Forbes: Sebastian Stan has played a Marvel superhero, he has played real-life rocker Tommy Lee, and he even stirred things up on Gossip Girl early on in his career. Today however, the Romanian-born actor’s latest performance in the Searchlight Pictures film Fresh (now streaming exclusively on Hulu) has showcased the full spectrum of Stan’s outstanding acting abilities in a singular project.

Now, I am not going to spoil the subject matter nor genre(s) that Fresh would most definitely classify itself as, but Stan achieves a career-best performance with this enigmatic portrayal of Steve. After his character comes across the film’s main protagonist Noa (played brilliantly by Daisy Edgar-Jones) during a random encounter at a supermarket, a charming romance ensues between these two seemingly well-intentioned young people and moves questionably fast, without a safety net, something bewildered viewers of this film will soon wish was put in place all along.

So, what was it for Stan that intrigued him most to want to purposefully fall down the rabbit hole of this truly Fresh (pun intended) character?

“It was a script that had a lot of questions that it was raising and I sort of felt like there were things about the confusion of dating and this sort of not really knowing people right away and the projection that we throw on one another,” Stan tells me at Forbes. “Seemingly, why we’re drawn to certain people and particularly, that it took this ‘knight in shining armor’ complex that we’ve all heard growing up with, men and women, and flipped it on its head. When I read [the script], it kind of hit and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and usually that’s how I know to maybe engage further.”

Being also rather fresh off of his Disney+ Marvel miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and with his notable performances in the Captain America and Avengers films, I had to ask Stan if he thinks there is more story to tell for his Bucky Barnes character, or if he might want to soon hang up Bucky’s prosthetic Vibranium arm, so to speak.
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes in ″The Falcon and The Winter Soldier‘ miniseries

“I don’t know even if no other project comes of it, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to hang up that arm (laughs). It will always be a part of me in a way. It just depends – there’s so many shifting variables and there’s a lot of storytelling left, obviously. There’s new characters coming onboard now and mantles being passed and I think that’s exciting. One of the things that has always fascinated me about Marvel is how they’ve always managed to kind of keep reinventing the stories and the characters and it’s always a developing process. I do like where we’ve gotten Bucky finally because I feel he’s finally come around to acceptance in a way and it has taken some time to do that.”

After now spending nearly two decades working in Hollywood and seeing the day-to-day efforts that make these film & television projects function, I asked Stan how he would say that he has noticed the industry and working conditions evolving as time goes on.

“I think it’s moving in the right direction,” Stan says. “I’ve been lucky because a lot of my experience was with Marvel and I’ve always thought Marvel was super conscious in the way that the world felt represented in the movies and in the crews, as well. I think it’s always a continuing conversation and sort of there needs to be an awareness, especially with long hours and how people have to drive home and then they to be back 3-4am in the morning and that’s not always safe when you’re working 12-13 hours. Whatever is ending up on that screen, it doesn’t come just from three, four people. There are so many pieces that go into this thing, so they should all be represented and heard, even at the Oscars.”

Having already played so many diverse characters over the span of his career so far, Stan reveals that he has no plans of slowing down with his acting, as his desire to find new on-screen personalities to explore remains a large focus for him. “I think there’s still plenty of stuff that I haven’t gotten to sink my teeth into. I would like to kind of explore the comedy space a little bit more. I think I feel more drawn there as of late. So often if I’m reading something that speaks to me a certain way or scares me and appears to be a real challenge or it’s something subject or character I know nothing about, then I’m kind of like Ok, can I do this? What is there to learn from this?”

Just as many Marvel characters ultimately get an origin story shared with fans, Stan himself has his own unique origin story that deserves that same luxury. Born in Constanta, Romania, Stan moved with his mother to Austria when he was eight years old, then ultimately to America by way of New York when he was 12. So, I concluded my conversation with Stan by asking him if he could go back to the young Sebastian Stan who first arrived in the U.S. with his mom and could give him advice or perhaps a warning after everything he has experienced and achieved in his life up to now, what would he Sebastian Stan today like to tell that little Sebastian.

“Well I appreciate that question man, that’s very kind of you. I would say just keep believing in yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. I feel like the more I’ve spoken to people, especially recently, I just think it’s very easy for all of us to be hard on ourselves I think at different points. Especially when you’re a young kid and you kind of come in and if you’re different, you have an accent, you’re from a different country, or you just don’t fit in the same way, it’s so easy to kind of take that all as sort of being negative. And again, I had my mom for that, but one of the things that I was always encouraged was to just find the things that’s different about you and kind of keep going down that path. So, I would probably tell myself to just stay different (laughs).”

 




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