[KICKS IN YOUR DOOR] YO I HEARD YOU WAS TALKING SHIT ABOUT SEBASTIAN STAN.
I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU:
First and foremost, yeah they felt pretty fucking good about Captain America. Yeah, they expected for it to be successful and have potential sequels because it was all part of the very intelligent business plan called the MCU, which —for the OP ignorance— is a very carefully planned, intertwined and spiraling parallel verse to the comics. So, yeah, they already had plans for each of these characters to evolve in a specific fashion. And cast accordingly.
Which brings me to the casting of Bucky Barnes - I am expecting the OP is completely and woefully ignorant of who Bucky actually is in the comics, and what is his role moving forward with the Winter Soldier arc. Since they said ‘a future major character’ as if we haven’t had Bucky Barnes in CA: TFA as a major character?? SIT THE HELL DOWN SON. Sergeant James Buchanian Barnes was always a major character. He’s Captain America’s best friend, his ~sideckick (what am I, Rin Tin Tin?) in the comics and an integral part of who Steve Rogers is.
But then again I’m fairly certain the OP hasn’t actually watched The First Avenger.
Because had they watched it, had they seen what Sebastian Stan gave to the character in the handful of scenes/lines he actually had? If they’d seen his performance going from the cocky swaggery kid from Brooklyn to the tortured, tormented soldier and the cold-blooded sniper who gets his hands wet with blood so that Captain America doesn’t have to in maybe a grand total of 20 minutes of screen time?
Then I have news for you: if you have seen his performance, and you haven’t been moved by the tragedy of his torture, his commitment, his friendship and his loyalty for his Captain, if you have completely missed the beautiful metaphor for the war which uses our young and throws them back like they mean nothing in a meat grinder, then— I’m sorry— your opinion is irrelevant.
But I’m sure you’ve come up with this clever and oh-so-inspired confession after you’ve spent five minutes on imbd.com and taken a look at Sebastian filmography and went, (completely misinformed and without sparing a second to actually check out and watch any of the things he’s been in), this is all garbage.
And hey you know what. You’re not all wrong. Some of the movies he’s been in aren’t great. Some others downright suck. He’s the first to fucking admit it. But the roles he picks are fucking devastating. And he always gives them his all. From being ridiculous and funny and the butt of the joke in Hot Tub Time Machine, and then turn around and play a suave playboy teen in Gossip Girl and then transform yourself into Jefferson/The Mad Hatter on Once Upon A Time, with no fear whatsoever on how those roles will make you look, whether you’re going to look handsome or ugly or whether playing a gay heir to an empire in Kings is going to limit his choice of roles in the future or whether he’s going to be ridiculed for playing commie Blaine in HTTM for the rest of his career— Sebastian Stan is fucking fearless. He loves his craft and it shines through, no matter how shity his lines are. And that, my friend. That takes fucking guts and no small amount of talent. And the thing is, yes, the material might not be fantastic, but his performance is always on fucking point.
WHICH YOU WOULD KNOW, if you’d bothered to even watch the ‘Captain America Movie’ you mention. But you haven’t.
But you know what I’m not done. Sebastian Stan has an incredible presence on screen. I’m pretty certain this ~confession came out before TWS was actually out in theaters, because if, two months in and a tumblr-revolution-storm later, you can still genuinely say that ‘the wiinter soldier may still have a hope of being ok’ … I have nothing. I don’t know what to tell you. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nilch. Nada.
He acts with everything he has, because he has so few lines. His eyes, his body language, his silence. And he reacts to what is going on around him. Do you want to fucking know how hard it is to act without actually having to say anything? Reacting is the biggest challenge. Take Silence of The Lambs. When Hannibal Lecter reads Clarice upon first meeting her, she doesn’t say a word. She just has to sit there ant take it and try to control her facial expressions because she is sitting in front of a serial killer.
Sebastian does all of that magnificently, not only in The Winter Soldier but in basically every single thing he’s been in. That is why he is compelling and enthralling to watch. Because his acting is 360 fucking degrees. His actual delivery? Let’s not even go there—he does so much with saying so little, and that is true of many of his characters — just think of all the things he’s never said in Political Animals.
And you know what, this is not just my perspective as someone who has cheered on Sebastian Stan since the very beginning of his career— or when I caught on, in 2007. Ed Brubaker, the fucking writer for the original winter soldier run, said how impressed he was by how invested Sebastian was in the role, how he read the entire run and actually discussed the character with him. Not to mention he’s read the books before they shot the first movie because he wanted to know where his character was going to go, how he was going to end up, and infuse it with telltale signs that you could pick up on later and go, ‘see, that’s where you see it.’
I’m talking especially about the scene in CA:TFA on the train, and how he’s absolutely walking with the same purposeful strides as the Winter Soldier. I could go on. I could reference a million interviews he gave in which he explained how well he understood the character and how much he prepared to understand a realistic POV for him. How he watched documentaries about soldiers, NAVY SEALs training, PTSD and how he tried to honor that. How his step-dad has Alzheimer and he knows intimately how it feels like when someone you love looks at you and doesn’t remember you.
I could go on about how fucking wonderful he is with his fans and how humble and hard working he is; how everyone absolutely loves working with him and nobody has a bad word to say about him on set; or how difficult it was for him to adjust to living in another country after he and his mother came from Romania and how that kind of hardship must’ve shaped him and why he acts with his entire soul; how he also does theater (I’m pretty sure that bit escaped you) and he had a successful run on Broadway just last year.
I could go on. But I’m going to just leave the grossing for The Winter Solider down here, because, you know, you said it had a hope o doing okay, and I just wanted to reassure you — it did fine.