While promoting Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Sebastian Stan revealed that he has a nine-picture contract with Marvel Studios – that’s three more than star Chris Evans. With the Captain America sequel earning rave reviews, comic readers know that Stan and his character have a potentially exciting future ahead.

It’s no secret from the trailers, TV spots and posters that Bucky Barnes – best friend of Steve Rogers (Evans) – didn’t fall to his death during WWII. He’s back, he’s more powerful, and he’s formidable foe for the star-spangled Avenger.

We spoke at length with Sebastian Stan while on the set of Captain America 2 last summer (read that here) and Don Kaye had the opportunity to speak with him on our behalf to continue the conversation. In this chat, Stan talks about researching the comics, physical training, working with Robert Redford and of course, looking ahead to future films involving The Winter Soldier.

Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier in ‘Captain America 2′

Coming into this, how familiar were you with the history of Bucky and his storyline throughout the comics and where he goes in this storyline?

Stan: Very familiar. I mean, I had a lot of time to do my research on it, so I kind of just read anything I could find.

And that was before you knew they were doing “The Winter Soldier” or once they told you?

No, I remember I did a lot of it actually before the first one, because I wanted to see if there was anything I could take from all that research and kind of use in the first one a little bit and just implement. And so, yeah, I needed to know what was going to happen from the get-go.

And then once you found out that this was the story that they were doing, how did you want to approach the character and what kind of idea did you have in your mind about how you wanted to play him this time?

Well, you know, I felt I really lucked out because the costume was such a big change already from the – I mean, I didn’t, I looked so different from myself, so that was a big thing for me. And between the comic books and what was written on the page, it was pretty clear to me that this was somebody that was, you know, was very straightforward in terms of what he needed to do. I mean, there wasn’t a whole lot of thinking or feeling or kind of — obviously until some of the other things happen to him throughout the course of the movie. But initially, as a start point, this is somebody that’s completely desensitized essentially from all human emotions. I mean, to some extent he’s pretty much a weapon, you know, he’s kind of like a robot. And he receives an order, carries it out, and that’s it. So actually, my work at that point was just to sort of, you know, kind of keep it as direct and simple as possible in that regard, and then also make sure that there might be something that hopefully you’d be able to see about him, like lingering somewhere in the back that could resurface or something, from the past.

What kind of training did you have to do for this and how intense was it for you?

Physical training and fight training, six, seven months. It was very intense. My diet changed. That was really hard. I think after a while, I was – I think I went for about four or five months where I wasn’t hungry. I mean, I was just eating because I had to eat. And that’s always interesting when you stop going to a restaurant because you want to, you know, you’re really craving that food or something. You can’t even go to the restaurant because essentially you’re just eating the same thing, you know, which is like chicken or fish or vegetables. But so yeah, it was different, but I was up for it, I was up for the challenge.

In the comics, there is a period where Bucky takes the shield and becomes Captain America. Do you think you’d be ready to take that on if that happens somewhere down the line in the Marvel films?

I mean, of course (laughs). Absolutely. No, I’m not, actually, at all (laughs). That would be…yeah, absolutely, I mean, like I said, I wasn’t, you know, if that phone call comes, then I’m up for it, you know. It’s not up to me though, it’s up to the bigger guys.

How exciting was it for you to work with Robert Redford?

Oh, I mean, you’re working with a legend and somebody who’s very iconic and you grew up seeing in movies, and it’s always a little bit overwhelming at first. But I used the opportunity as much as I could to kind of like ask him some questions and it was great. I mean, he was, you know, not that I expected anything less, but he was extremely generous as an actor, working opposite of him, and he’s a, he’s a powerhouse.

Dig the live-action adaptation of The Winter Soldier character? Want to see him return as a key character in Captain America 3 (and beyond)? Share your thoughts in the comments!

More: Marvel Plans Ahead All The Way To 2028

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The 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.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!