New Captain America Stills; Plus Neal McDonough and Hayley Atwell Discuss Preparing for Their Roles
07.09.11 by Ryan
With a release date only a couple weeks away, Paramount Pictures has just released thirteen new photos from Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger. The photos concentrate on the wartime effort of the movie including images of Cap (Chris Evans) with his sidekick James "Bucky" Barnes (Sebastian Stan), HYDRA agents on motorcycles, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) in his lab, as well as photos of Cap with his squad of "Howling Commandos," including Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan (Neal McDonough), Gabriel Jones (Derek Luke), Montgomery Farnsworth (J.J. Field), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi) and Jacques Dernier (Bruno Ricci).
In the Marvel Studios press release for First Avenger, McDonough described his casting as Dum Dum a "blessing" and revealed he prepared for the part by eating "a lot of chocolate cake." His favorite part of working on Marvel project, however, was the studio's emphasis on character over effects.
The problem with a lot of these comic book stories going
to feature films is that, for me personally, it was never so much about the acting, it was about the effects or about the costume and techno fireworks. But then what Jon Favreau did with Iron Man, to start, with casting Robert Downey, Jr. It wasn’t so much just about a comic book anymore, it was about a story — I think
people forget that these comic books were about great storytelling. I think that’s what Marvel has returned to. And I think Chris has tackled Captain America in the same amazing way that Robert did with Iron Man.
Also featured in the new photos is Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter running alongside U.S. troops with a machine gun in hand. Atwell explained that she underwent extensive training for the movie.
The pistol training, I use a Walther PPK, happened quite early on. I’d practiced with a gun before, but nothing ever on this scale. I was really looking forward to it and we filmed some of my training sessions. Then Joe [Johnston], the director, who always liked to have a bit of fun and then see it if he could push it a bit further, said, "What if we got you a machine gun? I really think we should make Peggy something special." So they brought out this machine gun, and I almost fell over the first time I fired it — it’s so in your face, and there are bits of shells and powder going everywhere, and giving off all this heat. I wondered how I was ever going to do it without flinching. It took a few weeks of being able to fire it without blinking, just concentrating and being able to relax into it. Eventually I was able to feel like it was an extension of my arm. I have to say, in the end, I was rather pleased with myself—but so was Joe, and that meant a lot.
Captain America: The First Avenger was written by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus. The cast also features Toby Jones as Arnim Zola and Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine.