Marvel Studios is currently riding a great wave of success with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, its second property released within Phase 4 of the MCU. Fans are enthralled with the stories of new characters like Wyatt Russell’s John Walker and Danny Ramirez’s Joaquin Torres, but the core of the series is its regulars from the Infinity Saga.
At the center of this MCU adventure is Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie, who previously starred co-starred in the last two Captain America movies and the two most recent Avengers epics together. This sort of experience always lends itself to actors of this caliber building top-notch chemistry, which has been shown brilliantly in the first two episodes of their solo adventure thus far.
That camaraderie opens the door for plenty of improvisation, for which Marvel has built a great reputation over the years. This trend even continues in Phase 4, according to one of the franchise’s newest stars.
A LEG UP ON THE SITUATION
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, actress Amy Aquino spoke about the experience of her first scene in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
Aquino revealed that in the therapy session from “Episode 2” with both lead characters, most of it was completely improvised. While they both had “the framework of what had to happen,” she explained that it was mostly Mackie and Stan doing their thing together as she delivered her lines:
"They had the framework of what had to happen -- I say to sit and face each other or "what are you doing?" -- but the rest of it, it was Anthony and Sebastian, who have this huge history. And they were doing it in character -- although in between they were also having a lot of fun -- but they were creating those moments within the framework of what was on the page. And that was just delightful. And thank God I didn't know them better, because had I known them better -- because I only met them that day -- I probably would not have been able to keep a straight face."
Specifically, Aquino touched on the moment when Mackie and Stan interlocked their legs as they sat facing each other. Revealing that the two “just did it right, first time,” she praised director Kari Skogland for “get(ting) what she needs to get” and being able to have such a fun time filming what needed to be shot, laughing the entire time:
"Oh my god! They just did that. That was them! Him pulling his chair and just shoving it, that was Anthony. That was totally him, like, "Nah, are we going to do this or are we going to do this?" And they just did it right, first time. Boom. But the whole scene, we probably did that four or five times from each angle, but not more than that. Kari's pretty amazing. She gets what she needs to get, man. And like I said, when you're working with these two wonderful actors, who have all this history and you're playing to that and the writing, etcetera, you just sit back and make sure you're lit well and the cameras going and you're there. And let 'em ride."
MACKIE AND STAN BRINGING THE LAUGHS
On one side of this story, it’s quite funny for fans to find out that this moment in “Episode 2” came on a moment’s notice as the three actors filmed the scene. Mackie and Stan have built up a great on-screen relationship through four previous movies, and even with Sam and Bucky at odds at the moment, the actors know their roles so well that improvising comes naturally on camera.
It's also refreshing to see new MCU stars blending in so well with established veterans that already have years of experience with Marvel, allowing for instant cohesion as the team brings their next on-screen journey together. This scene in particular was teased in the trailer released during the Super Bowl, and it turned out to be even better than expected with a multitude of emotions evoked in just a few minutes.
It's unknown how much more screen time Aquino will have as Dr. Raynor, but she's already made her presence felt as she helped Bucky Barnes work through his traumatic past. Bucky and Sam are sure to have more arguments as they try to work together in the last four episodes, which could very well mean Aquino's presence will be required once again.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will continue when "Episode 3" premieres on Friday, April 2.