Movies & TV / Columns

411mania Interviews: Captain America Cast Roundtable Interview Clips

July 19, 2011 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

On Saturday, July 16, I was able to take part in Paramount’s official Captain America: The First Avenger press conference and cast roundtables. I was given the chance to speak with several of the film’s lead actors including Captain America himself, Chris Evans. Also in attendance were Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Here is what went down. Also please note, there are slight and mild spoilers pertaining to the Captain America: The First Avenger movie. Please read at your own risk:

Interview Clips With Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America)

Jeffrey Harris: What movie costume do you like more? The First Avenger costume or The Avengers movie costume?

Chris Evans: They each have pros and cons. This, the first Cap costume, is very cumbersome. It’s thick and it’s bulky. It’s tough to do fight sequences in. But the cowl, the helmet can come on and off at will. The current wardrobe is bit different. The suit is much more — the range of motion is fantastic. You can really get some good sequences in. It’s a little bit more form fitting. But the cowl, the cowl, the hood has some changes that make it a little bit more difficult to get it on and off.

Jeffrey Harris: And they let your ears out right?

Chris Evans: You think you can get some information out of me right now, that detailed? I’m not telling you that!

Jeffrey Harris: Which one do you like looking at more?

Chris Evans: That’s a tough call. I’ve not seen the newer one on film, so I guess I don’t know.

Jeffrey Harris: Was it a seamless transition moving from the Captain America movie to The Avengers? Or did you get a break?

Chris Evans: Not really. We finished this [Captain America] in December of last year. We broke until March, and then in March we had to do about three weeks of reshoots. There was a couple of scenes we hadn’t even shot yet. So we came back in March to start filming again and then we went right to Avengers in April. So it was pretty seamless.

Jeffrey Harris: What was that like for you as an actor? Did you prefer doing it this way?

Chris Evans: Um, I guess I don’t mind, psychologically, to prepare a character it’s fine. It would’ve been nice — it’s nice having a film come out and gauge the audience’s reaction before you start a so-called sequel. I know Avengers isn’t a sequel, but it’s still the same character. It would’ve been nice to see what the thoughts of the fans were and adjust accordingly.

Jeffrey Harris: When you were prepping for the role, did you find any comics or material that inspired you about the Captain America character?

Chris Evans: Yeah, Mythos. They had this one comic, but a lot of the comic books that I read were obviously post-serum Captain America as Captain America, but we’re telling an origin story. So you wanted to wrap your head around who he was before. There was one comic that I found, it was called Captain America: Mythos, and it was kind of the origin tale of Captain America. And it was done — and it looked like water-color. The art was just amazing. So that was the one I kind of kept with me whenever we came to set.

Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes)

Jeffrey Harris: In the comics, Bucky starts as Captain America’s youthful, teenage sidekick sort of similar to Batman and Robin. In your interpretation of the role, it sort of incorporated newer elements of the character when Bucky was reintroduced as the Winter Soldier and a more mature adult. And later, Bucky himself even carried the mantle Captain America. Was it easier for you to play that type of Bucky Barnes instead of the teen sidekick character? And did that interest you more as well?

Sebastian Stan: Oh, absolutely. I just sort of thought that it made the situation just so much more real. I just think it’s hard to have a character that’s so naive about war in 2011 anymore. I understand the origins and why they had Bucky be the way that he was at the time. But I think it was very realistic, and I like that there were not flaws necessarily, but conflicted issues in the character that I thought would be interesting to play. And in terms of the fact that he had seen combat and had seen war and he had experience with war as opposed to Steve Rogers who didn’t. The fact that Steve Rogers sort of looked up to him and the image that he had to live up to — because he loved Steve and he wanted Steve to be happy and he wanted to protect him at the same time. And then he has to go back to war because Steve now is suddenly this guy who is just going and beating these missions. Even though I like entertaining the idea in the back of my head — I was like Bucky, every time he goes and comes back, he wants to enjoy life because he goes, “Oh my god, thank god I came back and I’m alive. And now I have to go back because of Steve.” And sort of what ends up happening. I just thought those things were just really, really interesting to play and just more realistic. So that was kind of the foundation of what I was playing that was going to be different.

Jeffrey Harris: You originally screen-tested for the Captain America role. You play Bucky who eventually becomes Captain America in the comics. Have you had discussions about that and have you ever thought, “Maybe one day I will play Bucky becoming Captain America?”

Sebastian Stan: Yeah, I . . . you know the interest of course is there. I just think there is so much in terms of story that needs to be told until you get to that point. In terms of just tying in The Avengers and going into the future now, into present day with him [Steve Rogers] and sort of like as you know all their villains, it just — I think that on a timeline basis that’s how it’s been set up and so on in the comic books. And whether or not that is going to be the way the films go remains to be seen, but obviously it’s an exciting possibility.

Jeffrey Harris: Now Bucky isn’t dead. We didn’t actually see a body. Is Bucky still alive?

Sebastian Stan: Did you all see the movie?

Jeffrey Harris: Yeah. He never died back then in the comics. We never saw a body. So you’re still alive right?

Sebastian Stan: Ask me this question on July 25, sorry.

Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter)

Jeffrey Harris: We heard from director Joe Johnston in the press conference that Peggy Carter is still alive in the present day. She’s still alive and in her 80’s. So are we going to see you doing an elderly Peggy Carter in Avengers?

Hayley Atwell: Oh god, I hope so. It’d probably be cheaper to get someone who was in their 80’s wouldn’t it as opposed to putting me in prosthetics for six hours everyday.

Jeffrey Harris: No, we want you to do it.

Hayley Atwell: I’d love to. I haven’t been approached yet officially, but if I was, I would absolutely run at the chance.

Jeffrey Harris: Did you know that Peggy was still alive?

Hayley Atwell: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeffrey Harris: If you could, what is your perspective of entering this very fan-savvy, comic book, superhero world?

Hayley Atwell: Well firstly I didn’t know anything about that world. So Comic-Con, the idea of it when it was explained to me was terrifying. But then having read some of the comics myself in preparation for it, I found it incredible. I understood the appeal, absolutely. And also it’s something that has evolved and has stayed within our culture for a long time and grown. And these characters have grown and they continue to go on. And I can see there is a real passion in that for a lot of people. And also the development of the artwork and the quality of the artwork, from how it started to how it is now is extremely extraordinary, real beautiful pieces of art within themselves.

Jeffrey Harris: How was Peggy Carter presented to you when you went in for the role?

Hayley Atwell: Well Joe [Johnston] said that — I hadn’t actually read the script when I first went in, but he said that it’s really important that these characters are based — there’s a reality to them. There is something grounded and strong about them. So they are three dimensional so that the audience can relate. So they seem more human in this kind of fantastical world, and that was important to Joe and I think one of the reasons why he wanted to cast me in it because I wouldn’t want to do anything else apart from try to make it real in some way. Peggy on the page was just I though incredibly strong and determined and capable and kind of like a kindred spirit to Steve really.

Jeffrey Harris: What are you working on right now and what is your next project?

Hayley Atwell: I’m back on stage in London in a new play called The Faith Machine at the Royal Court. And it’s a very short run only for about a month. I’m about to start rehearsals next week.

Jeffrey Harris: Would you ever like to do Doctor Who?

Hayley Atwell: You know what? I’ve done a lot of Doctor Who radio. In fact, two weeks ago, I was in London doing a Doctor Who [radio serial]. I played the President of the Universe. Big Finish Productions who do all the current radio and stuff, I’ve done about five of them now. I’ve also played this woman who is completely bald which for radio I obviously didn’t have to worry about. But they had in the press, they had taken my hair off. I had a big old bald head. It was great.

Thank you to Paramount Pictures for having us at the Captain America: The First Avenger press junket and the cast members for taking the time to speak with us.

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