Superheroes are people, too, and that’s what Sebastian Stan loves about “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”

The video above was produced by IndieWire’s Creative Producer Leonardo Adrian Garcia.

It’s been nearly 10 years since Sebastian Stan made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the actor embodied (Captain) America’s Best Friend Bucky Barnes, a Brooklyn boy who spent his life looking after his buddy Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). But in his next appearance, Bucky is a shadow of himself, having been captured by Nazis during World War II and turned into a weapon of mass destruction with the moniker “The Winter Soldier.”

And that was just the beginning.

The most recent chapter of the Bucky Barnes saga took place in a new frontier, as the MCU shifted to TV on a series titled “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” where he worked side by side with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a.k.a. Falcon.

For his part, when first drafted into the Marvel movie business, Stan had no idea he’d still be around 10 years later, still exploring Bucky’s history, and now, future. To him, it was just a path he just kept traveling down, but was very happy to be included and for the opportunity to continue exploring a character that only grew more complicated.

Indeed, the beauty for many Marvel fans when watching “Winter Soldier” was the chance to see Bucky get some time to delve into the trauma he’s been carrying for decades upon decades. (He is 106 years old, after all.) That included finally being freed from the code words that had been implanted in the character’s brain by HYDRA to control him so many years ago, as depicted in an intensely emotional scene at the beginning of Episode 4.
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Superheroes are people, too, and that’s what Sebastian Stan loves about “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”

It’s been nearly 10 years since Sebastian Stan made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the actor embodied (Captain) America’s Best Friend Bucky Barnes, a Brooklyn boy who spent his life looking after his buddy Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). But in his next appearance, Bucky is a shadow of himself, having been captured by Nazis during World War II and turned into a weapon of mass destruction with the moniker “The Winter Soldier.”

And that was just the beginning.

The most recent chapter of the Bucky Barnes saga took place in a new frontier, as the MCU shifted to TV on a series titled “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” where he worked side by side with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a.k.a. Falcon.

For his part, when first drafted into the Marvel movie business, Stan had no idea he’d still be around 10 years later, still exploring Bucky’s history, and now, future. To him, it was just a path he just kept traveling down, but was very happy to be included and for the opportunity to continue exploring a character that only grew more complicated.

Indeed, the beauty for many Marvel fans when watching “Winter Soldier” was the chance to see Bucky get some time to delve into the trauma he’s been carrying for decades upon decades. (He is 106 years old, after all.) That included finally being freed from the code words that had been implanted in the character’s brain by HYDRA to control him so many years ago, as depicted in an intensely emotional scene at the beginning of Episode 4.
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The Marvel star, photographed for GQ by Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones, on the relevance of his new Disney+ show, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

Even as our backsides became numb and our eyes mere bloodshot arrow slits, at the very end of Avengers: Endgame, Sebastian Stan (as Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier) stayed true to form, keeping stoic and, largely, shtum.

While Anthony Mackie, in the role of Sam Wilson/The Falcon, was handed Captain America’s famous vibranium frisbee by a very wrinkly but very happy Chris Evans – thus becoming, for now, the MCU’s next Cap’ – all the dewy-eyed audience got from our favourite, oft-scowling tough guy was a modest nod of approval. No air punch. Not so much as a celebratory grunt. Stan as The Winter Soldier is nothing if not the very strong, very silent type.

Today, reminiscing freely about that last scene he had to play in Marvel’s multibillion-dollar-shifting Infinity Saga – Thanos defeated, Hulk with a sore hand, Tony Stark (*sob*) deceased, multiverse opened and unhinged – Stan explains how the germ of an idea for their new spinoff, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, now streaming on Disney+, began to take shape. “This wasn’t something long planned, not at all,” he says, laughing, when I suggest super-producer Kevin Feige – Marvel’s boardroom-based end-of-level boss – may well have had Mackie and Stan’s on-screen partnership in the pipeline for years.

“Maybe Kevin did, but he didn’t tell me about it. But once Anthony and I realised these changes were taking place to the storyline in Endgame, in particular to the story of Captain America, I think both of us sort of looked at one another and thought, ‘Well, we’re still here! We’re not dead! So, what happens to us now?’”

Naturally, almost unflinchingly, Marvel’s “not-so-random successful movie generator” had a decent answer: “This show is a revival, in spirit at least, of some of those buddy comedies that were so popular in the 1980s.” Think Lethal Weapon – just with more capes and a bigger pyro budget.

“Anthony and I both get a kick out of working together; we always have a lot of fun. Also, this show is six hour-long episodes, which gives us a lot more to play with than a two-hour film. ‘Buddy’ walked out of that last film with an identity crisis, so there’s a lot to dive into.”

Stan pauses momentarily, chuckling to himself. He stares off camera to his left, something he does sporadically throughout our chat, like he needs a horizon in order to contemplate certain answers. We’re Zooming, natch, he in Vancouver shooting Fresh with Daisy Edgar-Jones – who was kind enough to take these photographs of Stan, exclusively for British GQ – and me in darkest North London nursing a Heineken 0.0.

Stan lifts a flat cap, scrapes back a full hand of jet-black hair. Although his accent rolls in deep and direct from New York City, the actor was in fact born in communist Romania, where he witnessed his parents struggle through the revolution. He spent time in Vienna too, before emigrating to the States with his mother aged 12.

“Actually, now we’ve got these longer scenes together, there’s a lot more dialogue between us.” You make it sound like that is a problem, I say. “Well, in a way it’s the bit that worried me the most. Not as an actor, per se, but as a fan of the character.” How come? “Well, Winter Soldier and Falcon have worked together best when they’ve had little to say to one another. We’re good at quips. So, now, what are they going to say to one another?”

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