Chris Evans, 34, talks to MiNDFOOD about the third instalment of the Captain America franchise, which has already broken international box office sales and positioned Civil War as the best reviewed movie of the trio. The main storyline serves up a mighty battle between Captain America pitting him against one of his own, Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr.
Evans is best known for playing Captain America as well as the Human Torch, which he played in The Fantastic Four franchise. He also starred in movies such as Opposite Sex, in 2000, Not Another Teen Movie, the following year, and he starred in Snowpiercer in 2013. Most recently he starred in Before We Go which also marked his directorial debut last year.
One of the big themes of the movie is power. Can you talk about the idea of controlling and letting go of power?
This is one of the tricky themes of the film. I think when it comes to the variation between your head and your heart it’s much like in politics where your heart may say one thing but the truth may be different. Sometimes it’s tough to connect those dots and along the way comes a certain level of compromise. I think this is where we hope the film has some real depth. We want the audience to be uncertain in terms of what they believe and who is right and who is wrong. That’s why neither Steve (Captain America) or Tony (Iron Man) is 100 percent certain in what they believe.
Are you someone who leads with your head or heart?
Depends on the topic. Typically, I act with my heart.
The theme of loyalty is prevalent throughout the movie. Do you consider yourself a particularly loyal person?
I consider loyalty to be one of my defining traits and I think it’s a really beautiful attribute. I don’t want to say that it’s exclusively isolated to being from Boston, but being from Boston, that was one of the things that I was kind of ingrained with as a child, that loyalty is a real noble quality.
You spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. Do you enjoy living out of a suitcase?
It doesn’t bother me; it’s part of the job. I suppose if you are going to do that for years on end it can be an issue, but for the most part I think most actors are acclimated to the environment of living in a temporary situation. It’s not the end of the world. Some actors really don’t like it and need routine and structure. I am okay being a little bit more of a hobo.
Let’s talk about your physique – it seems that it’s become a lifestyle for you to maintain this kind of body. How much work is it and what do you have to do to maintain it?
The work is extensive and you have to have at least three months of preparation to get big. I always try and stay somewhat physically fit but when you are preparing for the film you want to try to get as big as you can just because the character in the comic book is impossibly big. While you are filming, you kind of slowly decline in your physique because of the long hours and you wear the suit every day so you are sweating an enormous amount. Everyday you take that suit off, it’s pretty disgusting to be honest. (laughter) I mean it really is gross. So you are just shedding weight. It’s literally the thing you would wear if you were trying to cut weight so you are going to shrink down a little bit.
What about cheat days?
I really don’t rob myself of too many of those, even when I am training. I am a big believer in cheat days and I don’t mind every now and then having an ice cream sundae or a donut here and there and as long as when you are in the gym if you are working hard, it will pay off.
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Oh I have got a sweet tooth. I love me some ice cream.
Is the relationship between Captain America and Iron Man a bit like a marriage?
Well I think in regards to the marriage between myself and Iron Man is that it’s forged out of necessity, which I think most marriages are forged out of love and desire to be with one another. We were brought together because there was a greater good and it’s beautiful in that what it is trying to achieve. But it is wrought with difficulty because we are different people though there is a mutual respect. We are very different animals and we are very different people, but we are working towards the same goal, much like a marriage. I think for the most part most marriages are trying to achieve the same sense of happiness and peace and it’s just that you may have different opinions on how to get there.
You’re turning 35 this year. What has made you the man you are today?
What a good question. I will say my father. And that may be a bit of a cliché answer, because I will bet most men would say the same, whether he was present or not, I think to some degree, we all look to our father for that information. Luckily and fortunately, I had a father who was very present and was an enormous impact in my life and an incredibly, incredibly selfless man. He really, really put himself last constantly. He had an unbelievable work ethic, was patient and honest and noble and he lived by a code, when no one else was looking, he was the man that he was and that is what really defines a man, I think. And I couldn’t have asked for a better role model. So it’s all Bob Evans. Not the producer Bob Evans, my father Bob Evans.
Captain America believes in true love – do you?
Yeah I believe in true love. You have to believe in true love. If anyone who reads this doesn’t, sorry that your life sucks.