Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Stars I Love: Chris Evans

If Ryan Gosling is the king of Canadian Charm, there's truly only one option for the All-American Human Unicorn. And that is Chris Evans. Not only has he played Captain America with nothing short of charisma and charm, but underneath the blue eyes and oggle-worthy muscles, he's compassionate, pragmatic, and sensitive. So, settle into your Captain America suit, because in celebration of his birthday, we're digging into the Superhero Who Walks Among Us Chris Evans.

Everyone knows Evans by his biggest portrayal so far as Captain America. But for playing such an iconic character and easily recognized as a Hollywood hunk, his background is deeply rooted in Boston pride and growing up in the theatre. His family, especially his siblings, performed in school so much that their enthusiasm rubbed off on him to try it out. He soon played almost every role one could think of from dramas to musicals.

When he made his way to Hollywood in his early twenties, Evans started - as he says - earning his stripes on-screen. In 2001, he starred as The Popular Jock in Not Another Teen Movie, a parody of teen comedies. Where other actors might've starred in embarrassing commercials, this part required him to dip himself in whip cream, cherries, and put a banana in his butt. A movie that seems like it would only exist as far as it did in theaters and video, now lives on the internet as one of those that helped make a star.

It wasn't long before he landed his first big hit as the ladies man Johnny Storm / Human Torch in Fantastic Four.  Immediately, Evans is insatiably likable as the funny, bro sidekick to the rest of the team, and it's interesting how Marvel creator Stan Lee thought he'd perfect for Captain America - who has the complete opposite personality.

But even taking on a major blockbuster didn't stop him from going back to smaller movies. His filmography manages to hit a variety of genres, but there isn't an overall theme; he's starred in the sci-fi Sunshine, indie Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and dramas Street Kings to an adaptation of Tennessee William's The Loss of A Tear Drop Diamond. Some romantic comedies like The Nanny Diaries and What's Your Number took more advantage of his good looks as he played the hot guy next door - where he's basically just nakednakednaked - not that anyone can complain too much about that. Mainly, he chooses what he finds interesting to work on (and what would fit into his MCU schedule). You can tell that he's having fun and just doing what makes him feel creative.

It'd only be several years after Johnny Storm that a bigger superhero role would come his way: Captain America. Even though he's become synonymous with Marvel, and is known as on-screen stud with a heart of gold, many might not know he suffers from anxiety. When he was originally approached to play Rogers, Evans turned it down several times and saw a therapist to discuss his fears. Having been cast in smaller roles up to that point, he recognized that signing onto several movies for one character meant that as he knew life up to that point would change.
“I said ‘no’ a few times, but I was saying ‘no’ out of fear. You can’t do anything out of fear… So it ended up kinda clicking to me in the way looking at this. Whatever you’re scared of, push yourself into it.”
Like most of the actors cast into the Marvel movies, Evans coincidentally ended up fitting Steve Rogers like a glove - he has a strong moral compass and tries to do good by the world and his fans. Despite his reservations to sign on, as one of the few main superhero characters, Evans managed to do much more than act through a mask and body suit to pull off complicated stunts and bring humility to what could've been an over-the-top role.

Throughout his career, he's been open about his struggles with anxiety, especially at public events like premieres and red carpets; his quest for stillness is something he's explored since he was a kid. In this video, he answers questions from one of his good friends and lifestyle coach Lindsey McKeon about what his mindset is like with anxiety and how he finds peace.

Read any one of these quotes and it's easy to see why fans swoon over his vulnerability, consideration towards others, and child-like personality. He's not afraid to have fun and also learn from important movements like MeToo or TimesUp, speak out against Donald Trump and, support the LGBTQ community. Like Gosling and other popular male stars, they've forged a space for men to not be so toxic in and out of Hollywood; they're not afraid of the "bro-meter" and let people see them in their dorky animal-rights-LGBTQ-feminist-supporting glory.

5 Favorite Movies (Though I Could've Picked More
But We'd Be Here All Day)

Before We Go

If you're a delusional fangirl like me, I'm not going to lie - this is the perfect date night movie. Making his directorial debut, the actor stars as Nick trying to get home from NYC to Boston in order to save her marriage. It's not only lovely to see him get his feet wet behind the camera and direct for the first time, but the chemistry between himself and Al

What's Your Number

As much as I love Chris in romantic comedies, I'm happy he didn't get roped into only doing this genre. But What's Your Number is a good example of how a character like this could've been more chauvinistic if someone else played him. Ally (Anna Faris) questions how many men she's slept with when she comes across an article that suggests hitting a certain number will ruin women's chances of getting married. (IDK who writes this stuff). Meanwhile her hot neighbor Colin (Evans) sleeps around all he wants and tries to encourage her that this quest of finding out her number is silly. Evans is basically a slab of meat with eyes, but he's also terribly funny and charming. (And I also think this is a performance where his anxiety of being an object is sadly quite obvious.)


Based on a true story about Mike Weiss, an underdog Houston lawyer and a drug addict who takes on a case of a nurse who is pricked by a contaminated needle. Despite himself and his law partner Paul Danziger having a small-time practice, they take on the healthcare and pharmaceutical companies who want to stop the possible manufacturing of safe needles. Not only will Puncture make you change the way you see the healthcare industry, it's the most political-centric film he's done so far.


Outside of playing Captain America, a lot of movies didn't come around that floated Evan's creative fire. But it's refreshing that Snowpiercer came his way. Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, a class system divides the last of a survivors on a moving train after the world hits an ice age. Curtis (Evans) and his fellow survivors, known as scum, at the back of the train plan to overthrow the upper class and the train's operator, but face deadly consequences along the way. Snowpiercer i Chris's break-out role from Marvel, letting him challenge his acting chops and go for something a little darker. It's one of the most visceral apocalypse movies ever and unlike anything else in his filmography.

Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe wouldn't be what it is today if the studios didn't take a chance on Robert Downey Jr to play Iron Man. For that, we also wouldn't have Evans as Captain America because Downey pretty much talked him into it. I probably don't need to go into this considering my love of Captain America already, but Chris is the perfect Steve Rogers; he carried his values of patriotism and service with grace and charm without making him boring, and managed to play Steve with a sense of trying to find his way despite everything. He's perfect.

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