Wyatt Russell may play U.S. Agent, but he knows less about the role than Marvel fans.
The actor shared that contrary to what fans expect, he barely researched playing the new Captain America on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and believes that improved his performance.
John Walker’s comic book history has been complex. He began as the Super-Patriot, taking part in staged fights to show up Captain America.
When Steve Rogers briefly quit as Cap, Walker was chosen as his replacement. But the pressures of the role became too much, and he broke into a brutal warrior.
Walker redeemed himself by becoming U.S. Agent, even as he still carries a temper and ego.
Over the years, Walker has been an Avenger but mostly sticks to being an independent agent while working alongside the government.
Russell told Variety that the character’s history was so daunting that trying to research it in back issues was too much.
That was part of the problem with reading the comics. 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.”
Instead, Russell decided it was much better to stick to the idea that Russell admires Steve Rogers and wanted to live up to his example despite the challenges.
“In John’s world, he looks up to Steve Rogers and wants to embody that. When you’re seeing him do his version of it, is it really who John actually is? Or is John trying to be someone that he’s not?”
Russell is well aware of the backlash to his character and doesn’t mind as he knows Walker can be a controversial character. He even defended the idea of his Cap being more of a “corporate tool.”
“I think there is a corporate aspect to the inception of his character as Captain America. I think that what you’re seeing now is him battling with, ‘How do I be me and deal with this corporation that is the U.S. government?’ It’s the only corporation he’s ever worked for and it’s worked very well for him in his life.
Now he’s in this different world where there’s a PR aspect to it. He’s just been working in the clandestine world, most likely, where nobody really knows what he’s doing but he’s getting the job done. And now it’s like, Okay, go do that as Captain America — and sometimes his version of getting the job done is a little bit not the same.”
The latest episode of the series shows Walker unleashing his temper at an enemy, indicating the pressure is getting to him. In the comics, this sets Walker on a dangerous path, but Russell is naturally mum on whether that’ll be the case for the show.
As things stand now, Russell is content letting his interpretation of the new Cap be its own man rather than beholden to the comics.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streaming new episodes every Friday on Disney+.