Chris Evans had everything on his plate with Captain America. However, in a recent interview, he admitted that he was unsure if he should pick up the role at all. RDJ convinced him to stay on to portray the legendary super-soldier.
Chris Evans is probably best remembered in memes. He has spent years donning the red, white, and blue and walking the streets of Manhattan fighting aliens, super soldiers, and assassins. But, according to his interview, his heart was not set on this mission from the beginning. He confessed that he didn’t feel like he should take up the role. RDJ convinced Chris Evans to take up Captain America after a heartfelt call shared between the two.
- Before Avengers
- The Avengers
- What might have been
But why didn’t Chris Evans want to join the Avengers? Where was he?
Chris Evans started with a short film, ‘Biodiversity: Wild about life’ in 1997. In 2000, he moved to L.A. and stayed with young actors. He said,
“You make a lot of strange connections with a lot of thirsty people, but you kind of are one of the thirsty people, too. It was a great time. It was. It’s like the L.A. welcoming committee”.
In 2001, he got a break in ‘Not Another Teen Movie’, where he played a high school football player. The movie was one of the films in the line of romantic comedies, and reviewers shunned the film for being whisky-washy and lacking in the script. He also acted in ‘The Perfect Score’ as a hero. Later he acknowledged, “There was ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ not a blockbuster, and then ‘The Perfect Score’, which was gone in a New York minute, and then I did a movie called ‘Cellular’, which was gone, then ‘Orphan King’, which never even made it to theatres”.
He portrayed Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) in ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer’. He followed up with a role in TMNT as Casey Jones and continued to act in many movies as comic book characters.
By 2010, he was in the perfect place to come into the MCU, and that’s when the role of ‘Captain America’ landed on his lap.
When the news broke of Chris Evans portraying Captain America, it raised some eyebrows. The actor was previously best known for his portrayal of the famous bad boy Johnny Storm, and the do-gooder Captain America was miles away from the roles he had done until then. However, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ hit Box Office gold. MCU was raring to go with a feel-good story of an underdog forming the core.
Captain America has been a legendary character in the comics. He does not essentially have any superpowers. However, the super-soldier serum allows him to perform massive acts of resistance. What sets Captain apart, though, is a central moral core.
The central moral core played an essential part in the MCU-version of Civil War, the Thanos invasion, and his fight with Bucky Barnes. Chris Evans moulded himself into the role, becoming the “political Avenger”. What is funny, though, is that he wouldn’t be here if RDJ hadn’t intervened.
What might have been
Recalling the moment when he got the offer (for Captain America), Evans said, “Getting the [Captain America] offer felt to me like the epitome of temptation. The ultimate job offer on the biggest scale. I’m supposed to say no to this thing. It felt like the right thing to do”. RDJ saved ‘Captain America’ by convincing Chris Evans soon after.
The actor recalls that he had an in-depth conversation with Robert Downey Junior and lengthy sessions with a therapist, after which Chris Evans took up the role.
Talking about the extended partnership on-screen, Downey said, “Nobody laughs more than him. Sometimes he makes me self-conscious, like, ‘Should I be more fun?’ There’s a little bit of, like, just trying to shake out the anxiety. And I’ve also seen him, over the last 10 years, go from being someone who had laughably real social anxiety to someone who has grown more and more comfortable in their skin”.
RDJ convinced Chris Evans to take up Captain America with an in-depth phone call. Captain America was confused with the responsibilities that the role created for him. He was, after all, going to be representing America on the big screen. Help from RDJ meant that he did take up the role and become a part of the MCU, and the rest is history.