Chris Evans as Captain America: Reenacting the Civil War
Cap — the scrawny but noble World War II soldier turned into a brawny and still noble superhero — has been a fan favourite from the beginning… to the Endgame.
Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
May 6, 2016
We caught up with Chris Evans just before the release of Captain America: Civil War (after Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the first two Avengers films, for anyone who’s keeping track of the chronology). Evans was in the middle of a lazy L.A. day when we spoke by phone.
In many ways this feels like an ensemble Avengers film, and yet we have Captain America’s name in the title. What makes it a Captain America film?
“Well, I feel like even with Winter Soldier we had quite a few characters. You still had Nick Fury and Black Widow and Falcon and the Winter Soldier…. I think it’s just a matter of how you balance the plot and whose eyes are you seeing the story through, and which characters hold the arc of the plot.”
In the past you’ve said the hardest thing about making this character interesting is that he’s so selfless that his internal struggles never bubble up to the top. Does that change with this movie?
“To some degree. I think you certainly are aware of a little less certainty in Steve Rogers…. When one is convinced of their own beliefs and secure in their own convictions, that can become bland. So whether you change what their actions are, or just how they view the world, or how they construct meaning from experience, I think that’s just as dynamic. And I think in this movie it’s the first time you’ve seen Steve not sure of what the right answer is. In the first Captain America, Nazis are bad. In the first Avengers, aliens are bad. Very easy distinctions to make. This time around it’s not hero vs. villain it’s friend vs. friend. It’s family members and there really is no right or wrong, it’s just a difference of opinion and that’s what makes it relatable in my eyes, and complex.”
“I think in this movie it’s the first time you’ve seen Steve not sure of what the right answer is”
You studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute, which is all about Method Acting. Do you use The Method at all when playing Cap?
“I wasn’t a huge fan of that approach. You know, you go, you learn, you try and experience and see what fits for you. There are obviously so many approaches, so many methods, and I think acting is one of the things where it’s strange to have one set language or specific approach. I actually think it’s a constantly evolving thing. I think what you may do to get inside one character may be different than what you do to get inside another.”
You’ve said that, initially, you were reluctant to sign on for Captain America, and particularly to sign on for six films. How would you have felt now if you had said no?
“Oh, it would be the biggest mistake of my life. Really. Without even a question. It would have been a really, really tragic decision. I’m incredibly fortunate that I had the right people in my life kind of pushing me and giving me the right advice. That would have been a real bummer [laughs].”
Are you ready for Avengers: Endgame?
First, get your tickets! Then, book some quality catch-up time. You’ll find all the MCU titles (not still in theatre) at the Cineplex store! Whether you should watch them chronologically or by order of release is one battle you’ll have to take on with your friends.