Earlier today, Chris Evans shared a brand new Avengers: Age of Ultron poster which offered a close-up look at Captain America's new Avengers-branded field outfit. The costume is another iteration of Marvel Comics's red, white and blue star-spangled Avenger, and while Evans digs the design, he really misses the style and comfort of his Captain America: The Winter Soldier stealth suit.
Evans told us this while wearing the new superhero uniform, sitting down in front of us and other online journalists at London's Shepperton Studios. He was our first interview of our Age of Ultron set visit and seemed more enthused than ever at the current status and plans for his character, Steve Rogers, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This all took place last June, long before Marvel Studios unveiled Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and before we knew what the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron would be leading to. In our interview, Evans spoke about what's changed from Avengers 1 to its sequel, from writer and director Joss Whedon's plans and comfort level, to what each of the other stars, new and old, bring to the table and how "fun" this movie is compared to working rigorously on solo movies.
As you'll see below in the full interview, Evans briefly teases the new characters joining The Avengers as well as Ultron's army and how he's the most formidable opponent so far for the team, and him personally. We also followup on our previous conversations with Evans about what he wants to see from Cap's continuously evolving combat skill and how they step it up again this time around...
Chris Evans: Hey team!
How much is Cap reeling from the events of The Winter Soldier when we meet him here?
Chris Evans: You know, he’s adjusting. The team doesn't have anyone to report to now. There’s no more S.H.I.E.L.D. so we’re all kind of depending upon one another, but that gives him an opportunity to kind of take more of a leadership role I suppose. Since there’s no one else giving him orders he doesn't have to question the chain of command or anyone’s motives but it does mean he needs to rely on his team a lot more so it’s just kind of added a little bit more tension to the actual dynamic of the Avengers. But with these movies it’s hard to kind of dive too deeply into any one character’s plotline, you know what I mean? That’s just the nature of how these movies are going to have to work. You do your movie and then you come to Avengers and then we all address a group conflict and then go back to your conflict. There’s too many, too many plots, too many characters to try and spend too much time with your own individual conflict, you know?
At the end of The Winter Soldier, Rogers is starting his own mission? When you enter into this film do we see you on that mission?
Evans: I can’t tell you that. Next question.
[Laughs] How has the group dynamic evolved and how are the relationships developing?
I don’t think I can tell you that either [Laughs]. These are tough to give because you don’t want to give too much, too many plot points away. I can see headlines now plastering and I get a little talking to.
We are embargoed for quite awhile so you can tell us everything.
Oh you are! Oh, okay! All right, so, oh great. So, Steve's a woman in this one.
Everyone has their own personal... the Scarlet Witch... what can I tell you [Laughs] has a way of making each of us kind of, you know, she gets in your head. That’s her ability so each one is kind of confronted with their own personal issues and demons and that kind of creates personal struggles as well as conflicts for the team. So I don’t wanna dive too deeply into each person’s individual conflict but it’s tense.
This is your fourth film playing Captain America. How comfortable are you with the character and with what ownership have you taken with who this Captain America is?
Very comfortable. You know, the first movie you’re terrified. The second one you’re just, you know, intimidated because there’s so many great people but by Captain 2 is when you really start kind of hitting your stride and feeling like you’re making some core progress with the character and you get a little more comfortable speaking up when you have opinions. And [directors Anthony and Joe Russo] are so great and I love that movie and it all just kind of worked out in terms of the evolution of my personal connection with the character. So at this point I'm feeling really good and, you know, again like I said it’s hard to give too much individual attention to your own plotline in a movie like this. They still give good hurdles to jump but it’s almost kind of... I'm very excited for Cap 3.
Note: This was months before the third Captain America was revealed to be Civil War.
Is there carry over between the relationship that you and Scarlett [Johansson] have in Winter Soldier which is so funny and casual?
Yeah! You know, they do really good stuff with Scarlett in this one with her personal story as well so the bond is definitely there but in Cap 2, we established it. We’re not gonna keep beating on that one. It’s built. It’s there. It’s solid. The foundation is there. So this movie begins with kind of a connection between the two of us but she has her own arc in this movie.
Do we get the impression in this movie that The Avengers have gotten together in between the two movies or do they only come together for these big events we see on screen?
No, they do do a good job ‘cause, you know, you don’t wanna waste time - the movie’s only a couple of hours long and you've got a lot of people to fit in there so we really hit the ground running with this movie. The opening scene is, you know, [snaps fingers] boom, so we don’t wanna kind of be like 'what have you been up to?' So you hit the ground running [LAUGHS] and then you kind of pepper in dialogue like 'man, those past couple of years have been crazy haven’t they?'
That’s in no way a cheat. That’s for the audience's sake. You don’t wanna waste your time trying to be like, you know, having reunion moments. You just wanna get these guys fighting together.
...Everything that Marvel does there’s, you know, it’s a chess move. Nothing is by accident. Everything is calculated so sometimes there are things that even I find out and I'm like that’s why you did that? You guys. You sons of bitches.
Was there anything you talked to Joss about before you started on this that you wanted to make sure was included or involved?
In terms of the character, Joss helped write the first Captain America and not only that, he’s fanboy, you know what I mean? He loves comic books so it’s not like you’re talking to someone who might not have a handle of what audiences want and who this character is at his core. The only thing I kind of talked to him about was his ability consistency. You know, with the second Captain America we really pushed the envelope in terms of what this guy is capable of - which I was excited to see ‘cause in the first Captain America he’s just strong. In Avengers it was still in my opinion a little bit punch, punch, kick, kick.
It’s like fine but, you know, you just can’t be Jason Bourne. We gotta see this guy do stuff that’s like 'yeah, he deserves a spot on this squad.' You know, in Captain two he’s pinballing off of Quinjets and taking down, you know, doing unbelievable things. I don’t wanna take a step back so we gotta make sure that it seems that he’s continuing training. His fight style needs to advance a little bit. I don’t wanna go full Bruce Lee but there needs to be more than just haymakers and front kicks. There needs to be a style of fight. There needs to be a consistent display of strength, you know, utilize your environment in a way that’s like 'that’s right, he can pick up a motorcycle with one hand.'
Let’s not forget that I can't get punched by a human and get knocked down. It just doesn’t make sense to me. So that’s the only thing and that’s a tough thing to, to manage, to try to remember. You know, even in Avengers, I punched a heavy bag across a room. If I hit a person they're not getting back up. It’s just the way it’s gonna go. We can’t do this any other way. That’s it. Just trying to keep your finger on that pulse and it’s tricky with all these characters.
What Cap’s role in bringing the team back together again?
Well it’s not that he sounded of the alarm. It’s kind of out of necessity. You know, once SHIELD fell, this affected everybody and I don’t know how much I could or even should say. but there is something that affects all of us that requires us all to come back together and, and fight as a unit. Cap’s just more than willing to take a leadership role. You know, he’s been in wars. He understands the dynamic of a team. He’s not doing it out of arrogance or ego. He’s doing it out of necessity and functionality.
Who’s your favorite Avengers other than yourself now that you’re on your second adventure together?
Who’s my favorite avenger? That’s so tough. I’d put myself kind of at the bottom of the list honestly. As a man, as people, I’d take Steve Rogers. As an Avenger [Laughs], I mean come on. I don’t know. I really think Thor is pretty cool. I really like Iron Man just ‘cause, you know, I can’t get enough of Downey. Every single line he gives is so good. It’s really crazy watching him work if you ever get a chance. You’re just like god, I can see why this guy gave birth to this - we wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for Downey and what he did with the first Iron Man.
Ruffalo! You know, everything the guy does is just so interesting and unique. Such a good choice. You know, I’d be the first to admit. If you had asked me who’s gonna play the next Hulk I don’t know if he would have been in a lot of people’s radar and yet I can’t picture anybody else now but him. He’s perfect! I don’t know. Everyone’s so great. Paul Bettany, man. We just had our first scene with him. He’s so good! He’s so good. [Laughs] He’s so good. He is. You’re gonna love him. He’s gonna be amazing.