David Harbour Clarifies if Red Guardian Really Fought Captain America

David Harbour Clarifies if Red Guardian Really Fought Captain America

Alexei Shostakov is adamant that he fought Captain America as the Red Guardian in Black Widow, now David Harbour clarifies if his character is lying.

In Black Widow, Alexei Shostakov claims that he fought Captain America in the ’80s as Red Guardian, now David Harbour clarifies whether his character was lying or not. Despite being set on the heels of Iron Man and Captain America’s falling out in Captain America: Civil War, the Cate Shortland-directed film introduces several new players in the MCU. That includes Alexei — Natasha and Yelena Beloava’s father figure.

However, that’s not it. Long before Nat joined the Avengers, Alexei was already somewhat of a superhero — at least to his country. He operated as the Red Guardian, Russia’s answer to Captain America. Not much is revealed about the character’s origin story in Black Widow, but in the film, he’s adamant that he fought Captain America in the ’80s. Of course, no one would believe his story considering that Steve Rogers was still on ice at that point. But, Alexei insists, even asking Nat if Captain Rogers even mentioned fighting him as his surrogate daughter spent time with the Star-Spangled Hero as both are original Avengers. Just like him, Harbour is also convinced that they once found themselves face-to-face.

Related: Black Widow’s Ending Retcon’s Captain America’s Civil War Jailbreak

In an interview with Inverse, the actor was asked to reveal if Alexei was bluffing about encountering Captain America, and he says that he’s fully convinced that this was the case. Meanwhile, when the same query was posed to Shortland, she’s less committal with her answer, opting to joke about it than giving a straight reply.

Harbour: “I will say they are absolutely true, 100 percent. Part of the fun thing about Alexei is that I wasn’t interested in reality. He doesn’t even know that he’s lying. Sometimes as an actor, I’ll have to know the reality because I’ll know [if] the character is lying. But Alexei simply believes this stuff is true.”

Shortland: “I wanna see Alexei and Captain America together. If we saw them together now, I think we know what would happen. I don’t want to see Alexei poo his pants. I think that’s what would happen. You’d find this little boy in the corner crying his eyes out.”

Black Widow Red Guardian suit

Despite Harbour’s comments, it’s best to not treat his answer as MCU canon. He could simply be saying that he believes his character, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Marvel Studios didn’t fully explain to him the context behind Alexie’s claim. That being said, it’s worth noting that Red Guardian has demonstrated numerous times in Black Widow that he’s quite frank, almost to a fault. He says what’s in his mind, even though it’s perceived as disrespectful or embarrassing. Granted that he’s not great at articulating his thoughts, but he’s quite direct. Given this, it would be uncharacteristic for him to just make up this story, particularly to his fellow prisoners whom he was already easily defeating in arm wrestling.

So what are the chances that Red Guardian did fight Captain America as claimed in Black Widow? Quite slim if he’s talking about Steve given the timeline. But, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier established that the original Super Soldier wasn’t the only one who embodied that identity. Isaiah Bradley’s whole existence was erased from history by the U.S. government, so there’s a chance that there are other people who wielded the shield while Steve wasn’t around.

More: Black Widow: Unanswered MCU Questions

Source: Inverse

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023

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