America’s Most Wanted
How Chris Evans went from a Sudbury high schooler to the face of Captain America in this summer’s biggest movie.
When your uncle Michael Capuano was running for Senate in 2009, you did some campaigning for him. How was that?
It was fantastic. It’s almost embarrassing even saying we’re related based on what he’s done to give back and how he’s basically made his life about helping other people. It’s an honor to try to help him in any way possible.
Are you politically active?
Well, my family is certainly very vocal. They’re very Italian. A lot of our holidays end with people screaming at each other across the room. And everyone’s very opinionated and intelligent. A lot of my aunts and uncles are wildly educated, and their opinions reflect that. We’re all very liberal.
If you stopped acting, would you consider getting into politics? Or do you have another fallback career in mind?
To be honest, I would love to direct. It’s something I would love to try to crack into, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’ve read a hundred fantastic scripts that didn’t pan out as films, and I completely put that on the directors. I’ve also read some mediocre scripts that have ended up being amazing and I
credit that to the directors. They’re the storytellers. If you don’t have a good storyteller, you really have nothing.
When you were on our cover in March of 2007 we referred to you as the “next Ben Affleck.” Is he someone whose career you’d like to emulate?
I respect the fact that Ben’s done such a good job directing. I would love to make the transition to director, but a lot of actors do that. I mean, you’ve got guys like Robert Redford, who directs fantastic movies. And even Mel Gibson. Say what you will about him in his personal life, but the guy can direct.
You got your start on the stage. Would you go back to that?
Oh, absolutely. That’s a dream. The problem is that it’s such a time commitment. Usually theater runs for multiple months, and it’s a little tricky right now.
What is it about the stage that’s so appealing?
Two things: One, it’s your performance. In a film, your director has power over your performance. You’re essentially handing your performance over to him, and depending on the way he edits, the music he chooses, the takes he cuts together, a performance can manifest in a lot of different ways. With theater I can give the audience exactly what I want to give them, and that’s what they’re going to receive. The second thing is the amount of time you get to stay in a character. On film, it’s start, stop, start, stop — it’s very brief moments of slipping in and out of a character. Onstage, you could be sitting in a character for 40 minutes to an hour, and I think that’s — I was going to say that’s rare — that never happens in film. And that’s just a different experience. It’s a different ride as an actor.
What about going back to TV? You did a few series early in your career.
Absolutely. TV seems to be where all of the quality is these days. From where I’m standing, at least, I think you have a much better chance — oh, let me rephrase. I think it’s much more difficult these days to find quality films than it is to find quality television. A lot of times when I go to the movies, I leave disappointed. Yet I can click on HBO and am almost guaranteed to be entertained.
Do you have a favorite show that you just have to watch?
You know, I’m gonna say this just to endorse this show, because I hope it never gets canceled. It’s nothing I could ever act on, but I love the show Archer. It is the funniest show on the fuckin’ planet, and I want to be friends with Archer. I wanna hang out with him, I wanna get a beer with him. I want him to be my buddy.
You know H. Jon Benjamin, who voices Archer, is actually from Worcester?
Is he really? God, that guy can just say anything and it’s hilarious.
You’ve got a comedy of your own coming out in September: What’s Your Number? with Anna Faris, which was filmed in Boston. How was it coming back home to work?
It was fantastic getting to work in my hometown with all my friends around. Comedies are a lot of fun. You can’t help but let that kind of infect your day-to-day attitude, as well. It was a real treat.
As a big Celtics fan, did you make it to any of the playoff games?
No, this year I didn’t. And I guess I’m glad I didn’t, ’cause it’s just so disappointing when things don’t go your way, and I had some really high hopes this season. So it was just crushing.
Are the C’s your favorite Boston team?
That’s a tough call. It’s a tight race between the Patriots and the Celtics. I think as a team — ugh, this is so tough! It’s like, which parent do you love more? How do you answer this? I think as a team, I might go with the Celtics, just because I went to a lot of games as a kid. But Tom Brady — the man can do no wrong. Tom Brady for president, I say. I think he’s probably my favorite athlete on the planet.
So what do you think of his hotly debated hair?
Tom Brady can do whatever he wants with his hair, with his clothing, with his dance moves. It’s all fine by me. Tom Brady can do no wrong.