Sebastian Stan Said Going Blond Made People React Differently to Him

Actor Sebastian Stan is better known for hanging out with a blond than sporting the shade himself. Portraying the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes, led Marvel fans to expect Stan to look a certain way. But like other performers, he’s made changes to his look for roles. 

Usually a brunette, Stan went blonde for a memorable film. And the notable style change led to varied reactions from those around them, he admitted.

Why did Sebastian Stan go blond?

Sebastian Stan blond
Sebastian Stan rocks a blond hairstyle back in 2007. | Brian Ach/WireImage

In 2016, Sebastian Stan addressed his time as a blond. “This movie I just finished filming in [Los Angeles], I bleached my hair blond and it changed the way I was dressing and how people were reacting to me,” he told GQ for a style interview.

The movie in question? I’m Not Here. Stan portrayed the younger version of J.K. Simmons’ Steve. The film is an auteur project, with the main character reflecting on his past through his memories. Despite its all-star cast, which also included Mandy Moore and Max Greenfield, I’m Not Here received poor reviews. It didn’t have a theatrical release until 2019 when Stan was definitively back to brown hair.

‘I’m Not Here’ was not the first time Stan went blond

Stan’s career kicked off in the mid-’00s. Some may recall his recurring role as bad boy Carter Baizen in Gossip GirlBut before that, Stan showed up with blond hair at a movie premiere. 

In 2006, the Duff sisters Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff starred in Material Girls, a teen comedy poised to propel the film careers of its leads. Though it didn’t succeed, it did provide a memorable snapshot in pop culture history.

Stan doesn’t appear in the film — at least, not in a credited role. But he did attend the Material Girls premiere party for some reason, sporting some classic frosted tips. 

In 2007, Stan took it a step further. He attended the Tribeca Film Festival for The Education of Charlie Banks premiere with platinum blonde hair, according to HelloGiggles. Months later, he switched back to his usual brown once again. 

His hair in the Marvel movies is his own

In the GQ interview, Stan explained his classic Bucky Barnes locks aren’t a wig. They’re all-natural.

“I’m a firm believer that the outer life of a person really informs how you act,” Stan said. He took the advice of Jack Nicholson, who advises actors to “let the wardrobe do the work.”

“What you’re wearing, how you’re behaving, it tells people so much about who you are,” he added. “So in [Captain America:] Civil War and the Marvel movies, growing my hair out—and, yes, I was not wearing a wig; I grew my hair out and added extensions to it—I love that.”

While Bucky’s hair remained an integral part of the character for several movies, it didn’t last. Many fans mourned the loss of Stan’s character’s signature look in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But like the actor himself, we expect Bucky will continue to keep things fresh.

RELATED: Sebastian Stan on Why Sam Wilson’s Name Deserves to Come First in the Show Title, ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’