No compensation was given for this post. I attended a press event which facilitated this post. Hotel accommodations and airfare were provided.
I was in LA a few weeks ago to screen Captain America: The Winter Solider, and as a surprise, I also attended the red carpet premiere. During my press trip, I had the unique opportunity to sit down with most of the cast from Captain America: The Winter Solider, I even met the Producer and Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige. The brother Directors Anthony and Joe Russo even chatted with our group for a bit. I hope you enjoy reading this Chris Evans interview. Chris Evans is the real-life Captain America.
I first wanted to share with you about Chris Evans. During the week, I’ll share more Cap-related material with you in anticipation of it’s release into theaters April 4th. We were introduced to Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger — watching with wide eyes as he made his transformation from an undersized wanna-be hero to a muscled fighting machine. However, it wasn’t until The Avengers that we really saw Cap come into his own, finding the confidence to command a team of mismatched superheroes and save the world from certain destruction.
In this latest movie, Captain America: The Winter Solider the audience is treated to a much more self-assured Steve Rogers, still a man a bit out of time, but he is aware of both his strengths and weaknesses.
As Chris entered the room, it was easy to tell how humble he is – very boy-next-door. It’s really refreshing! I was standing up on the little stage where Chris would be doing the interview, because I wanted to get my voice recorder turned on and ready. I heard “Chris is here”, I looked up and there he was standing right in front of me. I did feel a little weak in the knees, but I conducted myself like a true professional. Chris sported a full face of hair (loving Chris with facial hair) and a tight black v-neck tee. I know some of you could care less, but details are details.
We got right down to the interview. A fan had tweeted me a question, so I decided to use it. I asked Chris the very first question and got the interview rolling.
What qualities in Captain America/SteveRogers do you find in yourself?
Chris Evans: 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? 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.
Do you find that the character has good qualities, and plays like a role model?
Chris Evans: 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.
That elevator fight sequence blew my mind. How long and difficult was that to shoot?
Chris Evans: That was tough. The elevator fight scene was the first thing we shot. 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 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’s no masks. So there really was — there wasn’t much opportunity to hide with a stuntman. And, so, it’s just, it’s 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, you know, 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.
What was it like, seeing yourself as Capt. America for the first time?
Chris Evans: Ah, for the first time. Uh, terrifying. Because I think the first time I saw it, it was back when I was still pretty um…insecure, and a little apprehensive about taking the role. So, it was — 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.
How many different shields did you have to use during the filming of this, and did you take any home?
Chris Evans: Yeah. They did. They gave me one. I got — 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 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.
Where is it (the shield they gave you)?
Chris Evans: It’s sitting in my house. It usually comes out after everyone’s had a few drinks. Photo shoots happen.
Some of the scenes where you run through walls and doors — did you do those yourself?
Chris Evans: 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 couple of films, you know, in the first film, you’re establishing Capt. 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’s — 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 the Russos, 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.
What was your most memorable moment during filming?
Chris Evans: 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!
What’s your favorite scene in the movie?
Chris Evans: 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. Just — it’s not just like, “oh, he’s on the ground.” No. He’s gone. And it was just such — it was very powerful, and it really showed, like, all right, I get it.
How do you get into the mindset of a man out of time?
Chris Evans: 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, but can we just…I’m sure he’s seen how people cut their hair. Can we tighten this up a bit.” Um. Just, you know, it’s not a bad look, and I kind of am rockin’ it now, but just give him a bit more of a — you know.
It’s — 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 compromise, 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.
Chris was such a joy to talk with. I can’t think of anyone better to portray Captain America than him. Chris really knows his character; it’s apparent in how quickly and thoroughly he answered our questions. To read even more for our press trip and all our coverage on Captain America: The Winter Soldier be sure to follow our event hashtag #CaptainAmericaEvent on Twitter.
I’ve seen the movie twice now and I can’t wait to watch it again. Look for more cast and filmmaker interviews being published here over the next two weeks.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier in theaters April 4th!!