Avengers: Endgame showcased a lot of fan favorite dynamics in its three-hour runtime, but there wasn’t room for them all. In particular, Marvel lovers have been complaining about how shortchanged the friendship between Steve and Bucky was in the movie for the past year. We don’t get a whole lot of insight, for instance, into how the Winter Soldier feels about his best pal going back into the past to live happily ever after with Peggy Carter.
In a new interview reflecting on the film for its first anniversary (which was yesterday), though, star Sebastian Stan has offered his thoughts on that final scene with the two WWII vets together. Just before Steve disappears into the Quantum Realm, they hug in a way that seems pretty final, heavily suggesting Bucky knows what his friend’s going to do. When asked if this was his intention, Stan told THR:
“Oh, a thousand percent, yeah. I played it as goodbye. What I was playing was, ‘Okay, I know he’s going, and he’s not going to come back. I can’t talk about it, because if I do, then they’re going to try and stop him from doing what he wants to do. So, I’ve gotta support that.’ That’s what I was playing in the scene. Suddenly, when he shows back up again, I’m playing it like, ‘Oh! Well, he didn’t tell me he was gonna do that. I knew he was gonna leave, and even though I knew what he was going to do with the shield, I didn’t know he was gonna pop up over there now and be older.’ So, I was playing that.”
We’ve had it clarified that Bucky knew of Steve’s plan to return to the 40s before, but Stan’s confirmation that he didn’t know to expect Old Man Cap is interesting to learn. In the movie, it’s not entirely clear, as Bucky adjusts to the surprise appearance quicker than Sam. But now we know that’s because he was aware of most of the facts. He even knew that Steve intended for Sam Wilson to take over as Captain America.
Stan went on to talk about how it’s been an “exciting” challenge when playing Bucky to get across as much as he can through his performance, as the character’s always been a man of few words.
“Look, I love a good scene with dialogue, but sometimes, I find it really interesting when there’s not a lot said. And funnily enough, it’s sort of been the trademark of Bucky. Then, you’re watching behavior, you’re watching the eyes and you’re wondering what they’re thinking. You’re more involved and tuned in. So, it’s always fun for me to try to do as much as I can without dialogue. It’s exciting as an actor because then I wonder what people are getting out of it. In that aspect, it’s fun.”
In the same interview, Stan explains why Steve made the right decision in naming Sam as his successor in Avengers: Endgame instead of Bucky. He also gives a preview of what we can expect in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the first Marvel TV series to hit Disney Plus – hopefully later this year.