THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER Star Sebastian Stan Recalls The Moment He Thought His Time As Bucky Was Over

It's difficult to imagine anyone other than Sebastian Stan playing the Winter Soldier in the MCU. But during his first turn as Bucky Barnes, Stan feared his time as the character was a one-and-done thing.

It may be hard to fathom, but Sebastian Stan has now been playing the role of Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier for over a decade. The actor most recently reprised his role for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which saw the former assassin come to terms with his dark past. Bucky Barnes was a career-changing part for Stan, who went on to become an A-list star with multiple projects under his belt, including Logan Lucky and I, Tonya

As it turns out, during his first turn as the character in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, Stan went through an experience that made him assume his time as Bucky would be a one-and-done situation. Speaking with Vanity Fair about his career, the actor explained that, when he first landed the role, he was told it would lead to a future at Marvel Studios. But given the (at-the-time) unproven box-office potential of superhero cinematic universes, things felt a little uncertain: 

"I certainly did not know that I would be playing the role for 10 years. I remember going in for the Steve Rogers role and 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 like there was any commitment, really. And the MCU was still very young at the time. There was always a humble kind of attitude from Kevin [Feige] 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.'"

Stan then recalled the moment he thought he was done with the character, which, coincidentally, happened to be while filming Bucky's "death" scene in The First Avenger (a sequence that saw the young hero falling off a train during a fight against Hydra soldiers): 

"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 gonna do the green sleeve.' And I just thought, 'Oh, that's it. I'm just gonna die on that train. There's no coming back.'"

Turns out, though, there was a funny reason behind them ditching the green sleeve at the last minute: "[They] just didn't know what arm they were gonna use or something, and... kept going from there."

Luckily, everything turned out well for Stan and his character. There's no word yet on when we will get to see him back as the Winter Soldier, but it's been theorized that he will return in the untitled Captain America 4 starring Anthony Mackie.

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