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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Wyatt Russell talks John Walker's MCU introduction – and that smile

Wyatt Russell in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Wyatt Russell has joined the MCU as one of its most iconic characters – Captain America, albeit Cap the Second. Making his entrance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 1, John Walker is a military man who has been chosen by the government to fill Steve Rogers' shoes after the hero left his shield behind at the close of Avengers: Endgame. In his first scene, Walker looks right into the camera, smiles, and winks.

"The smile is meant to kind of be there and say, 'okay, hi, welcome, I'm the new guy,' and I think he feels good about himself in that moment," Russell explains at a roundtable attended by GamesRadar+. "It's a bit of John's bravado coming through. He's a very capable military man, and I think that's sort of the pinnacle of him feeling good is right in that moment.

"Nothing bad has happened yet," Russell continues. "There's been no… He's been met with no bad guys, he's not met Falcon or Bucky, he's just feeling good. And then the minute you see him in the next show, it's like, oh, he's maybe not feeling so good. Sort of a trajectory you might see him go down."

It turns out Walker's somewhat infuriating entrance, with that smile and wink, was a bit of serendipity, too.

"Honestly, that was just something I think I did," Russell says. "I think Kari [Skogland, director] found a moment, and she was like, you know, they're moving the camera everywhere. I sort of looked at the camera and just came in and I winked, as almost like a joke, and they ended up using it. [Laughs] So, that was kind of off the cuff I guess."

Time will tell if Walker turns out to be a villain – Russell is tight-lipped on the possibility – but so far an off-hand line of dialogue has suggested he might be a secret HYDRA agent, and Sam and Bucky haven't shown much enthusiasm for the new Star-Spangled Man, either.

We won't have long to wait to find out what exactly John Walker's deal is, though. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier drops a new episode every Friday, and you can check out our The Falcon and the Winter Soldier release schedule to make sure you don't miss a moment of the action. In the meantime, find the best Disney Plus prices and deals, and discover how to watch Marvel movies in order to get up to speed on the MCU.   

Molly Edwards
Molly Edwards

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.