Chris Evans’ career thus far has been bookended by superheroes. He first came to prominence as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies, and while that franchise had more than its share of problems, he wasn’t one of them. He’s done even better as Captain America, the de facto leader of the Avengers and a role that Evans absolutely owns. Between the two has come a steady diet of more offbeat projects – including a fun turn as one of the Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – that further cement his geek credentials. He discussed his second outing as Captain America during the recent press day for The Avengers. A partial transcript of his comments follows.
Question: What was your most memorable moment during the filming?
Chris Evans: The scene where Thor and Iron Man are fighting, and I intervene. I had just seen Thor the day prior, and I’d yet to see Hemsworth or Downey in their full suit. I showed up that night, and it was the first time I saw them both kind of geared up. And I was in my outfit, and I just got really excited. I felt like a little kid. I was just honored to be a part of it.
Q: You once joked that Captain America had to take the stairs when all the rest of them were flying…
CE: Yeah, there’s these scenes where I’m giving orders and telling everyone to do these impossible things. Hulk, you do this impossible thing. Thor, you bottleneck an intergalactic portal. Iron Man, fly over there and blast them out of the sky. And I’ll take the stairs. [Laughs.]
Q: You had to play the straight man here a bit, even moreso than in Captain America.
CE: Yeah, it’s tough not getting any jokes. I wanted some jokes.
Q: So, what was is it like being the straight man for once.
CE: That’s Cap’s role. It’s necessary, and that’s kind of why I like it because I am used to kind of leaning on cracking jokes and being a wise ass. So it’s nice to play it straight a little bit. And even in this film more than the first Captain America, Steve Rogers has some issues, some conflict. He’s a man out of his time, and everyone he knows is dead. But given who he is as a man, his nature, he ultimately puts that second. He puts the mission first, and he’s – he’s just selfless. That’s a fun character.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Captain America?
CE: His heart. He wasn’t born a super hero, or even someone notable like Tony Stark. At the same time, this didn’t happen to him by accident. He was chosen, and it was for those reasons, values and morals. He puts other people, other causes, ahead of himself. And that’s something to aspire to, something we sometimes lose track of these days.
Q: How well did you mesh with the other performers?
CE: Fantastic. It was wonderful… but also challenging. Anytime you do a scene with Downey… He’s so good with improv and with working off the cuff. He’s never going to do the same thing twice. So you gotta be on your toes, and respond to the moment in the right way, the way that’s going to make the scene work. He just has a natural instinct. Even up here at press conferences, he’s funny. He’s always funny. He brings a certain life to the scene even if you’re not the one making the jokes.
Q: If you had to swap any character for the next film, who would it be and why?
CE: I want to say Iron Man because I loved those movies, but you who can do it better? The shoes would be too big to fill. I’ve done Cap and I’ve done the Human Torch. I shouldn’t get greedy.