‘The Winter Soldier’ Explains How He Isn’t Your Typical Bad Guy

By  · Published on July 21st, 2013

Captain America: The First Avenger was an odd movie. For one, it didn’t take on the “realistic” aesthetic we see so many comic-book movies aim for. Secondly, how often are superhero movies that unabashedly sentimental and light-hearted? Steve Rogers was a genuinely great guy who believed that the right would always prevail. There was no moral ambiguity in the first film for him to question. You’re either a good guy or a bad guy.

From the sound of it, that’s not the movie we’ll be seeing with the film’s sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Although that’s slightly disappointing to hear, speaking with actor Sebastian Stan, reprising his role as Bucky Barnes and taking on a new one with Winter Soldier, there’s a good reason for that tonal shift. The movie takes place in 2013, and showing Steve now a part of a less black and white world should make for an interesting direction to take the character in.

As for where we’ll see Bucky and Winter Soldier go, here’s what actor Sebastain Stan had to say on the matter when we spoke to him at Comic-Con:

When you signed on for the first movie, did they tell you Winter Soldier would be a part of the sequel?

No, they didn’t. They told me what Bucky’s storyline was in the comic, but I didn’t know for sure this is where they were going to take it. I knew there was a strong possibility, but that was about it. I found out about sometime this time last year. This is what I’ve been hoping for. The character kept getting better and better. I was thrilled.

How was the costume?

It was tough. We shot in Cleveland during the summer, so it was one of those things. It’s a big costume and you have to be flexible, so it was a little bit of a challenge. Actually, the whole thing is such a transformation every time I put it on I entered a new world. It helped me escape myself.

I remember Anthony Hopkins jokingly saying for Thor how no acting was require there because of those sets and costumes.

Yeah, they have great costumes. They’re epic. In my opinion, The Winter Soldier costume is the best one [Laughs]. That’s such a great quote, though. That really explains it.

What worked about the first movie was its unabashed optimism. Is the sequel similar in that regard or does it lean darker?

This one is darker. With the first Captain America, that was like someone telling you the story, so it’s like how you envision it. With this one, you are right there in that room. Joe and Anthony Russo wanted to make sure we created this world as realistic as possible.

How do they compare or differ to [the first film’s director] Joe Johnston?

They’re great. Every director is different, so you adjust to them. They brought a lighter ambience to the whole thing. They come from comedy and character-driven stories, so it was great to find neat little things with these characters. These are superheroes, but you have to make them human. Those guys have a keen eye on those things.

Would you describe him as a bad guy in the film?

This movie is not black and white. It doesn’t tell you exactly what everything is. I think what the Russos did so well is that, as a fan, you’re going to have your own chance to make your own decisions. You may see him as a bad guy, but the other person isn’t going to think that.

Before you go, I have to ask, being a fan of Kings

Oh cool! That was a great show. That show was the first time I came to Comic-Con, actually.

Do you know where that show would’ve gone?

Oh man, those creators had such unbelievable ideas for that show. I think it was too ahead of its time. I think that show would work now, like Game of Thrones does. I don’t know where it would’ve gone, but I’m glad you saw it.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in theaters on April 4th, 2014.

Related Topics:

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.