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Sebastian Stan on stage vs. movie acting, being Marlon Brando, and his iced-coffee habit

The star of Picnic, now on Broadway, takes the DuJour questionnaire

While he might be most recognized thanks to roles in films like Captain America and Black Swan or in TV shows like Gossip Girl and Political Animals, 30-year-old actor Sebastian Stan has a thing for theater. In 2007, he made his Broadway debut in Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and now through February 24, he’s starring in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of William Inge’s iconic midcentury drama Picnic (shown, below). 

“Theater is different in the sense that it’s live, so as an actor you have the power to have the final edit that the audience sees,” Stan says. “In a movie, you can do a thousand takes and then the director and an editor decide what the audience will ultimately see. Here it’s different every night.”

Before taking the stage one night, Stan took the DuJour Questionnaire.

What was the best day of your life?

I haven’t lived my entire life yet—I wake up every day thinking it could be the best one of my life.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be?

I would like to spend a Friday night in 1948 in New York City in Marlon Brando’s shoes. 

What’s your favorite hour of day?

Seven in the evening. That’s an exciting hour because it’s right before the night begins—and all great things tend to happen at night.

If you could relive any day in history, what would it be?

It’s tough, because do I want to be there when film was invented? Or could I pick something in the future? I’d love to be there the day that the cures for cancer and AIDS are developed.  

Did you break a sweat today?

I break a sweat, literally or figuratively, every day. If I don’t, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.

What was the best conversation you had today?

It was with Sam Gold, my director. We were exploring for tonight’s performance the darker side of my character, Hal. That’s why tonight’s performance is going to be a very different one than last night’s.

If you wore a uniform every day, what would it be?

Black jeans and a black leather jacket.

I didn’t want to, but today I _________.

Had a fourth iced coffee today. I didn’t want to, but I did.

How would you spend your last day on Earth?

I would spend my last day on Earth at the Thompson Hotel with a full bar, customized menu and my closest friends. And a big bag of fireworks.