‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Fans Are Obsessed with Wyatt Russell’s ‘Hateable and Sympathetic’ Character: ‘He Absolutely Crushed It’

Fans can’t enough Marvel movies. Luckily, Disney + is focused on showcasing supporting characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

To the delight of many, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a miniseries, debuted in March 2021 on the streaming service. Stealing the show was Wyatt Russell’s John Walker turned government chosen Captain America.

Movie lovers can’t get enough of Russell’s portrayal of this dichotomous U.S. Agent.

What is the series about?

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Captain America fans are familiar with Chris Evans, who played Steve Rogers/Captain America for years. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Rogers decided to hand over his shield to his sidekick, Sam Wilson. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up a few months after that transfer of power. Wilson teams up with Rogers’ best friend, Bucky Barnes, to thwart the terrorist group The Flag Smashers.

At first glance, the series is just another action-packed Marvel movie, but it’s also a statement. Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, is the first Black Captain America. Even though Steve Rogers gave his shield to Wilson, the government doesn’t agree. Instead, they select a white man plagued with a multitude of issues.

But Wilson prevails, and in a poignant speech that’s easy to feel the undercurrents of our country’s own social situation, he speaks openly.

According to NPR, Wilson says, ” Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people out there who are going to hate me for it, Yet I’m still here. No super serum. No blond hair or blue eyes. The only power I have, is to believe we can do better.” 

Where does Wyatt Russell’s character fit in?

Wyatt Russell
Wyatt Russell | Mike Pont/Getty Images

Russell plays John Walker in the series. He’s the man the government selects as Captain America before he kills one of the terrorists in public while using the shield. He’s immediately stripped of his Captain America title and becomes U.S. Agent.

Walker is a complex character. He’s a decorated military man that clearly suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). He can’t uphold the shield like Rogers did.

Russell brilliantly played the distressed man, and many fans wondered what his previous works were. It’s no surprise Russell is a natural at acting considering his parents are Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Before getting into acting, Russell was an amateur hockey player, but injuries cut his career short.

Since then, he’s starred in a slew of films and television shows. Besides the Marvel movies, he’s most known for his work in 22 Jump Street and the horror film, Overlord.

Fan reaction to John Walker

After The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered, fans were abuzz with Russell’s performance.

With a character as complicated as Walker, many fans weren’t expecting much, but Russell blew them away. In a recent Reddit forum, fans discussed the performance with one exclaiming, “He absolutely crushed it. Not easy playing a character that is both hateable and sympathetic. Two of the best scenes in the show were his — him losing it and murdering the Flag Smasher, and him shouting at his tribunal how “I lived my life by your mandates! I am what you made me!”

Other fans agreed, posting, “He made morally gray anti-hero believable and real. He made a supposed villain sympathetical. I really can’t think of another character which made me hate and yet glad that he survived the showdown. Good job Mr. Walker.”

After his Marvel performance, fans can’t wait to see what he does next. “He nailed the role. For me, it was easy to hate John Walker but feel sorry for him at the same. That says a lot about Wyatt’s skills as an actor. I’m looking forward to seeing him as US Agent in the future.”