I remember talking to you at the junket for the first Captain America film. You talked about how it was a big decision for you to commit to this character and the amount of films you’d be making. So three movies in, how do you feel about that and your relationship with Marvel?
I feel really good. I’d really be kicking myself if I hadn’t done this. Oh my God. I’d really be kicking – oh, man, I’d be kicking myself. It was just a matter of adjusting to lifestyle changes. My team told me this in the beginning because they knew I was apprehensive too. They said it comes in waves. You’ve got to respect the fact that when the movie comes out, there’s going to be a surge. And there’s going to be some changes, but then it’s going to go away. It’s going to die back down, just like any type of actor. When a movie comes out, you get a little bit more of a spotlight on it. And then, when it goes away… So you can monitor it.
It’s not like once these movies are out, your life is forfeit, and you can’t have any more control. So you’ve just got to take those periods of time in stride, and it will pass. And it will die down eventually, and things will go back to a relative level of normalcy. Aside from that, I love doing these movies because they’re good. It’s been one of the tricky things in my career. I’m sure you’ve seen some of my not so good movies. And it’s disappointing when you put a lot of time and effort and sweat. It’s a real – oh, it sucks. When you see the movie, you’re like, ‘That is not what I read. And that is not what I wanted to be a part of, and it’s a real disappointment.’ And these movies, you don’t fit well. I mean, you feel that, but I’ve begun to just put my trust in Kevin Feige and all the guys at Marvel. They’re so good at what they do. Their internal barometer of what is good and bad is pretty on point. Not just from the standpoint of the movie, but in the marketing and the trailers and the wardrobe. It’s just going to look right. So it’s scary diving into such a big endeavor. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work on a massive scale. But you feel a little bit more comfort in that you trust the people that are making these movies, and that’s what acting’s about, trust. If you don’t trust someone, every single take, you’re going to be holding back, and it’s nice to let go.
The Russo brothers characterized this as a sort of rebooted tone, but Captain America was kind of the only super hero in the last decade or so who really was sort of resolutely heroic.
How does that change in tone affect him. And is there more of that identity crisis that other super heroes have gone through, or is it just a matter of placing him in a context?
Well, he is a really human superhero. He doesn’t shoot lightning. He doesn’t fly. It’s very meat and potatoes type powers. So I think it’s only appropriate that the tone and the theme fits more of a human element. It does have kind of a very grounded political thriller tone to it, and I think that just goes hand in hand with the character. It just works. And like I said earlier, they’re also trying to infuse much more human conflict that doesn’t necessarily have to do with fighting monsters and doing giant stunts. It’s just about him coping with moral issues about right and wrong and good and bad. That’s stuff we can all relate to.
But he’s not necessarily questioning his identity as much as like being comfortable with his identity in a more ambiguous environment?
No, no, no. I think he’s fine with that. I think his question is how he fits into the world around him.
Can you talk a little bit more about how in the ‘Avengers,’, there was that seed of distrust planted. Cap found out about Tesseract. Does that get expanded on in terms of your relationship with Sam’s character and with S.H.I.E.L.D.?
It certainly does. Now, am I in trouble now? I’m just going to say – you said I could say all this shit. Yeah, it doesn’t. I mean, that’s no secret. That’s what it is. I mean, it’s coming out now in America. How much can we monitor internet use and phone records and text messages? Where do you draw the line? Is it okay to spy on someone before they’ve committed a crime? Do you take the world as it is, or as you like it to be? And it’s a tricky question, and I think Cap comes from a time where there was a little more trust and a little less access. I can go on the internet right now and learn how to make a bomb. You couldn’t do that in the ’40s. You didn’t have to worry about it, but now you do. And where’s that line? It’s a tricky conversation for me, right now, and I was born in this era. I can’t imagine coming from a different place, swallowing the pill of, where society has gone.
Can you compare working with Joe Johnston on the first film, and the Russo’s now? How things have changed?
It’s a tough call because I loved both of those guys so much. I mean, I love Joe, and I loved the Russos. It’s probably tougher for – well, that’s not fair. I was about to say, it’s not fair because I was going to say it’s tougher for Joe because they didn’t have as much information. The Russo’s can reference the first Cap and ‘Avengers’, and it’s another link in the chain. And characters have been laid down, and certain things have been established, but those films have done very well. So the expectation is at a level where maybe there is more pressure on the Russo’s. I don’t know.
With Joe, it was all brand new, and we were trying to feel it out together. And I loved working with Joe, but Joe’s got that nostalgia. He loves the ’40s and ’50s, and he has that look down so well. I think Joe liked a little bit more of a grounded Cap in terms of powers and abilities, if you know what I mean, just a really impressive Olympic athlete, as opposed to someone who’s like ripping through cars and things like that which is fine. I think we’re trying to push it a little bit more in this one. I wouldn’t mind pushing it a little bit more in this one. You saw ‘Avengers.’ Those guys are good. I’ve got to have a reason to be on this team.
Can you talk about the new fighting? We were talking to the Russos, and they were telling us, that it’s kind of a new different fighting style as well?
Yeah. Well, that’s what we were all saying. I remember when I first met with the Russo’s. Has anyone played the Captain America video game? I love it, and I don’t like video games. I was like, I love it because I love the way Cap moves. He moves so well. He just beats ass. It’s like, that’s how this guy needs to be moving. This isn’t just a guy who’s given the ability of speed and power. He’s been training. He’s got the frame of mind to absorb this information, so I can only assume with training and his ability, this guy should really be dangerous, and we should show that. It’s not just – take Jason Bourne and make him… if Jason Bourne can do it, Cap should be flying through these things. So we’ve had a little bit of fun kind of turning up his power, turning up his speed, and so the fights are more grizzly and more impactful, and in my opinion, cooler.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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