He walks into the room. Gorgeous as ever with his bearded face and mesmerizing blue eyes. He looks like you’d want him to look. Like a superhero. Chris Evans Talks about being Captain America and we are all ears.
Chris Evans has now been part of the Marvel franchise for 6 films playing the superhero Captain America and stars in the latest movie, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. After watching this film already twice, I can say I am excited for everyone to see it! I’ll admit, the first Captain America isn’t my favorite Marvel film. It is good, don’t get me wrong, but after the Avengers and Iron Man 3, it just doesn’t have that umph the others offer. But this film is now my new favorite! It’s full of excitement, totally action packed, so very funny, and I mean, look at him – Chris Evans is just easy to watch for a few hours.
Sitting down with him to talk about his role and his co-stars, he will captivate you as you would hope, as you read the interview.
Chris Evans Talks about being Captain America
Q: What qualities in Captain America do you find in yourself?
CHRIS: Aww. How do you answer that question? He’s such a good guy. ‘Cause there’s no way to sound — all right, what do I find in myself? Um. You know. I think he’s always trying to do better. You know, I don’t think I’m as good of a man as he is, but I think as good of a man as he is, he’s always trying to improve, so I think the one thing I am working towards on a daily basis is just trying to find ways to evolve.
Q: Do you find that that character has good qualities, and plays like a role model?
CHRIS: Oh, completely. Yeah. When I took the role, there’s a kid that I grew up with. This kid named Charlie. You can all write this down. Charlie Morris. He’ll love this. But he won’t. He’ll hate this, ’cause he’s Capt. America. He’s like, the best kid I know. He was an Eagle Scout. And being an Eagle Scout is not easy. You’ve got to really do it for a long time. But he’s just such a good man, and he genuinely, genuinely puts himself last. He lives by a code. When nobody’s looking, he’s the man that he wants to be, and that’s impressive. And so when I took the role, I told Charlie, “Listen. I’m modeling this after you.” And it’s such a great character to aspire to be. You know. It’s such a great character. If you’ve got to go to set every day and try and tweak your brain into a certain state of mind, that’s a pretty good place to be.
Q: So, that elevator fight sequence blew my mind. The best one ever. How long and difficult was that to shoot?
CHRIS: That was tough. That was the first thing we shot. That was the first scene in the movie. It was three days, and it was awful. It was awful because you have these great stuntmen that I had worked with for about a month prior, choreographing that fight in a warehouse where we had to build a little fake model elevator. So you’re rehearsing the dance. It’s literally a dance. It’s, you know, you might as well be on your feet, doing the salsa. It literally is just rhythm and steps and beats, and, you know, with every person that you disable and drop, the fight continues with me. So, as these guys go off and take coffee breaks, I’m stuck there, doing every single aspect of the fight. And there are no masks. So there really wasn’t much opportunity to hide with a stuntman. And, so, it’s just brutal. It’s the type of thing where working out for two, three hours a day is exhausting. But for a scene like that, you know, they yell action and you give everything, even though it’s a fake fight. It’s exhausting. They call cut. You got about 30 seconds to kind of catch your breath. And then you do it again. And you do that all day, so by the end of the day you realize, I’ve been working out all day. All day! This isn’t normal. This isn’t human. You fall asleep before your head hits the pillow. So at the end of those three days, at the end of this scene, there was just this collective applause. It really felt like a giant accomplishment, and a solid way to kick off the movie, but it was a chore. But worth it.
Q: What was it like, seeing yourself as Captain America for the first time?
CHRIS: Ah, for the first time. Uh, terrifying. Because I think the first time I saw it, it was back when I was still pretty, insecure, and a little apprehensive about taking the role. So, it was a real dichotomy. There was a simultaneous joy, but at the same time, a deep fear. But that’s eroded over time, and now it’s very familiar, and it feels very comfortable, and I’ll just spit on the table for a second. It feels great now, and damn, if I had said no, I would have been the biggest fool on the planet.
Q: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Captain America?
CHRIS: Oh. You’ve gotta go Captain America. Come on. I thought you were going to say Captain America and the Human Torch. That’s a tougher question. Batman? Batman? What does he have? Toys? Don’t write that. Don’t write that. (He’s laughing as is everyone in the room) It’s gotta be Cap. (Someone says Superman) What’s that? Well, you can’t — Superman is, that’s not even fair. Who said Superman? That’s not fair. What can he not do? You don’t even — well, I’m not about to say what I was about to say, ’cause that’s going to be printed, and then I’ll get fired.
Q: If you had a 2nd choice for a superhero to play, who would you choose?
CHRIS: You know, I’ll say it: I miss Johnny Storm. I liked the Human Torch. He was a fun guy to play. I liked, you know, I would say someone like Iron Man, but no one can touch Robert Downey Jr. It’s fun to play someone with life. It’s fun to play someone who enjoys embracing their abilities, and Johnny Storm was a lot of fun to play. And that costume was comfy. It was like a wetsuit. It was perfect.
Q: How many different shields did you have to use during the filming of this, and did you take any home?
CHRIS: Yeah. They gave me one. There’s probably like, four or five different shields. There’s the one shield that’s the one shield that’s heavy and ridiculous, and you know, that’s just for show, and then every now and then, if you gotta hit somebody, you get this kind of fiberglass shield. And if you gotta throw it, you get a foam shield. But there’s a bunch of different shields but they did send me one.
Q: Where is it?
CHRIS: It’s sitting in my house. It usually comes out after everyone’s had a few drinks. Photo shoots happen.
Q: Some of the scenes where you run through walls and doors — did you do those yourself?
CHRIS: Yeah, I did a few. It was great. Isn’t it nice? It’s nice to see. I love seeing those scenes. I liked even seeing those scenes written to show just the power. In the first first film, you’re establishing Captain America. You’re establishing his ability, and he’s going to be a little clunky with his coordination. And then in the second film, with “The Avengers,” you know, you’ve got so many people to attend to, there’s not much opportunity to kind of dive into his individual skill set. But, with this movie, we really got to kind of show why he can’t just be, you know, Jason Bourne. This can’t just be a really good fighter. There needs to be something that earns his role on the team of the Avengers, so there has to be a superhero element, and in this film, when I first met with LaRusso, we talked about his fight style. We need to step that up. He needs to be stronger, faster, his reflexes, his agility. So, even scenes like that where you see this guy busting through doors without breaking a stride, it just kind of emphasizes his power.
Q: What was your most memorable moment during filming?
CHRIS: When I saw Robert Redford walk in the door. Everyone was nervous that day. Everybody was scared. There was a whole buzz on the whole set. But it’s Robert Redford. You know. I grew up watching this guy. He is a living legend. So it was intimidating. It was exciting. It was rewarding. It was surreal. So, for me, just sharing the screen with him, I mean, c’mon. That’s it? All right!
Q: With the fighting styles, what was your preparation like with the martial arts? Are you comfortable with it?
CHRIS: Comfortable now. You know. In the beginning, it’s a tricky process, and it’s tough realizing certain things, you’re not good at right away. You just want to be like, “I can do that,” and then you’re awful and you’re like, “I guess I can’t do that.” One of the things in between the first Captain America and the first Avengers, I had played the Captain America video game. I don’t know if anyone’s played the video game. I’m not really a video game guy. Someone handed me the controller, and I was playing, and the way Cap moves in the video game, there’s a fluidity and it’s very acrobatic. It’s very aerial. Very and he uses his environment, and it’s almost this beautiful, smooth dance, and when I first met with LaRusso, I said, “Have you played the video game?” And truthfully, I swear to God, they said: “You know what? We referenced the video game, too.” I said, “Good, good, we’re on the same page. But that means we need to incorporate a little bit more of an acrobatic approach to fighting.” And so we put myself in gymnastic classes, which is something I always wanted to do, kind of, anyway. (Laughing) I mean, I wanted to go play on like, the balance beam, but they were like, “No.” It was more like it was tumbling, essentially. Parkour-style gymnastic stuff. Flipping, and spinning, and just kind of getting a sense of your body in the air. So we did about two months of that. We did two months, a few hours, each day, and it was invaluable. It really lends itself to a lot of those fight scenes.
Q: What’s your favorite scene in the movie?
CHRIS: What’s my favorite scene in the movie? Um. See, I don’t know if it’s my favorite, or if it was just the first scene I was exposed to on the film. I really liked the opening scene on the ship, because it was the first time I saw Cap move the way I really wanted to move. You know. He kicked someone, and that guy was gone. (Everyone laughs, because, yes, they were gone) It’s not just like, “oh, he’s on the ground.” No. He’s gone. And it was just so very powerful, and it really showed, like, all right, I get it. I get it now. Now he actually belongs on the team of the Avengers. He needs to earn his spot there. And, for me, I really liked that scene.
Q: What is next for Captain America?
CHRIS: Meaning within the structure of the films? Well, that’s going to be tough to say. Marvel is so hush-hush about everything. People ask about the Avengers 2 scripts, and you want to try and give them something, but it’s so dangerous, because you give one sentence, and that sentence is blown out of proportion. I can’t. I can’t touch it. It’s too dangerous. Yeah. Avengers 2. Basically, what happens in Avengers 2. Can’t go there.
Q: How do you get into the mindset of a man out of time?
CHRIS: Well, you know, we’ve done that now. That’s kind of almost old hat. At this point, for this film, you can only tap that well so often. He can’t just be like, “oh, internet.” Eventually, he has to adapt. He had to become acclimated. That’s why we kind of went with the, you know, shorter hair, this time. I said, “Look. I like the Howdy Doody swirl, (again bringing us to laughter) but can we just…I’m sure he’s seen how people cut their hair. Can we tighten this up a bit.” Just, you know, it’s not a bad look, and I kind of am rockin’ it now, but just give him a little bit more of a — you know. So it’s not so much about tech shock and the acclimation to how the world — it’s more about adjusting to society, I suppose. Or just the way government works. You know. I think in the Forties who’s bad. Nazis are bad. We can all agree on that. I think given those technological advancements, it becomes a little bit harder to ensure the freedom that we offer and promise. And, as a result, it becomes this gray area of, in order to guarantee people’s safeties, you may have to infringe upon their civil liberties. And this is where it bumps for Cap. This isn’t something he’s okay with. There’s a good line in the movie where Nick Fury says, “SHIELD takes the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be,” and that’s a tough pill for Cap to swallow. You know, I think a lot of compromises, in terms of morality, comes in the form of exposure. You know, the first time you’re exposed to something, it’s going to be hard to process, but the more you’re kind of around it, the more you realize the necessity. So, this is all just new for Cap, and it just rubs him the wrong way, and it’s a growth experience for him.
Q: How is it, working with Anthony?
CHRIS: Did anyone see the press conference? I mean, he’s fantastic. The guy. Is he gonna come in here at some point? (He laughs) I can’t wait. Oh. I want to be in the audience! He’s great. I really like him. I really like him. Him and I, we’re very similar people, and this is my third movie with Mackie, you know? We’ve done, outside of the Marvel Universe, we’ve done a couple of things together, and the first time I met him wasn’t even on a film set. We met out one night, and just you know, kind of got along, right away. He just has this innate energy. Movies can be extremely tedious and tiresome, and I have never seen him drag on a film set. He comes to set, and immediately has an energy, and everybody is smiling and laughing. And, you know, certain days when he’s not there, you’re like, “Why? Why is this day awful? Mackie is not here! Where’s Mackie?” He’s just, he’s a ball of energy, and you know, he’s just a very optimistic person, and it’s infectious.
So as you can see, Chris Evans is just one of those guys. Handsome, funny, grateful, respectful and as an actor, I am a fan, no doubt, but I truly have this respect for him as a person. He hasn’t let the franchise of being a Marvel favorite go to his head. He appears to have embraced the experience in a way that makes it hard to do anything but be a fan of him and well, of course, Captain America.
Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (4/4/14)