The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first forays into episodic television have given both actors that previously played supporting roles in the franchise and brand new faces some seriously meaty parts to sink their teeth into, and the talent has responded in kind by delivering knockout performances. Indeed, it would be a huge surprise if Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn didn’t find themselves under consideration for Emmy recognition, while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could pick up a few nods of its own.
While fans have been pushing the case for Sebastian Stan after his powerful emotional moments in last week’s episode, the MVP of the series so far has arguably been Wyatt Russell’s John Walker. Inheriting the mantle of the franchise’s Captain America from the beloved Chris Evans is hard enough as it is, but Russell has been phenomenal in making the fans hate him without devolving into scenery-chewing territory. He’s still just a guy trying to do his job at the end of the day and live up to the impossible expectations that surround him, but he’s going about it in a fashion that keeps pissing everyone off.
Kevin Feige is clearly a huge supporter of Russell’s, and in a new interview, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer addressed how much The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s audience hate the guy, before lavishing praise on the 34 year-old’s work in the show.
“I do want to say, I occasionally do make the same mistake of reading comments online. And what Wyatt went through in a week after his debut and people going, ‘Who is this? #NotMyCap, this is terrible. He’s horrible, I hate him already.’ He’s not done anything. What I’ve seen recently is really almost an awakening online of people going, ‘Wait a minute, I hate his guts. But that means he’s a good actor! Oh! This actor’s creating this performance to get this emotion out of me! He’s the best! He’s great!’.”
Of course, the death threats may have taken things a little too far, but Russell admitted that he’s flattered by all the anger and vitriol being pointed in his direction. It’s arguably helped his characterization of John Walker that he wasn’t too familiar with the MCU before he signed on, and viewers can’t wait to see him finally get what he deserves before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier draws to a close.