Chris Evans’ Captain America was the heart and soul of the MCU during its first three phases and his legacy will live long into its future. It’s difficult to imagine anyone else suiting up in red, white and blue and wielding that iconic shield, but Evans has now opened up about how he almost turned down his most famous role due to anxiety.
Speaking candidly on The Awards Chatter Podcast, the Defending Jacob star revealed that he was unsure about playing Steve Rogers because he was concerned that it would force him into adopting a more public persona. He went on to describe suffering “mini panic attacks” on the set of 2011’s Puncture, the picture he was shooting when that fateful Cap call came in from Marvel.
It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set. I really started to think, ‘I’m not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I’m not sure if I’m feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.
Luckily, the persistence of Kevin Feige and his team would ultimately pay off and Evans, of course, made his debut as the star-spangled super-soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger. However, the actor admitted that nerves almost got the better of him while he was filming that movie.
Fortunately for Evans, when work began on the first Avengers pic, he found a source of support in the shape of Chris Hemsworth. Both actors were in the same boat as relative unknowns beside established Hollywood heavyweights such as Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, and they helped each other through the experience.
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 standalones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting.
Evans clearly took things in his stride from there as he made the Cap role his own and has acted as a key ambassador for the franchise, not to mention how comfortable he looks in the spotlight these days.
Although it’s hard to picture anyone else as Captain America, this is something the fans will have to get used to, as Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson is set to take up the shield in the upcoming Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Does that mean we’ve seen the last of Steve Rogers in the MCU, though? Who knows, but here’s hoping he crops up for at least a cameo in the future.