Chris Evans was a relative unknown when he was cast as Captain America back in 2010. Though not a complete stranger to the public or to the superhero genre, the part was nevertheless a life-changing break for him. To date, the character’s appeared in 11 films, fronted his own billion-dollar franchise and had a major role in the highest-grossing film of all time. Yep, life-changing covers it.
Retroactive logic would create the impression that saying yes to the part was a total non-brainer. After all, how could you turn up such an opportunity? But that wasn’t always the case. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Evans divulged the anxieties he had before accepting the offer, a decision he says was the best he’s ever made:
“It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I really owe that to Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake. To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition. I fell in love with Steve Rogers pretty quick.”
The actor went on to describe the reassurance working alongside Avengers co-star Chris Hemsworth gave him, who found himself dealing with the same emotions:
“It was nice having Chris Hemsworth around because he was going through it, too. I mean, at the time Downey’s Downey and Scarlett’s Scarlett [Johansson]. And [Mark] Ruffalo and [Jeremy] Renner, at the time, were crushing it, too.”
“Hemsworth and I were very new and we also had the stand-alones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting,”
Struggling with the pressures of being a leading man (on a huge project) for the first time is entirely understandable. It’s often forgotten that Hollywood stars are human beings, too. I recall Hugh Jackman discussing his nerves on the first X-Men film, finding comfort in the guidance of his more experienced colleagues, Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. It’s a parable for anyone dealing with the nausea of stepping out of your comfort zone – don’t let the nerves stop you going for things. Nerves will pass, missing out on an opportunity is forever.
That was an unusually motivational article. Rest assured callous ambivalence will be returning as swiftly as possible. Maybe I’m ill? In any case, I’ll leave you to ponder the what-if of the story. What if Kevin Feige hadn’t convinced Chris Evans to have a crack at Captain America? Who knows who we would have had on our screens instead.