Have you heard? Captain America: Winter Soldier is the number one movie worldwide! What better time to share my amazing interview with Anthony and Joe Russo; the directors of the movie! I cannot even begin to tell you how exciting it was to sit in the same room with these two guys as they shared what it was like directing this amazing film. They also shared what it is like, as siblings, to work together day in and day out. Sit back and relax as the Russo brothers take you through the process of putting the newest Marvel film all together for the final masterpiece!
Question: What do you find challenging about working together and do you work off of each other’s strengths?
Anthony Russo: Without question, I mean, alright, there wouldn’t be a great partnership unless we compensated for, you know, each other, helped mitigated each other’s, uh–– uh, weaknesses and complement each other’s strengths. Um, we’ve been doing it for a long time now, about 15 years, very, uh, you know, there’s a real shorthand that we have. It’s not a very formal relationship, I know, like the Cohen Brothers, you know, divvy up producing and directing. It’s very specific. Ours is…
Joe Russo: Not anymore, though. You know.
Anthony Russo: Ours is less, yeah, ours is less defined than that. It’s, um, we always say that if you’ve asked one of us a question and you get an answer then you got an answer from both of us. ‘Cause we share a lot of the same influences, obviously, we grew up together, we’ve read the same comics, we read the same books, we watched the same movies, watched the same television shows, so all of our influences are very similar. So when we look at material we tend to look at it in the same way and it–– it seems to make it very easy for everybody. Sure.
Question: So you guys are primarily known for comedies. What was it about this, did you want to start something new or really interested in getting into the Marvel?
Anthony Russo: Well once our, you know, once our comedy career got sort of up and running we always used to say, if you had asked us before we got started if we would ever be known as comedy directors we would have never guessed that. I mean, we didn’t sort of start off our–– our directing career sort of like wanting, necessarily intending to be comedy directors. It’s, it was, we loved comedy and it definitely was a, you know, we–– we started down that road because we wrote a comedy called “Welcome to Collinwood” that we ended up, uh, directing. Um, but it was, you know we, our tastes run everywhere. I mean, we–– we shoot all kinds of things. We shoot TV, we shoot films, we shoot commercials, we shoot, you know, we shoot TV pilots, we, episodes, we, bah bah bah. We’re just, our tastes kind of run all over the map, just, uh, we like to explore everything as filmmakers. So–– so the action genre is something that’s been on our agenda for a long, long time.
Joe Russo: Well, it was a double whammy for us. When Marlo came to us and said, “Listen, are you interested in–– in making Captain America – The Winter Soldier?” Uh– uh, one I started collected comic books when I was 10 years old and one of the first books I ever got was a Captain America Falcon Team Up so that’s like a 30-year dream come true for me to be able to make a comic book movie. Two, you know, we used, to when we grew up with our father in the ’70s we used to, egh, we used to watch The Late Show, we used to watch ’70s thrillers on the, that was his–– his, you know, he loved those movies. We’ve seen The French Connection 100 times. So when they said, you know, “it’s a comic book movie inspired by ’70s thrillers” we, you know, I think, you know, we–– we went out of our minds with excitement. [LAUGHS]
Question: What were your favorite scenes to work on, and the hardest scenes to work on?
Anthony Russo: The favorite scenes, I, yeah.
Joe Russo: Favorite–– favorite scenes, I mean, you know, we, I love the relationship between, uh, Chris and Scarlett in the movie, I think that’s the real heart of the film. Uh–– uh, and I, you know, they were extremely integral in–– in the, uh, in–– in the interpretation of those scenes, both Chris and Scarlett. Uh, they wrote some of their own dialogue. You know, they’ve been working together for so long, uh–– uh, you know, I think this is their fourth film together and they’ve been really good friends for years. And so they brought all that energy, uh, to, and chemistry to the movie and I think it really is a, it’s like the spark of life in this film. So those-– those are the easiest and funnest scenes to work on, where it was anytime we had the two of them together. Uh…
Anthony Russo: I would also add the scene in, um, you know, with Robert Redford when he, and–– and Chris Evans when he’s in, uh–– uh, Nick Fury’s office. And, uh, I just, I love that sc-, well number one working with Robert Redford was certainly a career high, uh, secondly, it’s just, that’s such a great scene to just watch those two play chess with each other through that scene and watch Captain America be put in a position where he has to lie to somebody who’s like basically his commanding officer. It was just a really, you know, and–– and Robert Redford on top of it. Um, you know, is just a really exciting interesting scene and then I’ll just never forget that experience.
Joe Russo: And the hardest scenes are the action scenes, obviously. There was a scene that’s, uh–– uh, near the end of the second act where Winter Soldier attacks Cap and Natasha and Sam in a car on the freeway, uh, we had to shut down a freeway in Cleveland for two weeks to shoot that scene. If you could imagine in your own town if a filmmaker came in and said, “Hey we’re gonna shut down your–– your, one of your major freeways for two weeks, what do you guys think?” Have fun getting to work, right? [LAUGHS] It’s not, it was not, uh–– uh, there was a lot of pressure on us ’cause there was no room for error. We, you know, it was a very complicated sequence, you’ve seen the scene. Uh, and–– and we had to get all that work from the time he lands on their car till, you know, that–– that, you know, time his–– his mask comes off. All that work has to be done in a two-week period. So he and I worked around the clocks, uh, 14-days straight…
Anthony Russo: We had multiple units going, yeah.
Joe Russo: …we had multiple units to make sure we got it. That–– that was, that was probably the toughest thing we did in the movie.
Anthony Russo: Yeah.
Check out this trailer to Captain America: Winter Soldier if you haven’t yet. This movie is AMAZING!