Chris Evans is having a moment. Not only does he play noble men in movies — paging Captain America — but he’s generally perceived as a “good guy” in real life, even when he’s not tossing his mighty shield around. He’s buddies with fellow Marvel co-star Robert Downey Jr., who has nothing but praises for Evans. And he’s super active on Twitter — he engages with fans, shares behind-the-scenes pics, and praises his peers. His social engagement is so high, and well received, that fans are wondering: Is Evans trying to be Cap in real life?
Chris Evans didn’t want to be Captain America
Captain America may be strong and tough, but aside from the actual physical fights, he tends to be unfailingly polite, even when people disagree with him. Just ask Tony Stark, who once said, “Sometimes I just want to kick you in your perfect teeth.” In real life, Downey and Evans have gotten along famously. In fact, had it not been for Downey, Evans might not have been in the MCU at all. Having already done the whole superhero bit by playing the Human Torch in two Fantastic Four movies, Evans turned down Captain America not once, but twice.
“Getting the offer felt to me like the epitome of temptation,” Evans said. “The ultimate job offer, on the biggest scale. I’m supposed to say no to this thing. It felt like the right thing to do.”
But Downey Jr. sensed something in Evans, who more than proved his worth. Downey Jr. revealed in interviews that he is glad he changed Evans’ mind, not just for the sake of the movies, but for Evans himself, as he observed the experience changing Evans for the better.
“I’ve been in hundreds of scenes with this guy,” Downey said of his co-star. “I’ve also seen him, over the last 10 years, go from being someone who had laughably real social anxiety to someone who has grown more and more comfortable in their own skin.”
Chris Evans puts his money where his mouth is
Actors who play superheroes tend to stay out of the political spotlight. But Evans, who plays the ultimate patriot, has not been at all shy airing his political views on social media, much to the chagrin of fans who don’t see eye-to-eye with him politically. Evans recognizes it’s not wise to alienate his audience, but he has said he would feel worse if he didn’t speak up.
But Evans is also trying to keep the discourse level. When he met with members of Congress, he conducted interviews for “A Starting Point,” a nonpartisan website whose mission is “to create informed, responsible and empathetic citizens” by offering viewpoints from both sides of the political fence.
The launch date of the website has not been set, but Evans says in the clip: “It’s not about my political opinion. This is about yours. This is a chance for you to talk about issues that matter to you.”
According to the Look to the Stars website, which tracks celebrities’ charitable giving, Evans has contributed to the organizations Breast Cancer Care and Got Your Six. The latter helps military veterans readjust to civilian life.
Life for Chris Evans after Captain America
Captain America: Civil War made a big deal out of asking fans whether they were Team Iron Man or Team Captain America. As Avengers: Endgame brings the comic book saga to a close, it’s clear people like to be on Team Chris Evans. Contrary to some reports, he is not retiring from acting, just from the role as Captain America. He has several gigs lined up, including Knives Out, a noir thriller directed by Rian Johnson of The Last Jedi fame.
“At the root of it, he has true humility,” says Downey Jr. “I think it’s the reason he was able to kind of come to the front and be our team leader in the Avengers. I think a lot of his theater experience helped, too. Because it was like, ‘OK, I’m going to dress up, I’m going to go out, and I’m going to tell the truth.’”
Meanwhile, Evans himself remains ever the good soldier. “I don’t know about you, but I cried like six times,” Evans said at the Avengers: Endgame premiere.