Actor and producer Chris Evans ended his run as the MCU’s Captain America in a manner that was as emotionally satisfying as it was visually spectacular. While Evan’s career post-MCU has flourished, with him starring in and producing a number of hit films and shows, the actor recently admitted to Backstage magazine that he has started missing the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I absolutely loved my time with Marvel; I already miss it. But there’s no denying that it is very exciting to just have complete freedom to pursue whatever my creative appetite wants.”
It is likely that Captain America will remain the character that Evans is most closely associated with for the rest of his career, based on the popularity of the MCU, and the decades worth of storytelling and fandom across comics, cartoons, and video games that had made Cap a global icon before the actor ever suited up in the star-spangled suit. Evans was mindful of the burden of expectations taking on a role with such a legacy would entail.
“There was this enormous expectation that these people already had in their minds, this idea of who this character was, and you have to respect that. Audiences are part of what will make [these films] work, and I owe that group my understanding of what they see.”
Ultimately, the actor had to strike out on his own, ignore what fans thought Captain America should be like, and trust his own instincts when it came to playing the character.
“At a certain point, you do have to say, ‘OK, I have to approach this the way I would anything else,’ and connect to it on a personal level without every single day being preoccupied with how it’s going to be perceived. Trying to cut your cloth according to the way you’re seen is a risky approach.”
Evans also spoke about the importance of being able to experience empathy for others and for his roles, by listening to others, that aided him in turning Captain America into a three-dimensional character.
“Sometimes, the choices that I find most powerful and moving, the choices that make you lean into an actor, the choices that make you want more, are found in those moments in between. When an actor knows how to have restraint and ride the power of silence, of listening…. Acting is the empathy for the human condition. Whether you play a hero or a villain, the empathy for a person’s process-empathy for recognizing that you don’t know how other people experience things, and the curiosity about trying to draw parallels between their experience and your own-is such a beautiful thing.”
Although fans have been clamoring for Chris Evans to once again put on the suit and wield the star-marked shield for a fresh MCU film as Captain America, the actor has steadily maintained he is satisfied with his character’s arc in the franchise, and will not be returning to the role. Still, Evan’s approach to the character has created a gold-standard for the live-action reboot of the Captain America franchise that will inevitably take place at some point in the future. Backstage brings us these comments.