It’s tough to imagine the MCU without Chris Evans as Captain America.
His sweetness. His good-natured catching up to 21st-century culture. His perfect fugitive beard and the perfect chin beneath it.
But in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Evans says he wasn’t sure he wanted to do it at first – because Cap is too boring even for him.
“There’s no real darkness to him,” he thought to himself. “How do I make this guy someone you want to watch?
“I don’t get jokes. I’m not Wolverine. I don’t have dead parents, like Batman. I’m just, like, ‘Hi, I’ll walk your dog. I’ll help you move.’”
In fact, he said no, twice. The studio offered a nine-film deal and then a six-film deal – and he rejected both.
“You see the pictures, and you see the costumes, and it’s cool. But I’d now woken up the day after saying no and felt good, twice.”
Steve is a leftover from when superheroes were supposed to be pure and noble, and the only jokes they got were occasional puns while punching Nazis.
But the MCU was launched by a bad boy playing a bad boy with snark to spare, in a definitively modern take on the superhero movie.
Steve Rodgers, on the other hand, is literally as old as your granddad. He’s a man chosen as the American super-soldier specifically because he is the most noble and perfect man Stanley Tucci has ever met. He’s a virgin who can’t drive.
Steve Rogers could have been a painfully dull figurehead for the whole Cinematic Universe. But somehow the nicest and most wholesome Chris managed to turn a man without any flaws – except maybe caring too much and being too noble – into a watchable, charming hero you never once want to punch in the face.
It’s partially because he seems like he’s really, actually that nice IRL. His mega-thoughtful, politically sassy Twitter presence, far from being a liability for cautious Disney, is actually an asset for Marvel.
“I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t speak up,” he says. “Especially for fear of some monetary repercussion or career damage — that just feels really gross to me.”
“I see it as very astute, very honorable, very noble, very Cap-like,” Marvel honcho Kevin Feige told THR. “Commentary and questioning.
“I’ve said to him, ‘You’re merging! You and the character are merging!’”
(Also: RDJ also says Evans is the funniest person in the Avengers cast groupchat. Let the existence of that thread haunt your fan fantasies.)
So think of this when Cap (maybe, probably, oh god please let this be a misdirect) shuffles off this Marvel coil at the end of Endgame. It will be devastating – but if Evans hadn’t decided to take on the challenge, we never would have had this scene where he rips a log in half like he’s about to do to our hearts.
And remember that in many ways, we still have our IRL Cap wandering around Hollywood, calling out injustice.
Such a nice boy. Who needs darkness when you have a conscience AND arms like this?