Forget Chris: everybody hates Falcon and Winter Soldier's new Captain America, John Walker. Even Wyatt Russell, the actor playing Walker, was resistant to taking the role.
In an interview with Variety (opens in new tab), Russell revealed "My first reaction was like, 'Ewwohhh, I don’t know if I’m your guy to do that,'" before noting "I kind of had some doubts." Of course, he came around once he understood what was going on.
Editors' Note: Mild Captain and Winter Solider spoilers ahead if you haven't watched the first couple of episodes.
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Russell elaborated, exclaiming "They hate him!" referring to the fan backlash, showing how he understands this is the desired effect.
His anxiety, though, was rooted in not wanting to be just another Captain America. Russell continued, noting "you don’t want to do anything that’s been done before ... And then do I want to be the guy who’s — do I want to wear the Captain America suit, to be honest."
That anxiety all ties into what the characters of Falcon and Winter Soldier are going through. Once Steve Rogers gave Sam Wilson the shield, we wanted to believe that we'd see the transition of the Captain America mantle along with it. But where's the drama in that? Instead, Sam himself was unwilling to take the title, and the U.S. government gave it and the shield to its own new Cap, John Walker, as soon as they could.
As for playing the John Walker character, Russell noted that his background research for the character was rooted in Wikipedia of all places. Though it didn't go well, as he says "As soon as I started the Wikipedia rabbit hole search, it was like, this is a bad idea. There’s 19 different versions of him in different worlds with different people! In one, he gets sent to Canada? I don’t know what the hell’s going on. I’m just gonna read the script."
And how is Russell taking to the online vitriol? He's apparently seeing it almost as a vote of confidence, saying "It’s flattering. They just hate the guy. They just hate him! It was fun to be the Marvel punching bag for a little while."
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