rauch told Vulture recently in Los Angeles. “Anything for the sake of the movie! He would even be like, ‘I think we should do another take of that.’”
“And that was like the second or third day on set for me,” laughed Stan. “I remember thinking, ‘I’m really gonna get to know these people better.’”
So will the audience: While Stan is most famous for playing Bucky Barnes in the Captain America movies and Rauch has a steady job as Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory, The Bronze offers both actors a new way to cut loose, exemplified by the sort of graphic, over-the-top encounter you’d never see in their more family-friendly franchises. “We wrote it as ‘the most crazy epic gymnastic sex scene ever,’ said Rauch. “It really was a porno script, essentially. But Sebastian was so fantastic and he went for so much of it. He could have just said, ‘Have my body double do it,’ and instead he came to set in his robe and said, ‘Okay, let’s do this.’”
Rauch did, too, but for some of the more graphic moments, she selected as her body double a Cirque du Soleil dancer who had no hang-ups about the scene’s wild stunts (or nudity). “Every time I slammed into her,” Stan said, “I was like, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?’ And she was like, ‘Just go for it.’”
“I remember staring at her like a creepy old dude,” laughed Rauch, “wishing that she could body-double for me in every moment of life. At one point, I was like, ‘Do you want a robe?’ and she said, ‘I’m good, you’re gonna see everything anyway.’ And she was literally sitting there legs open, eating a sandwich.” Continue reading
There are some cinematic moments that have stayed in my memory years after seeing them. Like when Bueller breaks the fourth wall for the first time in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Or when Inigo Montoya gets stabbed but still defeats the six-fingered man in The Princess Bride. And of course when Rose let’s go of Jack at the end of Titanic (after he repeatedly tells her to “never let go”). And after seeing 2016’s The Bronze, I can guarantee that the gratuitous gymnast sex scene, featuring Melissa Rauch and Sebastian Stan, will stay in my conscious for many moons to come.
The Bronze follows Hope, a gymnast from a small town who won a bronze medal at the Olympics years ago. As she tries to hold on to her glory days, she’s forced to train an up-and-coming gymnast for her own Olympic Games. Rauch, who co-wrote the film with her husband, stars as Hope, and Stan plays an Olympic coach and Hope’s former lover. In an unforgettable scene, the pair rekindle their romance in an extremely graphic and oh-so impressive sex scene.
“In the script it was literally described as the most epic, insane, outrageous, fascinating, dangerous, over the top gymnastics sex scene there ever was in the world,” says Stan. “That was the tag line.”
The scene goes something like this: The pair barge into a hotel room, rip one another’s clothing off, throw each other all over the room, and perform a bevy of impressive gymnastic stunts — while naked — and while having sex. It’s something you can’t tear your eyes away from. And something that will surely leave your mouth agape.
“I just wanted to see what we could get away with,” Stan says. “We figured out the routine on the day of. We had two Cirque Du Soleil people, we had an Olympic winner gymnast choreographer, and we were all standing there at 8 am with coffees in bathrobes, going: ‘Can you flip this way? What if we do this? What if we do that?'”
The not-to-be-missed scene also reveals his character’s Olympic-inspired (and very phallic) tattoo. “That was on there for at least a week afterwards. I was in the gym in the steamroom and was like, ‘Ugh, I’m that guy now,'” Stan recalls.
Stan’s co-star, Thomas Middleditch, who plays Hope’s other love interest, was impressed with Stan’s willingness to commit to the tricky scene: “He really went for it. Another actor would be too timid or be too crass about it, but he manages to hit that sweet spot. As a result the scene is legendary,” Middleditch says. “It’s remarkable. The only time you’ve seen anything close to it is in Team America — and that’s with dolls. These are real people doing the craziest and weirdest shit. It’s not in a porno — it’s in a comedy — and somehow it works.”
“I never get sick of that scene. I wish we were shooting it today,” Stan jokes.
See the scene in question — and Stan’s outrageous tattoo — when The Bronze hits theaters March 18.
With the latest installment of Marvel’s Captain America franchise set to hit theaters on May 6, superhero fanatics are wondering what’s going to happen to Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans), his team, and his frenemy Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) next. I sat down with Stan while he was promoting his latest film, The Bronze, and asked about the fate of Captain America: Civil War’s favorite heroes.
One theory is that Steve Rodgers could come to his final end in the not so distant future, leaving an opening for a new team leader. After all, Chris Evans’ contract is almost up, and that leaves the Avengers without a captain. Could Bucky, Cap’s righthand man, ever step into those shiny red boots?
“I don’t know how I would say no to that,” Stan says. “I mean, it’s such a tough question because it’s so not up to me. I’d love to see it one day. There’s a lot in the comic books that still need to be explored. I think it would be an amazing, interesting, challenging thing to want to explore as an actor.”
So what could prevent Bucky from becoming the next Cap? Well, there are a lot of pieces at play, and according to Stan, the fans are a driving force behind the decision Marvel makes for it’s onscreen characters.
“So much depends on the powers that be and a lot on the fans — what the fans want to see and what they’re ready for. I think audiences are really powerful and extremely smart. They are ahead of us in a lot of ways. So they are much more a part of decisions than they might think.”
While we know Stan is up for the challenge — is Bucky?
“It would be a tremendous responsibility for him to step into those shoes as a character. I’ll say this: I think before that happens, Bucky’s gotta get a hell of a lot healthier than he is right now. And he ain’t that great. To be seen!”
I’ll let Marvel megafans debate what Stan means when he refers to Bucky’s (mental? Physical?) health, and if there is indeed a real possibility of Bucky taking on a much larger leadership role in Marvel films to come.
“For now, I’m having an amazing time doing what I’m doing. I’m very happy with the situation,” Stan concludes.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6.
The Bronze, a (hard) R-rated comedy about washed-up Olympic gymnast Hope who can’t move past her glory days, stars Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch. Captain America: Winter Soldier’s Sebastian Stan plays rival gymnast Lance.
So here’s one thing you should know about Sundance movie that gets a theatrical release March: Rauch and Stan’s characters have…
“The most crazy, epic gymnastics sex scene ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
At least that’s how the movie’s major love scene was described in its script, said Rauch, who wrote the film with her husband, at the movie’s Hollywood premiere Monday.
That would explain why the laugh-out-loud-funny scene contains flips, splits and handstands. So, how did that sequence come together? Rauch explained:
“We sorta bullet-pointed what those (gymnastic) moves would be. It was the closest to a porn that I think I’ll ever write. And we had a phenomenal gymnastics coordinator, Kristina Baskett, who did all of the gymnastics including the ‘sex-tastics.'”
Another important element of the sequence: Rauch and Sebastian Stan had Cirque du Soleil performers as body doubles, “but Sebastian did a lot of his own stunts,” said Rauch.
So we asked Stan: Which stunts were his own?
“I would say there’s a few upside-down press-up pumps that are happening that are all me,” he admitted.
Last May, a group of fellow reporters and I got to visit the set of Civil War and speak with Evans and Stan. During our conversation, they talked about Bucky’s psychological state and struggling with the guilt over the things he did as the Winter Soldier, putting Steve into a new, difficult position, how both characters dealing with being “men out of time,” and more. Read the full interview below.
Sebastian, the screenwriters mentioned Bucky’s journey as someone who has to wrestle with doing 70 years of doing evil. Can you talk a bit about your character’s journey in this film and how his separation works as opposed to Cap’s just being on ice.
SEBASTIAN STAN: I think it would be similar to what [Cap] went through. Where we find the character is really where he’s at the post-credits scene at the end of Winter Soldier. So that’s where he picks up in this film. It very much is a big struggle, figuring out what his life has been about and what he’s really been up to. That’s what I think the similarity between them is. They’re men out of time, struggling to embrace this new life, and how do they do it.
Can you speak a little more as to where he’s at when we pick up with him? Is he a loner sort of drifting?
SEBASTIAN STAN: I’ll say this. Whatever notions you had about that post-credits scene where you see him in the museum and obviously he’s staring at himself, whatever ideas you got from that scene, keep thinking about those and go with your own thoughts on that.
Where is Cap when we pick up in this movie?
EVANS: He’s still on the search for Bucky. That’s the thing about these movies. You go do The Avengers, you gotta put your own plot on hiatus for a second, and then we try to pick up where we left off. A big piece of that is searching for Bucky. But at the same time, we left off The Avengers [Age of Ultron] with a new team of Avengers. So they’re still trying to break in the new members. And I think it’s no secret that what happens is there’s a world around them that expects a little bit more responsibility for their actions. The Avengers have been operating independent of any government restriction, so I think there’s plenty of people that makes nervous. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying what happens is certain governments expect a bit of a change.
STAN: That’s why it’s kinda cool, since it parallels a lot of the things we’re dealing with now. Thinking about all the recent stuff about the government being able to look into your phone, to see what you’re texting or who you’re calling.
EVANS: Don’t look into my phone. Career over.
STAN: It’s very relevant. That’s where the Russos have been great, because the movie will be relevant to things that are happening today, that you read in the news.
The very title of Captain America: Civil War lends itself to the notion of friends vs. friends, but it’s a real doozy when Team Cap battles Team Iron Man in the new film (out May 6). Alliances shift, bad feelings are had, and you have awesome moments like the one in the first Civil War trailer where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Cap, and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), aka Cap’s childhood friend Bucky Barnes and former brainwashed Hydra assassin, throw down with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
Two against one may not be fair, but it’s sure fun to watch — and enjoyable to play, says Stan:
“It’s one of those days where the equivalent would be that scene in Apollo 13 when the astronauts come back and they’ve survived reentry to Earth and you cut to mission control and everyone’s like ‘Yeah!’ “
He admits that the scene, which had to be done in one take and involved well-choreographed fighting moves plus a bunch of shield sharing, took them just about 15 times to get right. Plus, there were times when Evans and Stan would be going through the scene without having Iron Man there at all just in case there needed to be CGI effects added in later. “Then you’re just fighting air, which is even more difficult.”
Stan’s looking forward to fans seeing Steve and Bucky — or as the Internet likes to call them, #Stucky — fighting side by side again with the added emotional layers of having to beat down Cap’s other friend from the Avengers.
“This is how I would look at it: It’s three people and they’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean, the boat is sinking and the boat may stay afloat with one less person on it. So who has to go? It’s inevitable at that point because blood will always win in the end, and (Steve and Bucky) are really like blood brothers.”