You can’t say that Wyatt Russell isn’t a good sport with a thick skin, after the actor admitted that he’s flattered by the amount of hate being directed his way since he first suited up as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Indeed, John Walker has become a figure of fury among longtime fans of the franchise, which only means that the 34 year-old is doing a great job.
After all, Walker is clearly designed as a rival, antagonist and ultimately stepping stone towards Sam Wilson reclaiming possession of the iconic shield, and the government’s hand-picked successor to Steve Rogers is already finding out how difficult it is to do the job. Based on the character’s comic book history, the final three episodes could see the new Cap going off the deep end, although there’s every chance that he may survive the finale to stick around the MCU a while longer.
In any case, some over-zealous supporters recently took things a little too far by sending death threats on social media to an actor who doesn’t even use Twitter, but in a new interview, Russell admitted that his friends send him some of the things being said about him online and he’s positively embracing the hate that comes from stepping into Chris Evans’ star-spangled shoes at the expense of Anthony Mackie.
“I don’t have social media, but I’ve gotten some of the stuff sent to me from friends that were just too good not to see. The best one is the Up guy with the helmet on. It’s f*cking unbelievable. I mean, whoever did that deserves an award of some kind. It’s flattering. They just hate the guy. They just hate him! It was fun to be the Marvel punching bag for a little while.”
Walker has been deliberately positioned as someone audiences can’t get behind, which makes Russell’s performance all the more impressive because much like the actor himself, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has established the character as a guy trying to appease people he’s never going to be able to win over and unable to replicate what his predecessor brought to the table.