As an unknown actor in the early ’50s, Paul Newman fought to play Hal Carter, the lead role in William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play Picnic. But the director wasn’t convinced Newman’s physique was fit enough for Hal, who appears naked from the waist up in most of his scenes. Eventually, Newman worked his way up to the from a supporting role, garnering critical acclaim and jump-starting his legendary acting career. Fast forward sixty years later to another relatively unknown actor, Sebastian Stan, a Romanian import best known for stint as Sigourney Weaver’s son in Political Animals and his supporting role in Captain America: The First Avenger. Like Newman, Stan was gunning for the lead in Captain America, but he was offered the role of the hero’s comparatively less-buff sidekick instead. Judging from the current state of his six-pack abs, however, he clearly didn’t have any trouble convincing director Sam Gold that he was ripped enough for Picnic’s Hal. x
"I feel like the first movie is kinda like, you know when you sit…it’s almost like when you sit…like with uh…I don’t know. When you sit with your grandparents or when you sit…even with your family and somebody tells you a story you know and then they’re telling you the story and you’re kinda picturing it in your mind as you’re listening so it’s almost like a dream sequence. And then in this movie, you’re just in the room. You’re like in the room with these people, you know? It’s like, it’s sort of like right there in your face." The Stoned Soldier on Captain America: The Winter Soldier at Comic-Con 2013.