EN Interview 1 - Chris Evans, 32, strolls into the Four Seasons hotel wearing jeans and a faded grey shirt. A few paparazzi recognise him and he walks quickly into the lobby as they snap away at the handsome blonde actor who will reprise the famed super hero character, Captain America, in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
One of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men, some of Evans’ other movies include: What’s Your Number, the Fantastic Four franchise, The Losers, and Not Another Teen Movie.
He dated Jessica Biel from 2004 to 2006 and he was most recently romantically linked Minka Kelly, although they broke up last October.
In person, he’s friendly, a little reserved but always polite and professional.
Q: If you were to wake up in an unrecognisable world, 100 years in the future, what would be the first thing you would do?
EVANS: That’s rough. Well, I would probably start looking up relatives, that’s what I would do. I would try and see if I have any blood around.
Q: If somebody was lost and came back from the past, what would you tell them?
EVANS: Again, if it was seventy, eighty years, I’d say, ‘You have got to check out The Beatles, you have got to check out Led Zeppelin.’ It would all be music based. You have got to watch movies too, but there are so many movies.
Q: Are we going to see any romance between you and Scarlett Johansson’s character?
EVANS: That’s the question. Well, I am not going to tell you that answer.
Q: If you had any superpower, what would you use it to fix today?
EVANS: I would fix the fact that I can’t fly. (laughter) I mean, this is going to sound so hokey, but I feel like any problem in the world in my opinion, is probably rooted in a lack of compassion. You can disagree; we don’t have to think the same, but just a sense of compassion for other people. It’s the gas, the fuel behind conflict resolve, and a lot of times when I see it, my personal opinion in politics, foreign affairs, is just this general lack of compassion for other people’s struggles, other people’s opinions. So, if I could somehow infuse that, that would be the power.
Q: In terms of the physical aspect and the challenges, how is this movie different from the first one?
EVANS: The first movie was an origin story, so all we really needed to do was get big and strong, and get some pretty basic fighting stuff. He is still learning his abilities, so with this film, we wanted to kind of show the evolution of his power and show the progress he’s made so there was a lot more technical fighting and we did gymnastics classes and having to ride motorcycles. There was a lot more involvement in the complexity of what he can accomplish.
Q: Is that fun for you?
EVANS: Yeah, it is. What other profession in the world is going to let you go jump on a motorcycle for work? Yeah, it is fun, it is.
Q: What was it like working with Robert Redford?
EVANS: Fantastic. He’s so great, I love that guy. I mean, he’s Robert Redford, he’s a living legend. I mean, he could come to set and do whatever he wants but he came to set beyond prepared and he’s an incredibly accomplished director as well. He very easily could have hijacked the set but he didn’t at all. He showed up as an actor, he knew his position, he knew his lines, and the first day we worked, I think we worked until one in the morning, it was a really, really late night and my coverage was last and I have worked with actors in the past that when it gets to your coverage, if they get tired, they go home and you read with one of the AD’s or a PA or something. He stuck around for every single bit of my coverage. He read every single off camera line, he could not have been more professional, he could not have been more humble, and just nice. So at the end of it, he was just nice. And it’s really satisfying to meet someone of legendary status and just be so impressed by the person they are as opposed to the professional they are.
Q: For the first movie when you did interviews you mentioned that you were not sure it was a good idea to take on this role. Looking back, would you say you made the right decision and why?
EVANS: I certainly made the right decision. I would really have been upset with myself if I hadn’t. One reason is because I think these movies are good and it’s always satisfying to be a part of good projects. It’s not easy to make good movies, if it was, there would be a lot more of them. But it’s really allowed me to do a lot of other things. These movies provide a certain amount of exposure, and given the way the film industry works today, overseas, pre-sale, that’s a hot commodity. That’s your currency in this town, are you known in foreign markets and these movies give you that exposure and as a result, I have been able to direct.
Q: Who are your heroes in real life?
EVANS: Mothers, my mother. Being a mum is not an easy gig because you are shaping human beings. I will give dads credit too, but in my experience, mums bear the burden.
Q: What kind of woman will you settle down with?
EVANS: It’s tough to know. I like compassionate women. I like women that feel the need to help and nurture and take care. I like women that like babies and puppies and things like that. You know what I mean? I know some women that are kind of cold and are just like, 'Oh, get that baby away from me.' I don’t like that. I want a woman who has an instinct to be maternal and caring. How do you know it’s your dream girl? I don’t know because I’ve never met her so I don’t know what’s going to feel like.
Q: Do you have the feeling that now it’s more difficult to find the right one?
EVANS: It’s tricky in a sense that it’s a little bit more difficult and this is all relative. I mean I’m very happy with my life, I’m not complaining. I don’t want to trade places with anybody but it is difficult to be able to see through people’s motives. Sometimes people have an agenda, you know. I’m sure the more movies you make the more people normally like you for the wrong reasons. That’s a little bit of a hurdle, yeah.
Q: How do you feel about people talking so much about how much you were working out and the actual shape of your upper body?
EVANS: You know, it goes with the territory. What are you going to do?
Q: What did you have to do to get in that kind of shape?
EVANS: It’s actually a lot of working out. I just started getting ready for Avengers in April. It’s a bitch. (laughter) For me, I am a pretty skinny guy naturally, so in order to get that big, you have to eat a lot. It’s a lot of protein and lifting weights is a chore but the eating is the thing that really makes you feel uncomfortable. You always just kind of feel bloated.
Q: What are we talking? Ten thousand calories a day?
EVANS: Oh I have no idea the number of calories. The rule of thumb was, if you are not eating something, you get a piece of chicken. Just go get something, be eating something. So you are not even hungry and it’s not even like you are eating pizza, fun stuff, you are eating naked pieces of chicken, so it’s medicine, it really is. It’s tough. For about two and a half, three months, and I just started this week, so I am incredibly sore right now as a matter of fact. It takes a while.
Q: What is it that they do? Why are these films so successful?
EVANS:I wish I could tell you, I don’t know. Marvel just has the Midas touch. I was going to give Chris Hemsworth a compliment, but they cast the right people. (laughter) Chris Hemsworth, who was Chris Hemsworth before Thor, and now the kid is one of the biggest stars in the world. He’s a phenomenal talent. But they find that, they see these things in people and they have done that with every director of every movie they have made.
Q: What’s next for you?
EVANS: I just directed something. As of right now, it’s called 1:30 Train, we are going to get a new title though. It’s a romance, it’s myself and Alice Eve and just editing right now.
Q: Where did you direct it?
EVANS: We shot it in New York. And that’s all I really want to do at this point. Even when I make movies as an actor, you kind of see them in a way and it’s tricky when you are acting because you just do one little thing and then you go away and then someone else makes the movie and that’s tough for me. I am very Type A and I like being involved and I like having creative input and the more movies I made as an actor, the more I realise I just wanted to be behind the camera and this was a great experience. So I am going to try to do a lot more of it.
Q: Are you big on exercise in general?
EVANS: Yes, exercising makes me feel good. If I don’t go to the gym for a week, I literally feel unhappy, truly unhappy, depressed and moody? You’ve got to go sweat and then you feel better.
Q: Memorable encounters with a fan?
The best encounters are with little kids. I remember getting a beautiful drawing once done with crayons and spelling mistakes. It’s adorable. Such a treat and it’s the best part of my job.
Q: Did you always want to be an actor? Did you have a back-up plan?
EVANS: No. I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor until high school. I wanted to be an artist but my sister got in me into theatre somehow but I think I was a good enough artist to have made a career of it.