The Winter Soldier reveals the secret backstory hidden in his hair

Illustration for article titled The Winter Soldier reveals the secret backstory hidden in his hair

The Winter Soldier is giving Thor a run for his money for the most fabulous Marvel hair on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But how did they decide that a character breakdown equals long hair? Actor Sebastian Stan, who plays both Bucky Barnes and Captain America's new foe, shares with us the evolution of his lovely locks. And yeah, there's an actual story reason they're so lovely and long.


io9: So Bucky is like Captain America. They're both from another time, they're both lost in this new world. How does Bucky deal with that in this new movie?

Sebastian Stan: He doesn't deal with it. [Laughs]. He just doesn't deal with it.


I'm curious about the evolution of the hair.

Oh yes! Please ask me, because I'm sure people have opinions.

We've been drawing pictures of long hair on you for quite some time on io9. We didn't know how it would look! How did you guys come to this conclusion of this hairstyle? Was it totally out of your hands?

You know what the funny thing is, we had the artist - Ed Brubaker — on set. I remember I was talking to him and I asked "why the long hair?" And he said, "the thing is we have long hair when you're drawing comic books, [because it] things look more epic." This was so funny to me because he was basically also explaining why superheroes have capes. The reason they have capes is because you can tell in a comic book that they're flying. Or that there's wind. So I said, "alright, so you're telling me he has long hair because you wanted it for stylistic purposes." It makes sense!


In the storyline basically Bucky sort of snapped a little bit. He went on a mission and he went missing for about a month, or so, in New York and they [the Russians] couldn't find him. So he kind of walked around like a homeless person for a while. He was trying to figure out what he was doing and where he was. And during that process there was no one there giving him a haircut.

But in terms of the movie, I don't care. You can't approach something with "oh my god, how am I going to look with long hair," you just do. I'm playing this part, this guy's got long hair, I gotta have long hair. What are you gonna do. ?


Well I like it. I think it works. So what is modern-day Bucky (or Winter Soldier's) fighting-style? He was trained to fight in World War II and then picked up by the Russians. Is there a combination of Russian kickboxing or something?

It's actually kind of scrappy. The idea was this is the kind of guy who can kill you with a straw. He's precise, he's very specific with what he does. But the idea is that it's messy. He'll use knives… knives were always a big part of the character. There is a lot of knife work in the movie for sure. And overall brutality. He'll kill you with whatever is closest.


Bucky was very cool in the first movie, and he had personality and a bit of pep. How do you play damaged and crazed while maintaining the bits of Bucky we remember from the first film? Or do you just drop all of that?

No, no, you can't [drop that]. In the first movie, without knowing they were going to shoot this movie ,honestly, I thought about this happening. I wanted to show different sides of him where you could potentially look back and see sides of him. "I can see that person coming up this way, if he's being guided." Yes, it was technically a different person, but it's still the same guy. There's got to be something about him you recognize.


Looking even farther into the future, do you think Bucky could eventually take over for Captain America like he does in the comics?

I don't know. It's another storyline that's great, but there are many story lines. I unfortunately have no clue.


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I'd expect he'd be a Sambo stylist rather than a Kickboxer, as it's a Russian Specific Martial Art. There are a large number of Kickboxers in Russia though, but there isn't a specific Russian School of Kickboxing, the way there are Dutch or French or Thai schools of Kickboxing. Admittedly, the Thai school isn't a school so much as it is Muay Thai as a whole. Plus Sambo's brutal style, particularly in the grappling department, sounds like it fits this particular character. This character sounds as though he'd have no issues hitting one an ugly Sambo takedown, maybe with a slam, then hitting one of their nasty leglocks right off the bat. Also it was developed by the Soviets just after World War 2 and taught to their Military and Intelligence services.