Returning to Fandemic Tour this year, Sebastian Stan took the stage Sunday afternoon to a packed room. In fact, so many fans lined up to ask questions that the entire panel was dedicated to answering as many of those questions as possible.
When approaching a new role, Sebastian shared that his preparation differs every time, but it always starts with the script for him. “I read the thing, if I have a script, over and over again, and just kind of get a sense of what happens and what to get inspired by.” Be it music, people he knows, situations within the story, he always stays curious about each role and each story.
Sebastian’s favorite piece of advice is one we can all take to heart, “Don’t care about what people think about you.” He elaborated that creativity is personal, and not everyone is always going to like what you make, so it’s necessary to keep going, even in the face of negative criticism.
Sebastian discussed many of his varied roles including the accent of Jeff in I, Tonya. He shared that he talked like [Jeff] all the time, doing the accent even when he and Paul Walters were out and about. Apparently, Walters didn’t notice the difference. The Martian was a project he holds close to his heart because of its amazing story, but also the friends and job opportunities that have come from it. When it comes to independent films, he tries to find roles that will challenge him. “I’m worried about getting too comfortable,” said Sebastian. “I try to look for things that are going to challenge me, push me, and that are a little scary. Usually what helps me are finding other actors that are better than me in projects and wanting to learn from them.” Sebastian also talked briefly about his time as Jefferson/The Mad Hatter on Once Upon a Time, explaining that the character was fun to explore and how much he loved that the first episode was dedicated entirely to that character and his backstory. He also felt there were times the story could have kept going with Jefferson, but he ultimately loved the feeling of finality.
It wouldn’t be a Sebastian Stan panel without discussing Bucky Barnes, Avengers: Endgame, and his highly anticipated new series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. He didn’t grow up reading comic books, so he was unfamiliar with the world of Bucky Barnes. He approached the role like any other character and wanted to honor Bucky and the world of Stan Lee. When on set, Lee would remind Sebastian that Bucky is a good guy and to remember that about the character no matter what he was doing. When it came to those final scenes from Endgame, it was emotional. “You feel like you’ve been a part of this now for 10 years in one way, shape, or form. We’re getting older, these characters are getting older with you, and then it comes to that scene that is no longer just a scene.”
Moving to the new era of Marvel, Sebastian added that “Captain America will never be the same without Chris Evans. That doesn’t mean that Captain America is over, it just means that that particular period is over.” It’s going to be a new world in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier that Bucky and Sam, aka The Falcon, will have to learn to navigate without Evans’ character. He also teased that there are some features on Bucky’s new Wakanda-made Winter Soldier arm that have yet to be explored. Hopefully, fans will get to see them in full action in the new series.
Sebastian took time to address the recent debate comments of Francis Ford Coppola about superhero movies and the Marvel universe.
“I’m listening to him and I’m just like, do I [inspire people]? But meanwhile, I have spent the day with you. People are coming up to me going like ‘thank you so much for this character,’ ‘thank you so much for this movie,’ ‘this movie helped me out so much,’ ‘this movie inspired me,’ ‘now I feel better,’ ‘now I feel less alone,’ so how can you say that these movies are not helping people? I had a first hand account of it all day long. There are people in our line of work just trying to always make that happen.”
He also added, “The point is all movies are contributing to something. I think it’s more about that….Whatever helps somebody I am for it. I don’t care if it’s on a small screen, on an iPhone, I don’t care if a genius is behind it or a company. Whatever helps somebody, I’m for it.”
Toward the end of the panel, a fan presented Sebastian with a welcome back to Fandemic Tour Houston card, which was signed by many of the fans. It was a touching moment at this con, which was lovingly dubbed SebCon, after Sebastian was announced as a returning celebrity guest. It’s unknown if he will be at Fandemic Tour Houston 2020, but history indicates there is a strong possibility.