Chris Evans Turned Down The Role of Captain America — But He’s Glad He Changed His Mind
Since his debut as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans has become synonymous with not only Captain America but the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
Evan’s turn as Captain America launched the actor into superstardom, and gave him the kind of financial and creative freedom that actors dream of. As it turns out, however, Evans almost turned down the role.
“I was really apprehensive about taking the role initially,” he says.
The Pros and Cons of Superstardom
As a Hollywood veteran, Evans was keenly aware of the toll being an actor was taking on his psyche, and worried about what diving headfirst into the world of Marvel would do to him.
“I remember in my late 20s having a real shift in how I felt on set, how I felt promoting films: a little more anxiety, a little more uncertainty. You always end up questioning, Is this what I should be doing?” To the extent that he recognized the trajectory he was on, it didn’t feel like a great one. “I just wasn’t sure if I was moving closer to myself or further away. And something inside me kept saying that I was getting further away—that something about this industry wasn’t healthy.”
After telling Marvel “no” a few times, Evans came around and accepted the role. Before making his decision, however, the Ghosted actor weighed the positives and negatives.
“The pros were that I’d be able to take care of my family forever; the cons were that I would become deeply, deeply unhappy with fame and loss of control,” he remembered.
It All Worked Out
Looking back now, Evans believes that he made the right decision. Not only did his time with Marvel give him the financial security that he was looking for, but he also managed to keep his head level through it all.
In the end, Evans learned to love Captain America.
“I love playing that role,” he says. “I feel connected to it in a way that when you revisit a character so many times you can’t help but try to absorb some of their traits and measure yourself against them.”
One person who is grateful that Evans decided to move forward with Captain America is Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
“I often think about the parallel world where he said no,” Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, says. “Robert Downey Jr. gets a lot of attention, deservedly so, for being the foundation of this studio we have here. But in many, many ways, Chris Evans was one of those additional pillars that the house would not be standing today, if not for him.”
In the end, it seems like Evans got the best of both worlds. Not only did he get the money, fame, and prestige that came from becoming a Marvel star, but he was also able to keep his sanity through it all.
“I think the world knows he did a spectacular job,” Feige says. “And a lot of it was getting out of his own head.”
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