Adanye: Welcome to Romania. How are you feeling being here after so long?
Sebastian Stan: I did not expect anybody welcoming me the way you did. It’s very different than anywhere else. This was a very special experience for me. I was a bit emotional on the plane. I always knew that this is a big part of who I am and I think that a lot of things happened in people subconsciously. Consciously we say ‘I am this and this is what I believe in’ , but subconsciously is a lot what is going on. And it’s like a missing piece that is coming back together. I have so many things to do here , so I haven’t any time or moment to digest everything. But, is overwhelming in good way. I think it’s going to be harder when I go back home. And then is going to hit me harder.
Adanye: You left Romania when you were 8 years old. How difficult was for you to adapt in a different country with a totally different culture?
Sebastian Stan: It was very difficult. And I was very scared. I remember I cried a lot. It was hard to move at that time. Everything looks bigger than it is. You don’t want to be different and for a while I even wanted to change my name into Christopher. Also, there were a few years I didn’t think about Romania at all. When I was 17 years old I started to think again about it, because I realized that is ok to be different.
Adanye: What are your best memories from Romania?
Sebastian Stan: The revolution from December ’89. This is my best memories is also my scariest. At that time I was very little and I thought it was exciting because the TV was on all day and all night. And times when we had this was on New Year’s . So, in a way it was a very special thing. But I didn’t quite understood what is happening. And then I was watching news and my mom and my grandparents were very scared.
Adanye: Did you always wanted to become an actor? Or in your childhood you dreamed to become something else?
Sebastian Stan: I think I realized I want to be an actor when I was 15 or 16 years old. I was in high-school outside New York and they wanted people to try for a local play or the musical. I went for it and I really liked it. Then I decided to go to a camp, where I met my manager. I’ve been with her for 17 years now. She was a very influential part in my life. And she is the reason why I’m here.
I was very lucky. She gave me her phone number, but I lost it. She remembered I was working at the movie theater and she called me and she found me again.
Also, I always liked science and astronomy. But when I found my way into acting and it made sense, I never question it again. But also, I never wanted to have a backup. Because if you have a backup then you are safe.
Adanye: Did your parents supported you with the decision of being an actor?
Sebastian Stan: My mom was really happy. When we got to Vienna she was trying to have me to coop for acting roles. But I was very shy and she left me alone. And when I got back to the idea she was very happy about it, because it was sort of confirmation for her that’s what I really wanted to do.
Adanye: What do you think about Romanian cinema?
Sebastian Stan: I’m still educating myself on a lot of movies. I’ve just seen the movie ‘Morometii’ and I still can’t believe this movie was done during communism. It’s an unbelievable movie. The actors are incredible. I never saw this things when I was here. We never watched TV. There is clearly a great voice here and it’s courageous and not afraid of the truth. Also, you have great directors here, like Cristian Mungiu
Adanye: Would you like to play in a Romanian movie?
Sebastian Stan: Yes. I love this idea. But I have to come here for a month. Because I have accent when I speak Romanian. It should be something very specific. But it would be a shame not to have the opportunity to do something like this.
Adanye: What was your worst audition?
Sebastian Stan: I had an audition for the movie “Mother” and I auditioned for the role of the guy, one of the sons who comes in and he’s crazy. I got there on time and I was really trying to get worked up. And I was like ‘ you know what? I’m not even going to say hello. I will really go in there like a crazy person.’ They kept me waiting and waiting and finally I went in there and I ended up hyperventilating on the floor. And then they helped me breath for 5 minutes. I did not get that part.
Adanye: What was the most challenging role you have played so far?
Sebastian Stan: Definitely Jeff Gillooly. Just because there were real heavy issues to deal with. You want to find the truth of the situation and I always had a big voice in my head that is a big judge when I do this things and it was very loud in this one, which I found it ok. But this is just very hard for me.
Adanye: Is that any kind of character that fits you most of what you played so far??
Sebastian Stan: No. I mean, there are still certain things that I really want to do. There’s always a piece of everything that’s part of you in some way. I think one of the good things about this job is that wherever you keep going and keep working on and on it keeps growing like a muscle. That’s the key of making different choices as best as you can. As long as you have enough money to pay for your life.
Adanye: What are the biggest similarities you see between yourself and Jeff Gillooly and between yourself and Bucky Barnes?
Sebastian Stan: I think this movie (I, Tonya) was about obsession in a way. Everybody was obsessed with a person or idea, or some concept ‘that if I do this, then I get that and everything is going to be ok and then I’ll be happy’. So I feel I can be cool get obsessed with some thing. Maybe obsession I understood in some way.
When it comes to Bucky Barnes character…I think is about a person who is trying to accept his past and grow with it. And again, I think it’s another thing that we all do, all the time. Not everybody has a perfect past. And sometimes you try to start life all over again.
Adanye: Some people use music as therapy. Did you ever used acting as therapy ?
Sebastian Stan: That’s completely what it is. 100% . There is always a great question which is like “What if?” and then you will say that “What if I was in the situation?” or “What if I had a person who behave like that with me?” , “What if I didn’t had money?”. And it kind of opens up your imagination. But I think that’s what it is. You’re always learning. That’s why I think is important you have to be more active in what kind of stories you want to tell. Because, eventually, it becomes more, not just me, but “why is this movie important”.
Adanye: What is the first thing you see in a person??
Sebastian Stan: Humility, I think I try to look forward, to pay attention to. I always find interesting when people talk about themselves. That’s always a nice education of where they stand a little bit. I try not to judge right away because you never know who they really are.
Adanye: Do you have any message for the teenagers who want to be actors?
Sebastian Stan: You have to be very careful who you surround yourself with and what you put in your mind everyday. If you are going to compare yourself to certain people you see online or if you spend time looking what other people are doing on Instagram, then it’s going to be a lot harder. But if this is what you want to do, you should think about it like “I’m going to go for it and I am going to do everything about it’. Read books about it, watch movies about it. You must surround yourself with people who are supporting you, there are not going to tear you down.
Adanye: You said you want to come back in Romania and stay longer. Do you plan to do this soon?
Sebastian Stan: I will totally come here for a month. Maybe on the summer.
At the end, I want to say that this interview was made during Q&A at American Independent Film Festival, because Sebastian’s time was very limited during his visit In Romania and it didn’t allowed an one to one interview due to the things he had to do. Also, I want to thank a few girls that helped me ask some questions for this interview and make it happened.
Photo credit: American Independent Film Festival