By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Chris Evans returns as the star-spangled Marvel superhero in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The Sudbury, Mass., native says he has no qualms coming back for his third depiction of the wholesome, dutiful special-powered soldier.
The buff actor first played the comic book superhero in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which was a box office hit. Playing Steve Rogers, a patriot who despite his diminutive size wanted nothing more than to fight for his country in World War II, he volunteered to be part of scientific project to become super soldier to fight the Nazi enemy. After establishing himself as a hero, his plane crashes in the Arctic, where he is found frozen 70 years later, and brought back to life. He reprised the character in 2012’s “Marvel’s The Avengers,” in which he co-starred alongside Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johannson and Jeremy Renner. In that hit movie, the superheroes (collectively known as agents of a secret organization called S.H.I.E.L.D.) had to defend the earth against alien invaders known as the Chitauri in the Big Apple.
““Winter Soldier,” directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, picks up after the cataclysmic events that have taken place in New York, and Steve Rogers/Captain America is living in Washington, D.C, trying to adjust to the modern world. When a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue and mystery that once again threatens the world, only this time the threat may come from within the defense organization itself.
Evans, 32, stars alongside some of his Avenger co-stars including Johansson, reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency. He recently spoke at a press conference about reprising his role for the latest installment of the popular superhero franchise, which is based on Marvel’s popular comic book line.
Q: This film is full of people not trusting each other and wondering whom they can trust. What does somebody have to do if they really want to be your friend? What trust issues do you have?
Evans: Oh man!
Q: You don’t have to go too deep and psychological.
Evans: It takes time and experience. You need to earn trust and that’s not something that happens overnight.
Q: When the first “Captain America” film came out, you expressed concern about how the role would impact you. You worried about the loss of anonymity and being typecasting. Now that you’ve played this character in three movies, has your concerns been alleviated?
Evans: Had I not done the movies, it would’ve been the biggest mistake of my life. It really would’ve been the biggest regret to date, and there are plenty. (Playing Steve Rogers/Captain America) changed everything for me, not just what it’s enabled me to do outside of these movies, but it’s so comforting knowing that you’re making good movies. It would be a nightmare to be trapped in a contract and be making films that you’re not proud of, but Marvel has the Midas touch. Every time I suit up, I know that I’m making something of quality. It’s rewarding on every level. Thank God I had the right people in my life pushing me to make the right decision.
Q: You and Anthony Mackie, who plays your friend and colleague, Sam Wilson/Falcon, have a great chemistry in this. Did you know him before you made the film?
Evans: I’ve known Anthony for a while now. This is our third movie together. It’s funny. When I first met Anthony, it actually wasn’t on a movie set. We got along very well. We’re very similar people. We hit it off very well. We just got along and so it was very easy having just kind of a repartee and that translates onscreen. The guy is life; he’s energy on set. He just brings a certain type of spark that you need on film and you need off camera as well.
Q: Do you imagine you and Natasha/Black Widow raising a little Captain America together at some point?
Evans: (laughing) No! I don’t think that’s the dynamic of Cap and Black Widow.
Q: What was it like working with Robert Redford, who plays Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within S.H.I.E.L.D?
Evans: He’s amazing. It was pretty intimidating the day (I worked with him), because he is a living legend. But it’s always such a treat when someone you look up to that much lives up to the expectation. He very easily could’ve come on set and hijacked the film, not just as an actor, but also as someone who has directed. He very easily could’ve taken over. He showed up with the utmost professionalism. He knew his lines. The first day we filmed, we shot until 1 a.m., and he stuck around for my off camera stuff. It was like it was his first movie. He really is such an example of what it is to be great.
Q: You’ve spent a lot of time in Captain America suit now. Does it still feel as exciting when you put on the suit and pick up the shield as it did the first time?
Evans: It always feels like it gets tighter. (He laughs.) It’s like I thought it was supposed to get more comfortable. I feel like it got worse. I’m not joking. That really happens. They always make improvements on it and this type of thing, so once you get a good sweat going, it loosens up quite a bit. It’s exciting. Again, a lot of it has to do with the fact that you know you’re making good movies. If you were disappointed with the previous film, it’s going to be hard to mentally prepare yourself for living in that (suit) for four or five months, but since Marvel just can’t stop making quality movies, it’s exciting and humbling and an honor to jump back into it, no matter how uncomfortable the suit is.