The rough and tumble of shooting any project with a heavy emphasis on action is always going to see the stars run the risk of injury, even in a franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe where the visual effects team carry their fair share of the burden by bringing special abilities and set pieces to life, while a lot of the biggest sequences are largely filmed against a green screen.
However, Sebastian Stan is well known for putting in the work when it comes to the fight choreography, dating right back to his intense hand to hand scraps with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that introduced the world to the Bucky Barnes knife flip. The actor has always excelled in onscreen hand-to-hand combat since his very first appearance in the long-running series, but in a new interview, he revealed that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier didn’t go off without a hitch.
“I just landed and twisted my ankle so badly that I thought it was broken. Like I actually couldn’t walk on it. In between the takes when we had to do the set-ups, I would run upstairs and two people would help me out of this boot and I would just take my foot and put it in a bucket of ice.”
While there’s obviously a disconnect between Stan saying he thought his ankle was broken and running up the stairs to get it on ice, it’s a nasty one as anyone to have experienced something similar will attest. At least it didn’t result in a production shutdown, though, like that time Tom Cruise shattered his ankle jumping between two buildings in Mission: Impossible – Fallout that set things back six weeks. Although that was at least the take that made it into the final cut, so it wasn’t for nothing.
In any case, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier relied on good old fashioned practical stunt work for the majority of its marquee action sequences, which marked a refreshing change from the CGI-driven norm that tends to characterize the genre, even if Stan ended up suffering for his art.