Although Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving have been getting a lot of attention lately — a sensible situation as they play the lead hero and lead villain in the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger — one vital character has been mostly MIA. Until now, that is.
Sebastian Stan plays James "Bucky" Barnes in the upcoming film, a character as associated with Captain America as much as the stars and stripes he wears. Originally simply Cap's sidekick in World War II in comics lore, Bucky went on to become a brainwashed Russian operative known as the Winter Soldier before most recently taking up the Captain America mantle himself after the death of Steve Rogers.
In an interview with MTV News, Stan discussed the casting process for the film, describing how he sent in audition tapes, a move he employs regularly as one can't always "get there" for auditions, and received a good response. One good enough to gain him a screen test.
"Usually with screen tests, you can be very nervous, the stakes are high," Stan told MTV News. "But this one was actually really chilled out. I think a lot of that had to do with [director] Joe Johnston, because he brings such a good atmosphere on set. I felt very calm. I wasn't nervous. I felt like, for four or five hours, I was just playing. It was fun. Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard over at Marvel asked me to sit down with them and they talked about the comic books and Bucky and his entire arc, and I was really attracted to that. I thought there's a lot to play with, so I was very happy."
However, the most interesting piece of information came from Stan describing the relationship between Bucky and Cap. In the comics, Bucky entered the field as a youth, one considerably younger than Rogers. While just looking that the age of Stan automatically meant a slight change to the comics, we never knew the extent of that change. However, Stan shed some light on that in the interview.
"Steve Rogers and Bucky are both orphans and kind of like brothers," he said. "They kind of grow up together and look after each other. It's a very human, relatable thing. And growing up in the Army is a very specific thing. There's a certain way these guys carry themselves, there's a certain etiquette, a certain body posture, the way that they interact.
"I wanted to make sure I respected the themes in the comics that people related to about Bucky, but at the same time, in my head, we were shooting a movie that takes place in 1944 and it is about a bunch of guys going to war and how they're going to look out for each other. Bucky always protects and looks out for Steve Rogers."
From the sound of things, it seems that Bucky almost acts like a "big brother" to Rogers prior to the Super Soldier formula. This definitely changes the dynamics of the characters, but not necessarily in a bad way. In fact, the on-same-level relationship between the two of them almost works better with a wider audience than the sidekick kid who tags along angle Bucky originally went with.
For more, check out the full interview at MTV's Splash Page and get your stars and stripes ready for Captain America: The First Avenger on July 22.