In Captain America: Civil War, we see how the brainwashed assassin known as the Winter Soldier is put into the appropriate state of mind with a series of carefully chosen trigger words. But for actor Sebastian Stan, who’s been living in this character’s skin from the first Captain America through to Avengers: Infinity War, immersing himself back into the role of Bucky Barnes might be an even simpler process.
Cap’s longtime friend has had a rocky, decades-spanning journey which has seen him transition from World War II sergeant to Hydra puppet to Avengers ally. But going by recent statements from Stan, returning to the character is something that comes naturally to him.
“It’s really weird, because it just sort of, it’s like riding a bicycle, you never really forget in a way. That’s how I feel,” Stan told Marvel’s Earth’s Mightiest Show. “Once you’re back there, once the arm is on, once the whole experience is complete, it just sort of clicks back in.”
Stan’s comment about never forgetting the mindset of his character is pretty ironic, seeing how the star also revealed in this same interview that his favorite Bucky line of the whole series is “Who the hell is Bucky?” In some ways, this saddening line from Captain America: The Winter Soldier concisely sums up the turbulent, decades-spanning arc that the man’s undergone. It’s an often lonely journey that Stan goes on to contemplate further, too, saying:
“It was interesting to kind of think of where he might be now, compared to where he started, and how far he’s gone. Because the character is kind of always revealing himself in a new way, even to me,” Stan said. “And that’s sort of been interesting, is you sort of just go with the flow a little bit. And so further on, it’s the same mentality.”
While the fatality-heavy finale of Avengers: Infinity War may have put a temporary stop to Bucky’s story, there’s a good chance that we’ll be seeing the Winter Soldier fight again when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.