Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits North American theaters this Friday and the day before it opens, star Chris Evans will be beginning to shoot for his role in the character’s next appearance – in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But before he teams up again with Earth’s Mightiest, Cap forms a little team of his own with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) as they battle The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).

The film already opened in overseas markets with early reviews labeling it a contender for the best Marvel movie to date honor. That’s especially important considering the sequel’s role in bringing the mysterious S.H.I.E.L.D. organization to the forefront once again and bridging the gap between The Avengers and next year’s followup. Don Kaye had the opportunity to interview Chris Evans on behalf of Screen Rant where they spoke about The Winter Soldier and growing into the character as he evolves from film to film.

Their chat covers the evolution of the character – something Evans explains was needed to keep him interesting – and the relationships with other key characters in the film. They also touch on Cap’s new costume and if he’ll get something new again for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This is your third time playing Cap – technically your fourth – how comfortable are you in Steve Rogers’ skin at this point and how close do you feel to this character?

Evans: I feel pretty good. I feel pretty good. You know, it’s – Marvel’s done a great job of giving him, you know, evolution and arcs, so you never feel stagnant, you never feel like the character’s become stale. I always feel like there’s more to discover and more to learn. So not only do I feel more comfortable than I ever have been, but he’s more entertaining than he ever has been as well.

And this movie is bigger in every way. The stakes are bigger, you’ve got some really heavy issues you’re dealing with – talk about that.

Well, they never really gave him issues. That was one of the issues – that was one of the concerns I had with the first couple of films, that, you know, when you’re dealing with a character that’s a boy scout, when you’re dealing with a guy who chooses never to bleed on anybody – he puts himself last – it’s going to be hard to find a dynamic plot that’s going to be engaging. He’s not this brooding Batman type or this smart-alecky Wolverine type – he’s just a good man, and then that can become a little mundane. And so for this movie, they really gave him some conflict. They gave him some hurdles he had to jump in terms of who he’s working for and, you know, he had to really define who he is as a man and there were just questions of morality and values that really were a challenge.

Also, in terms of the political context of the movie, it’s very relevant to things that are going on today.

Certainly, yeah. As we were making the film, you know, all that Snowden stuff came out and it was, “Wow, this is wildly applicable,” and very fortunately relevant for what’s going on right now.

Let’s talk about a couple of the relationships, starting with Black Widow. You guys have a very complicated relationship in this film, would you say?

Sure. Well, you know, we pick up with Natasha and Cap and they’ve been working for S.H.I.E.L.D. for, you know, a while now since “The Avengers” and they’ve been on a few missions and… they’re very different people. You know, Natasha’s made a life of deceit and lies, and Cap couldn’t lie if he tried. It’s a bit of an odd couple, and without giving too much away, something happens and as a result, they’re required to depend upon each other.

It seems like you and Anthony Mackie have instant chemistry in this film.

Yeah, well, I’ve known Mackie for years. Mackie and I, we did a movie together back in 2010 and we’ve run in some similar circles and we’re very similar people and we get along very effortlessly. So it was a real treat hearing that he was going to do this movie.

And that’s a good thing going forward, because it looks like he’s going to be in a couple more of these down the line.

As he should!

We see a little bit of a different look for Captain America in this film. Going forward, do you know what they have in store for you look-wise in “Avengers 2”?

Yeah, I got a little peek at the “Avengers” costume. It’s great. They – oh God, I want to say things but I don’t know if I should, ‘cause this is what’s going to get me in trouble tomorrow. I can’t say anything. But it’s good. I’ll just say it’s good.

And without saying anything, are you excited for what Joss (Whedon) has got in store for everybody in this film (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”)?

Very much so, very much so.

When you start shooting?

April 3rd.

Are you happy to see how Evans has grown into the role and how Steve Rogers has changed from film to film, in terms of his character traits, combat skills and costumes? Let us know in the comments!

More: Captain America’s ‘Avengers 2′ Costume

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!