He may be grounded like the rest of us at the moment, but Sebastian Stan is still flying high this year.
Not only does he have a new film just released digitally — the relationship drama Endings, Beginnings — but the actor is gearing up to reprise his MCU alter-ego Bucky Barnes in Marvel's eagerly anticipated streaming series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, due to premiere this fall on Disney+.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 37-year-old Stan teased Bucky's tube adventure, and also offered up his take on the Winter Soldier and Captain America's emotional goodbye at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
First up, the thesp talked Falcon, which was shooting in Prague last month before Marvel temporarily halted production due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked about the tone Marvel is aiming for, Stan teased that the show will combine Platinum Age television's penchant for deep character dives with the high-octane cinematic action fans expect from the studio's big screen blockbusters.
"It felt like both. In a lot of ways, it felt like a movie,” said Stan. "What I loved about it was that, tonally, it was very much in the same world that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, which was one of my favorite experiences that I’ve ever had, period. So, in a sense, it was grounded and very much in the world as we know it. But, it's also really jam-packed with a lot of massive, massive action scenes mixed with deep focus on character. These characters are getting so much more mileage for all of us to explore them. We can put them in situations that we’ve never been able to put them in before because you now have six hours as opposed to two."
Stan also opened up about that much-talked-about hug between best buddies Bucky and Steve Rogers. In Endgame's dialogue-lite close, some fans were left wondering whether Bucky knew that Steve was actually going to return to the past to live out his life with longtime love Peggy. And then there was lingering controversy over why Cap passed Bucky over for the Captain America mantle, instead giving his iconic shield to Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie.
But according to Stan, the scene played out that way due to time constraints, considering the movie was three hours long at that point.
"To merge all those different stories together, you could’ve had another movie of everybody saying goodbye to each other," noted Stan. "So, I love how much people care about those two characters and that they wanted more from them, but I just took it as 'This is as much screen time as we’ve got left before the movie ends.' It was already such a long movie."
Regarding the superheroes' parting, Stan argued that Steve's decision to pick Sam over Bucky is all there in the subtext, especially considering the wild journey the best friends have been on.
"Steve is saying to Bucky, ‘You’re going to go and do that, too. I’m not going to put this thing on you. We’re both going to live our lives — the lives that were actually taken from us back in the ‘40s when we enlisted,’" Stan explains. "So, that’s where I felt they were at the end of the movie. I don’t think there’s a desire or any conflicted thoughts about taking on that mantle."
As for his thoughts on Bucky's relationship with Falcon, Stan said viewers will have to just wait and see how Bucky's past mistakes and Sam's catch up with them.
"Sam, to me, was always the clear man to take on that mantle for numerous reasons, which also comes with so much more baggage that’s going to be explored in the show. I guess you’ll have to tune into Disney+ to find out why (laughs). At the end of Endgame, for either Steve or Bucky, it’s really not about the shield."
We can't wait. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts this fall on Disney+.