Chris Evans may have done the gym work to get the body to play Captain America, but he had to go to therapy to get his head right to play the patriotic superhero.
“Most actors are saturated in insecurity and I'm no exception – I'm drowning in it,” Evans tells PopcornBiz, admitting to a stint visiting a therapist before agreeing to play Marvel’s red-white-and-blue Avenger on the big screen. “I went because I was very apprehensive about taking the movie. I was nervous about a lifestyle change; I was nervous about a commitment. It's six movies – six movies could last ten years, and the way that my career has gone so far is that you do movies one at a time and if all of a sudden you don't want to do them anymore, which is something that I dance with every now and then; I love doing movies and I'm not dead set on being a gigantic movie star. If I want to walk away I can. Doing a six-picture deal, you can't walk away.”
Before ultimately signing on for potentially half-a-dozen stints in the star-spangled costume (three solo Cap films and three “Avengers” movies), Evans seriously debated the impact that playing the superhero icon would have on his public profile. “A big thing that I enjoy in my life is anonymity,” he says. “I've managed to work for ten years and kind of stay under the radar. I'm not on the top of everybody's list – I can't make any movie that I want, but I can make some and make a decent living. But I can go to a ballgame and I can go to Disneyland. That's perfect, a really nice happy medium. Losing anonymity and having a change in that type of way, that lifestyle was terrifying.”
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“There's nothing that I've ever done to compare to the pressure of this movie. No question,” Evans reveals. “I said no the first few times because I think that I was just scared of it, and the more that I spoke to my friends and family about it, the more that they were saying 'Chris, you can't make a decision based on fear. You'll regret that more than anything else'."
Evans calls his sessions “a great catalyst. Had I not done the movie I don't think that I would've gone to therapy. When I agreed to do the movie and went and sat down with someone he said, 'Well, what's the problem?' I'm normally not good at press. I'm normally not good in public when I get recognized. For some reason, I get very uncomfortable. My face gets red. I sweat. For some reason, in public situations like red carpets, talk shows I just crumble.”
Ultimately, it was Captain America himself who helped Evans find the spirit to embody the proper superheroic ideal. “You can't help but bring some of your character home with you,” the actor explains. “If you're spending the whole day trying to digest how somebody thinks, you can't help but adopt a few of those traits. And it was a good feeling. It was a good way to go home. This was a guy, more than any other character that I've played, that I'd go home and say, 'I really should try and be better.' It's a good message. I think I should just try to be good. It feels nice to be good. I think I could be better.”
"Captain America" opens everywhere this Friday