Chris Evans on playing Captain America, Avengers: Infinity War and working with the Russo brothers
Chris Evans gets up close and personal with Indulge about Avengers: Infinity War and what it was like working with the Russo brothers and being a team player in the larger scheme of things called 'Avengers'. Playing Steve Rogers aka Captain America, who is one of the lead characters in the Marvel franchise he also talks about Thanos and going to the land of Wakanda.for the first time and meeting Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman.
What conversations did you have with the Russo brothers about shooting two films in a row?
I was not envious of their position. I can’t imagine trying to tackle such a huge task. There are so many people involved. Making one movie is hard enough. But when you do two back-to-back, there’s just bound to be unforeseen challenges with scheduling alone. Actors have their opinions and their own interpretations of the characters and their struggles and arcs, so a lot of things have to fit into place. That’s just a trick target to hit, but I had a lot of faith, not just in Kevin Feige and the people at Marvel, but the Russo brothers. They’re batting a thousand in my opinion.
Did you have any influence on where your character was starting out?
Not really. On your standalone movies, you have a little bit more investment in terms of what you think the character should be tackling. But when it’s these “Avengers” movies you really don’t want to be a squeaky wheel. You really want to be a team player. You hope for the best. You hope you get some good stuff. But, Marvel’s always done right by Steve Rogers. So I really always feel that the character and the arc is in good hands, and that’s really how I felt about this one.
What does Captain America think of Thanos?
Thanos is the most challenging foe the Avengers have ever faced. The most powerful entity in the universe. So Captain America knows that we need everybody working as a team, and it’s been all driving towards this. That’s the best thing about Marvel. Every single movie has set the chessboard up for this really tense standoff. And it’s exciting to finally see Josh Brolin step on set as Thanos and see him become the character that we’ve been hearing about for so long.
How does it feel coming back for this film?
It’s powerful being on set with these people that you’ve been on almost a ten-year journey with. So many good memories. We get along so well; there’s no bad apple. It's unbelievable that it’s worked out this way. I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to be sharing this ride with.
How was it stepping into the world of Wakanda?
It’s exciting to change up the scenery. Each character has an environment that they fit in, and it’s nice to move some of those pieces around and cross some lines. I feel really lucky that I got to be the one to go and infiltrate Wakanda.
It was great working with Chadwick Boseman too. He is just a powerhouse. He really is so talented. In my opinion he should have an Oscar® already. His dedication to the role shows on this movie as well.
Set that up.
Wakanda is a really powerful ally, as you’ve seen in “Black Panther,” and an untapped, dependable resource for at least Captain America. Captain America is there to help, and there’s a mutual respect between him and Black Panther. There’s kind of an internal nobility. The men respect each other and have similar moral compasses and are eager to be there when the other person’s in need. Black Panther just happens to have a whole army at his back, so, when the Avengers call upon him, he’s ready to take the call.
Do you ever step back during shooting and find it surreal?
There’s something about these movies where for the first four of them it almost felt like it was happening to somebody else. I was almost outside of myself watching it. Now I feel like I’ve settled in, and this is a really cool thing that I get to be a part of. I started to appreciate it in a way where it doesn’t feel like a dream anymore or that I’m floating through it. I’m present for it, and it’s just so unblemished because there are so many wonderful people around me. It’s not something I’ve had to compromise or suffer in any way. It’s such a great ride.
Were you surprised how dark these films got?
I’m never surprised by anything Marvel does. They have a real deep bag of tricks. They know what they’re doing. They know how to keep fans excited. They know how to raise stakes and keep the engine pumping. I’m just excited that I get to be there when it happens.
What do the Russos bring to this?
Beyond just being wildly affable people, they’re just incredibly likable guys. There isn’t anyone that doesn’t get along with them. They really know how to modulate their direction to each individual in a way that’s just very palatable to that person. Beyond that, they have an encyclopedic knowledge of film. They’re true cinephiles, and their methods of communication are by referencing other films, which is something that I wish more directors did.
What have you enjoyed most about working with Robert Downey Jr.?
Robert has really been incredibly thoughtful in his care of the other actors, me especially. In the beginning of this franchise, I was really nervous, but he extended his kindness and warmth and helped pick me up in a lot of ways and gave me confidence and direction and support. He’s an incredibly giving actor, and he’s so complimentary even though I don’t always deserve it.
I really would’ve been lost had he not been on this movie. He really is the patriarch. He is the one running the show, and that really came to life on this movie more than the other films. There were so many actors in and out every day, and he really went out of his way to make sure everyone felt welcome, especially the people who don’t have their own franchises or have smaller roles in different movies. It can be intimidating to come onto a set with 20 or 30 actors that you’ve seen in other films. But every day we would break and have a big lunch at his place. Right away you just feel like you’re part of the club.
What has this experience meant to you?
I really like what they let my character experience in these movies, to be honest, aside from the emotional connection I have to this experience and what the movies have done for me personally and professionally. The actual day-to-day experiences on set have been really satisfying in what my character gets to go through. It’s really satisfying to have my character experience the struggle and the sacrifice and the culmination of friendships that have had peaks and valleys. It’s just a really layered, colorful experience and just as emotionally layered as any other film I’ve ever done.
How is it working with the Hargrave brothers, Sam and Daniel, on stunts?
I love those Hargrave brothers. There’s something insane in their gene pool to do what they do, but they do it so well. They’re so talented and so kind and just so tireless with their willingness to give everything they have for every single scene and really be patient with me. No matter how bad a take is, they always say it’s great. They’re just so positive and upbeat. You want to give them everything you’ve got because they’re going to give everything they’ve got.