“It’s not every day you get to hand a gun to Robert Redford,” says Australian actor Callan Mulvey.
Mulvey has starred in Australian TV shows including Rush and Underbelly, and had roles in films Zero Dark Thirty and 300: Rise Of An Empire.
Next up, you can see him as SHIELD agent Jack Rollins in the Captain America sequel that stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson.
The New Zealand-born Australian actor says the highlight was handing that gun to Redford, who plays a senior government official in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“Externally I was kind of like Josh from Rush, that character I played, all staunch and everything,” Mulvey tells AAP from Los Angeles. “But internally I was like Phoebe from Friends, hyperventilating and losing my s***. Going `Oh my God, oh my God’.”
Mulvey moved from Byron Bay to LA last year with his family after getting the call to be in Captain America.
But the wheels had been set in motion for Mulvey to get the part long before that.
It was all thanks to an audition he did for Iron Man 3 in early 2012.
Mulvey initially heard nothing but months later, when he was finishing 300: Rise Of An Empire, he got a call about the Captain America sequel and was flown over to Marvel Studios in LA for a screen test.
Although he didn’t get the part he first went for, the following March he received a call saying he had the role of Rollins and would need to be in the US the following week.
“And I came over and did it. It was shot in LA and Cleveland, and I was like a little kid pinching myself, because you’re on a set that big and it’s pretty awesome,” Mulvey says.
Mulvey didn’t work a great deal with Evans or Johansson (who play Captain America and Black Widow), but when he came in to rehearse a big fight scene he saw Evans in action.
“Chris will get shown a 30-move fight scene and he’ll only have to be shown it twice and know it… whereas on 300 we worked stuff for weeks and weeks, and I would be in my hotel room with a pen walking through the moves so I didn’t have to think about them,” he says.
Mulvey has had quite a journey since he first appeared on screens in the mid-1990s, in the TV series Heartbreak High. In 2003, just after he finished filming his big screen debut Thunderstruck, Mulvey was in a serious car accident that left him blind in one eye. He required facial reconstructions and months of rehabilitation.
A couple of years later he came back to television, with roles in Home And Away, McLeod’s Daughters, Rush and the hugely popular Underbelly series.
“Personally when I did Underbelly … I guess it was the first time I felt I could make a career out of acting (or) I felt I had the ability to maybe go further in it,” Mulvey says.
“I think my view of it all and my headspace kind of changed after Underbelly.”
Even so, he’s never without doubts.
“You can do one role and think I’ve got this acting thing down pat now, (and) then I rock up to the next gig and I’m just s****ing myself again.”
But he says that feeling keeps him on his toes and keeps him learning.
“I feel fortunate it has played out the way it has, because I’ve needed to have certain gigs occur at certain times for me to learn the things that I needed to,” he says.
“I feel now I’m ready for more responsibility and bigger roles.”
*Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in Australian cinemas on April 3.