Sebastian Stan opens up about why he thought he wouldn’t return as Bucky Barnes after Captain America: The First Avenger. Stan has appeared in a number of stand-out roles over the years but truly became a household name following his involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While pursuing parts in other film and TV projects, he has appeared in six Marvel Studios projects over the last decade – nine if counting credits scenes and a voice performance in What If…?

The 39-year-old first introduced audiences to his character, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, back in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, though he has undergone quite the transformation since then. Though once presumed dead, Bucky was revealed to be the Winter Soldier, a notorious Soviet assassin victim to mind control, though he has since gone on to become an integral part of the heroes’ team. He even receiving his own Disney+ spinoff series last year, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, alongside Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson.

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However, Stan now reveals that, at one point, he didn’t think he would return to the MCU after The First Avenger. While taking a retrospective look at his career with Vanity Fair, Stan shares that he never expected to be playing the role of Bucky Barnes for as long as he has. Recalling how he first auditioned for the role of Steve Rogers, Stan says that when he was offered the role of Bucky, it “didn’t seem that there was any commitment,” as the MCU was still in its very early stages. The star then recalls how, when the day arrived for him to shoot him falling from the train in The First Avenger, a last-minute production change made his character’s return seem unlikely. Check out Stan’s full quote below:

I certainly did not know that I would be playing the role for ten years. I remember going in for the Steve Rogers role, not getting that, and then getting a call about this role and being told about it and where it could go, but it didn’t seem that there was any commitment really and the MCU was still very young at the time. There was always a humble sort of, kind of attitude from Kevin and everybody there, which was like, ‘Look, we have plans and we want to make these movies and we want to keep building this universe, but we don’t know, it could work, it might not work.’

But I knew at the end of the story, I was going to fall off this train, and then I was going to be given this green sleeve, which would indicate that I would be losing this arm and then I could go into the Winter Soldier storyline. And so that was the only sort of indication I had that potentially I could be coming back, but no one had said anything to me. And then basically on the day when we were shooting that scene, they were like, ‘Yeah, we’re not going to do the green sleeve.’ And I just thought ‘Oh, like, that’s it like, I’m just going to die on that train, there’s no coming back,’ but they just didn’t know what arm they were going to use or something and [it] kept going from there.

When later discussing his return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Stan explains how lucky he felt that Bucky got to progress into the Winter Soldier storyline, as he felt it was such a “relatable” character. He also goes on to say that he feels as though Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige doesn’t get enough credit for the intricate storylines on which the MCU is built. This is not the first time Stan has expressed his gratitude for his Marvel role, as the actor recently shared his appreciation for Bucky’s arc within the franchise.

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Stan recently said that his brief involvement with Black Panther was also revealed to him in a hilariously “off-handed” way, so it’s interesting to hear that this casual nature behind Bucky’s appearances is somewhat of a theme across his MCU career. It’s hard to imagine how Steve Rogers’ storyline could have progressed had Bucky not returned after Captain America: The First Avenger, given that he has been a real driving force behind Captain America’s evolution as a character. Although currently in its very early stages of development, Stan is expected to return in the upcoming Captain America 4.

Source: Vanity Fair

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