America's Most Wanted
So you’re now signed on for six movies as Captain America. Are you afraid of getting typecast in action roles?
Hmm. I don’t know. If I ever feel like that’s beginning to happen, I’ll just stop doing them. But that’s the way acting goes: You initially start being cast in the stuff that you’re kind of right for, and then as you continue to get work, you’re afforded more opportunities to break that mold and try to prove yourself in a different light.
But you turned down the role of Captain America three times before accepting it. When your agent is telling you to do one thing and the studio is telling you to do another, is there somebody you rely on for advice?
Well, certainly my parents. They know me inside out. I have a few people in my life who have no agenda, and it’s nice to step back and use them as an anchor to try to make the right choices.
Do you find the physical or the emotional aspects harder when preparing for a role?
The emotional is, no question, more difficult. With physical prep work, you know if you go to the gym, you will get size. There’s no chance it won’t happen. The emotional prep work is a variable. You could step onto the set one day and have a disconnect with your thoughts and feelings, and have a rough day acting because you can’t quite tap into what you need.
Which of your characters was the hardest to access emotionally?
I did a film earlier this year that went to the Tribeca Film Festival, called Puncture. It was based on a real man who had passed away. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of his family and friends, and they were generous enough to share his story with us and give us their blessing. It was a bit intimidating, because you’re trying to take something precious and make sure you do it justice. Certain days the family would actually be on set, and those are the days where it’s easy to let your mind play games with you. Those are the days where the emotional preparation can be hit-or-miss.
What about roles you didn’t get? Anything you really regret losing?
Yeah, there was one film that I really wanted. This was a long time ago; it was a film called Fracture. Ryan Gosling ended up doing it with Anthony Hopkins. It wasn’t a giant box-office success, but I really enjoyed the script and I enjoyed the character. I got pretty close and was kind of disappointed it didn’t go my way.
When setbacks like that happen, how do you find the motivation to keep battling?
You know, acting’s like a drug. You have those months where you feel lousy and depressed and you contemplate gear shifting into another realm, and then you have a great audition or you get a callback or you get a part, and you remember why you love it. It’s a tricky business, a lot of ups and downs, and you just have to maintain a healthy amount of perspective. I would never want my acting career to dictate the level of happiness I experience in my life. It’s easy to let that happen.