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Sebastian Stan on #MeToo and Bringing Vulnerability to Masculinity

Published on January 29th, 2018 | Updated on January 30th, 2018 | By FanFest

You’ve seen Sebastian Stan as Carter Bazien and Chase Collins to the Mad Hatter and Bucky Barnes, and most recently, Jeff Gillooly. He takes on the characters he portrays with dedication to telling their stories right and a bit of his own charm and charisma. He’s one of the ‘it men’ in Hollywood right now and it goes without saying that we’re pretty big fans of his here.

Sebastian recently sat down to chat with sjbct about I, Tonya and how he was able to bring such a hated man to the screen and to be applauded for his performance.

In playing Jeff, fans saw Sebastian take on the part of an abusive man, one he had to stop himself from judging. He spent time with Gillooly before filming, getting to know who he was when he was young and who he is now. Both, Sebastian said, helped him form a character that audiences would understand Tonya’s pull to.

It was difficult from the beginning because I couldn’t help but judge him, but I set to the task of trying to find some humanity behind what was on the page. I wanted to go back to the beginning and explore how Jeff and Tonya began, and to understand who he was and what led to what. Meeting him in person helped, because it allowed me to connect young Jeff with present-day Jeff, and I was able to start piecing a life together for him. Margot and I worked carefully with Craig to try and find the love underneath all of that pain and toxicity. We wanted to understand, and to show why Tonya kept going back.

He was then asked about the #MeToo movement right now, and what it means to him as a man – especially one who has a platform.

I am supportive of the movement. It is incredibly brave and heroic of all the women who have spoken out, and I want to hold space for that and to honor that. I’m saddened as a man and a human being by everything that I have read and learned, but I am hopeful that through it, we can expand our awareness and learn how to communicate better with one another to embrace and propel a change that is long overdue. Hopefully, we can inspire future generations of men and women through the self-reflection we are all now experiencing. As an actor, I feel it is my duty to hold a mirror up to nature as best as I can and to support stories that have been, and still need to be told.

The interviewer then asked what Sebastian meant when he made a comment back in December with Esquire. He touched on masculinity and the ‘alpha male’ role and how now is the time to really take a look at what that means.

I think for a long time, the idea of an “alpha male” was romanticized or defined in a certain way – often including violence – and it’s time for that to be re-examined. What is a man in 2018? What’s exciting about this time is that we all have an opportunity to listen, and to see where changes need to be made in the examples we want to put forward for younger people. I think it’s all about having the conversation. To me personally, masculinity is about offering protection, offering safety, holding space, communication, being vulnerable, never making the other feel wrong for how they feel, and now more importantly than ever, it is about listening and learning how to be of service.

We think he has a great outlook on the movement and explained his stance well.

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