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Captain America: Civil War press conference

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London UK : Kevin Feige, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Bruhl, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey JR, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Anthony Russo, Emily VanCamp and joe Russo attend the European Press Conference Of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War” in London on April, 2016. (Credit  : James Gillham / StingMedia for Disney)

Kevin Feige, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Bruhl, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey JR, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Anthony Russo, Emily VanCamp and Joe Russo

Last week, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stopped by the Corinthia Hotel in London as part of the Captain America: Civil War press tour. Edith Bowman hosted a press conference attended by Marvel head honcho: Kevin Feige, the directors of The Winter Soldier and Civil War: Anthony and Joe Russo, and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Paul Bettany (Vision), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter) and Daniel Brühl (Zemo).

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

 

You can read my review here, but – spoiler alert – I thought it was not just the best Captain America movie, but also the best Avengers movie. It is rollicking, glorious and heartfelt, and feels like a feature length three-part finale of your favourite show. You can check it out for yourself now if you are in the UK and Captain America: Civil War opens in the US on 6th May 2016.

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The press conference was also rather rollicking, with the charisma machine: RDJ, firing on all cylinders. Chris Evans kept things grounded, but was also happy to muck in with the banter too. Sebastian Stan stayed under the radar for the most part – as moody and cool as The Winter Soldier himself. Bruhl really opened up over the half hour. Olsen and VanCamp fell foul of some poor questioning, but still got and gave plenty of laughs, as did the on fire Mackie and Rudd. Renner and Bettany were dry, sardonic and brilliant, while The Russo’s and Feige were all business – but their love and knowledge of their heroes was palpable.

Edith Bowman moderated, and asked a few questions, before throwing things open to the audience.

 

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo on blending character and action.

Joe Russo: We actually describe ourselves as “action fetishists”. Action is like… it’s another piece of the storytelling that we do. It has to be part of the narrative and character at every moment – that’s how we find our way through action. This movie had such a great cast and characters, all the action sequences are designed around how we’re telling the stories of those characters.

Anthony Russo: Every piece of action has to move a character or the story forward, otherwise the audience gets tired of it. We put a lot of thought and effort into it. Action helps us find and explore the characters in a very dynamic way.

Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. using one word to describe their on-screen counterparts.

Chris Evans: One word to describe Iron Man? “Charismatic”. Right?!

Robert Downey Jr.: …

Anthony Mackie: C’mon. Make it count. What you got?!

RDJ: Turn my mike up. Thank you. [everyone laughs] “RADASS”.

 

If you could choose just one superhero to help the real world with its problems, which one would it be?

Kevin Feige: That’s a tough one…

Paul Bettany: It’s not that tough.

[everyone laughs]

Bettany: I’m just saying. He’s omnipotent and he can pick up Thor’s hammer, c’mon.

Feige: I think the world would need both Tony AND Cap.

Evans: No! I don’t like that answer!

RDJ: I nominate Hawkeye, ’cause he retires every ten minutes.

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RDJ on his son liking Captain America best.

RDJ: When my son, Exton, started wearing entirely Captain America clothes: PJ’s, hats and everything, I felt a natural resentment – but being a consummate professional – I didn’t bring it into the workplace.

 

A question for Paul…

Edith Bowman, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany and Chris Evans at the same time: Which one?

Woman: Sorry! Paul Rudd.

Paul Rudd: YEAHHH. Sorry, Bettany.

Bettany: [muttering darkly] My own town.

[everyone laughs]

Woman: … um …

Bettany: Ask the god damn question!

[everyone laughs]

Woman: Was there any initiation or anything on joining up with the rest of the superheroes?

Rudd: No! Everybody was very nice and very welcoming. It was a bit surreal to see everybody in their suits, but it was a very nice feeling. This reference will drop like a lead balloon, but I felt a little bit like cousin Oliver coming along and meeting the rest of the Brady Bunch.

[tumbleweeds]

Evans: [turns and shakes Rudd’s hand] Nice.

Whether Iron Man recruiting Spider-Man counts as him using child soldiers(!).

Anthony Russo: Perhaps the most powerful child in the world. Look there’s a certain narcissism to the character, Tony doesn’t want to lose this fight. He sees Spider-Man as the greatest living weapon, and if you’re aiming to capture people you don’t necessarily want to hurt you couldn’t ask for a better character than Spider-Man.

Jeremy Renner: But it’s still very irresponsible.

 

RDJ on Tom Holland – the new Spider-Man.

Well now that two out of three Spider-Men are English we’ve gotta talk Maguire off the edge now, but, look, Mr. Holland is not a work in progress – he’s something else. He really came in with a bang, and there’s a lot of excitement about seeing what he’ll do when he’s on his own. [to the rest of the cast] Did anyone dislike Holland, or? … No? We’ll talk about it later.

 

Daniel Brühl on whether he is under contract to appear in any more Marvel films, and playing a sympathetic villain.

Daniel Brühl: That’s a question for Kevin (Feige)! I couldn’t possibly answer that question. I hope so. But, no, I mean, this is…

Mackie: How about you answer the question? [mimicking] “I hope so, but no.”

Brühl: That’s what attracted me straight away – it’s not a cliché villain, he has very human motivations and reasons.

 

Paul Bettany on the relationship between Vision and Scarlet Witch.

Bettany: I think they’re both bound by the fact that neither of them understand the extent of their powers, and that’s terrifying but unites them.

 

Paul Bettany on what it’s like playing Vision.

Bettany: Hot. Thanks for asking.

 

Anthony Mackie on physical preparation.

Mackie: A lot of leg workouts. I have it in my contract that I have two “behind” shots. So thighs and quads, thighs and quads. You gotta give people what they want, baby! You can’t have a tree without the trunk!

Chris Evans and RDJ on the “threat” of the Justice League:

Evans: Well, I don’t think anyone here makes movies based on what other people are doing. For the most part, we do what we do because we do it well. I shouldn’t say “we”, it really is the Marvel higher ups that have figured out the formula to make these great movies.

RDJ: Listen When they get a Bucky – we’ll start talking.

 

Edith Bowman: I was just about to ask you a question, Sebastian.

Sebastian Stan: Oh good. I was hoping someone would. [everyone laughs]

Jeremy Renner: Is it about his quads?

Bowman: It’s not about quads! Tell us about the reality of filming the huge airport battle scene.

Stan: Well, only half of us were there. Just Team Cap. Team Iron Man were…

Evans: You have a hair on your face.

[gently takes a hair off Sebastian’s face]

Stan: Thanks.

Evans: You’re welcome dude.

Stan: It was chopped up into lots of different bits, and most of the time it was what Anthony likes to describe as “acting with a tennis ball”, because you’re just there with your imagination and a green screen.

 

Bowman: And tell us about the relationship between you and Cap because… Is this a spoiler? [to audience] Has anyone not seen it?

Renner: I’ve not seen it. [puts hands over ears]

Bowman: When Steve loses Peggy, he loses every connection to his old life apart from Bucky. It adds a real tenderness to Bucky and Steve’s relationship.

Evans: That’s one of the best parts about the movie, in my opinion. Anyone who has been in a war will tell you that once you have been to war with someone else and survived – that’s your brother for life. They have each lost, Bucky more so than Steve as things were TAKEN from him, but we both kind of have lost every other element of the previous chapter in our lives, so Bucky and Steve’s relationship transcends the family dynamic in the Avengers where Cap does what people need, but in this movie he does what he wants, and prioritises his ties over the needs of the masses for this brotherly relationship.

Renner: [removes hands from over ears]

 

Did everyone end up on the team they wanted to be?

Evans: I did kind of want to be on Team Iron Man. [everyone laughs]

 

If you could switch powers with another Avenger, which one would it be?

Renner: Spider-Man. I’ve loved Spider-Man since I was a kid.

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What was RDJ’s favourite part about making Captain America: Civil War?

RDJ: Any movie where I can spend weekends with Renner… This guy is Lord of the Underworld. He’ll get you home in one piece, but he’ll make sure you have a good time.

 

Will Marvel make a Falcon and Bucky road trip movie?

Mackie: We’re shooting a Weekend at Bernie’s spin-off… Weekend at Bucky’s. [everyone laughs]

 

Joe Russo on introducing Black Panther.

Russo: We wanted to bring in someone who wasn’t aligned to either side. Black Panther is great because he doesn’t really give a shit about sides – he has his own agenda.

 

Where are Nick Fury and Maria Hill in Civil War?

Anthony Russo: You’ll find out soon.

Feige: There is story about where they are, but it is a story that is coming soon…

 

Who decides on what Stan Lee’s character will be in a Marvel movie?

Feige: It varies. Sometimes it depends on if something feels natural in the script, or it depends on his schedule, and where he’ll be and where he’s willing to travel. The Guardians of the Galaxy one was shot later, this one was during production. It was in the draft.

Joe Russo: When the script was done, we went through and found a spot for Stan.

 

Chris Evans on RDJ co-starring in “his” film.

Evans: I was thrilled! Shit, I’ll take all the help I can get! [everyone laughs]

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How much CG was involved in the scene where Captain America pulls the helicopter down with his bare arms?

Evans: C-what? [everyone laughs] I think it was all me. You try and get those scenes as early as possible in the shoot, because when you’re wearing the suit every day you shed weight. After, there were many days when I’d go into Downey’s trailer for physio – he has all these contraptions like… ooh, I was going to say another comic book character’s name, but we don’t wanna bring DC into this. [everyone laughs]

 

If superheroes were real, do you think they would need to be kept under control?

Evans: Yep. Team Iron Man. There’d have to be someone to answer to – you couldn’t just let these vigilantes police themselves. That’s the sad truth. If there really were Avengers, I’d be Team Iron Man, I really would.

Captain America: Civil War is already out in the UK and opens in the US on 6th May 2016.

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