In a Vanity Fair piece reporting on a book excerpt, Evans revealed that he was terrified Captain America would ruin his career.
“This is it. I just signed my death warrant; my life’s over. I can’t believe I did this. This isn’t the career I wanted,” he recalled thinking at the time. Upon reflection, he realized it was the movies themselves that scared him. “The biggest thing I was worried about was making s***** f****** movies,” he confessed. “I don’t want to make s***** movies and be contractually obligated to make garbage.”
Luckily for everyone involved, his movies are some of the best in the franchise, particularly “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” one of the best spy and espionage films of the last two decades. The quality of the movies certainly owes a debt to Evans’ impressive performances, so we’re lucky he got over his fears.
He worried Marvel would ruin his privacy
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chris Evans admitted that he turned down the role a few times out of what he called a social anxiety with the business. But after speaking with his friends and family, he came to the decision that if you are afraid of something, you should push yourself toward it. The result is Steve Rogers appearing seven times in the franchise as a lead, not to mention a few cameos in other films. But Evans didn’t take the gig lightly, and he was worried the role — and the nine-film contract it was attached to — would change his life in a bad way.
“I like my privacy,” said Evans, according to a book excerpt. “The good thing about movies is there’s a lot of freedom built in: you make a film, and then you have time off. If one of those films hits and changes your life, you have the opportunity to … run away. If you want to. Take some time, reassess, and regroup.”
The excerpt goes on to reveal that the nine-picture deal panned out to be six films: three Captain America-centered films, and three “Avengers” films. Evans is now a global star, and the actor used his role in the MCU to springboard towards roles in “Snowpiercer,” “Knives Out,” and “The Gray Man.”
He wasn’t the only option for Captain America
With Evans turning down the role multiple times, it is only natural that Marvel looked for someone else to carry the shield. There are a lot of names that were rumored — and we should stress, many of these rumors are unconfirmed — to have auditioned for the part, including stars who ended up in the DCEU like Will Smith and Scott Eastwood and stars like Sebastian Stan and Chris Pratt who went on to play other Marvel characters. One of the best stories of an actor coming up short to play the role comes from the iconic Jim Halpert from “The Office,” John Krasinski.
During an appearance on The Ellen Show, Krasinski described his audition to play Captain America in a hilarious fashion. “I was putting the suit on, and the guy was like, ‘This is really momentous.’ And I said, ‘Yes.'” Krasinski then stood up to demonstrate pulling the suit up his legs. “I was halfway up — not wearing any clothes other than this — and it was halfway up. And right at that moment, Chris Hemsworth walked by, and he was like, ‘Ya look good, mate.’ And I was like, ‘Nope. You know what, it’s fine. We don’t have to do this,'” Krasinski said as he demonstrated taking the suit back off.
If you are a fan of the MCU, you know Krasinski went on to appear as a variant of Reed Richards in “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” While he would have likely been amazing as the First Avenger, we are glad Chris Evans was able to overcome his fears and bring Steve Rogers to life in a way no one else could have.