Few MCU characters have had as tragic a life as Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan. Starting out as a soldier alongside Steve Rogers, Bucky was captured by Nazis, tortured, and then brainwashed into becoming the remorseless assassin The Winter Soldier, with the utterance of a set of specific keywords. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Stan revealed that fans often try to bring out his inner killer by using the keywords even before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted on Disney+ last month.
"It happens quite often. It happens at coffee shops. It happens a lot. And it's always very funny. It's an honorable thing I guess. You're very taken with it all the time... You do have to sometimes look at people in the face and say, 'No, I will not become the Winter Soldier when you say that. You can keep saying it, and maybe you should say it, maybe that's a moment we both need to have together, now, here. But nothing crazy will happen.'"
Considering the staggering popularity of the MCU, it is not surprising Stan gets so many callbacks to his character from random passersby. Something similar happened to the late Chadwick Boseman, who once confessed to getting a bit tired of doing the Wakanda salute over and over again in his personal life for the sake of eager Black Panther fans.
The spotlight has sharpened over Bucky Barnes since the release of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which sees the character teaming up with Sam Wilson aka Falcon to face a new threat to the world. The show has revealed the extent of the damage his time as Winter Soldier has done to Bucky's psyche, forcing him to seek therapy and keep a distance from regular society. In a previous interview, Stan had explained that doing a deep dive into Bucky's mental trauma is what had attracted him the most about his new series.
"I was excited about [exploring Bucky's personal life], because I think we talked a lot about it in some of the other movies, and there was never enough time to just sort of explore him after Civil War and where he was at and how much he had confronted, how much there was still left for him to deal with. So, this is really the perfect time, you know, for both of these characters to be learning more about themselves, the world they're in, and their priorities, and he's right up there with Sam on that."
Fortunately, even though Steve is no longer there to support him, Bucky has begun to forge a meaningful friendship with Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie. Hopefully, the show will end with both characters coming to terms with their personal demons and finding comfort in their new bond.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. A new episode debuts each Friday on Disney+.