Captain America star Chris Evans is no stranger to comic-book movies, having already appeared in The Fantastic Four and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. However, Chris admitted at a recent junket for the new movie in Beverly Hills that he repeatedly turned down his latest role. Chris does double-duty in the film, playing scrawny, 90-pound recruit Steve Rogers as well as buff war hero Captain America, the man Steve becomes after signing up for a transformative military experiment. During the interview, Chris talked about how he whipped himself into shape to play one of Marvel's classic characters and his past as a tap-dancing theater geek. Here are highlights:
- On why he initially turned down the role: "The two main reasons I was apprehensive were, one, the commitment. It started out as a nine-picture commitment and it dropped down to six. If all of a sudden my passion changed, if I wanted to write or direct, or leave the career — go live in the mountains, get married, have kids, lead a normal life — you can't. And I guess I just wasn't 100 percent positive that my end game was to be a gigantic movie star. The second part was just about the lifestyle change. I can still go to a ball game and I can still go to the grocery store and lead a pretty normal life. There's a difference between dealing with [fame] sometimes, dealing with it most of the time, and dealing with it all the time. All the time is something you can't conceptualize until it happens, and once you're there, you can't turn it off. There's no rewind."
- On why he finally said yes: "I was not doing the movie because it was terrifying to me. I do believe you can't make decisions based on fear. I think that's a big mistake, and I think you'll end up regretting a lot more of the things you don't do than the things you did. And then it kept coming back, and I kept talking to more friends and family about what I should do. I had some really good friends of mine who said, 'You know, Chris, if you are scared of something then you should push yourself right into it, for better or worse. No life obstacle is more clear-cut than this.' And I just did a 180. All of a sudden it made perfect sense that this is exactly what I wanted to do."
- On whether he relates more to Steve Rogers or Captain America: "I grew up doing theater! I grew up, half my life, in tights and tap shoes. You gotta see pictures of me from birth to 18. I mean, it's a sight. It was a bumpy road for me growing up, and I was a very skinny guy. I went to acting camp, you know? That'll give you an idea of where I'm coming from."
For what Chris said about making the movie, training, and The Avengers, just
- On how much fun making the movie was: "Well guys, let's be real. The fact is, no matter how long a list you could create of the negatives, the positives trump it. Just smoke it. I make movies, I've been sitting here giving interviews to you guys, I wear a shield, I get paid a lot of money to run around and play make believe. I'm not in the coal mines. I'm not flipping burgers. Life is great."
- On his Captain America training: "I was doing a film in Boston, and they flew a trainer out there, so we did about four months. We did two hours a day, and it was brutal. I usually like working out. Going in sucks, but walking out, you're like, 'I'm glad I did that!' This was different. I'd walk out and I'd be like, 'I need to vomit. I hate this trainer. I hate this movie. I want to go to sleep for a week.' It was just relentless. I've got a fast metabolism and I lose weight very quickly, so for me to get big, it was just eat a lot. Working out sucked, eating sucked more. You get to a point where you just can't even look at another piece of chicken. You're just so bloated, but you just have to keep consuming protein, so that was tricky."
- On his favorite moment in the movie: "I really liked the underwater stuff. I've never filmed anything underwater. When I chase the submarine, it was just a really fun week of shooting, and it was just really cool for me. We had to do scuba. You go underwater with that scuba [mouthpiece], then they pull that out, and you film, and then they yell cut, so you're underwater for a long time. It was just cool and different and I liked the way that sequence turned out."
- On how shooting The Avengers is a different experience: "The shooting schedule's a lot nicer. That's what's great about the six-picture thing, we'll be able to pinball back and forth from an incredible amount of responsibility and workload, to a shared amount of. And I can only imagine when The Avengers comes around, I think for the most part you guys are going to want to talk to Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo, and I'll be able to take a little bit of a back seat, which I'm looking forward to."