This week we've shared our Avengers: Infinity War set visit interviews with Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo and directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and today we can share our conversation with Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson who help lead ragtag group of (sort of) Avengers. It's been two yeas since the events of Captain America: Civil War and now the heroes of Earth forcibly find themselves together again to stand against the greatest threat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson entered our tent located on the outdoor shooting location, Evans says hi everyone!" just as drilling equipment activated outside of the tent on set. Evans and the group broke out in laughter as we tried to speak over it until unit publicist John Pisani was able to have it turned off for a few minutes.
This Q&A took place after watching scenes where Captain America and his team land in Wakanda, approximately two-thirds into the film. The visual effects have been revised substantially from the intitial teaser trailer to today's second full-length Avengers: Infinity War trailer but you can see it there. Cap's team consists of Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Vision, and Scarlet Witch and as they land they meet with T'Challa, his envoy, and Bucky Barnes.
Chris, the last time we saw you, you were not an Avenger. And now it looks like from what we saw today, you've put the team back together.
Chris Evans: I was not an Avenger, meaning in Civil War? I see, yeah.
You’d broken away. Catch us up to where you are and what happened in-between where we’re seeing you.
Chris Evans: Sure, well… I don’t know if I would necessarily say that this is the group of Avengers. Just circumstances have dictated that we come together. Yeah, I think that’s innocuous enough, that’s safe, not incriminating (laughter).
Will we see more of a leadership role or less of a leadership role from you in this film?
Chris Evans: Um, in this film, I think intrinsically, Cap is a leader, but since there is no technical Avengers structure, well, kind of, I don’t know if I can say that.
Scarlett Johansson: Yeah, I think that’s safe to say, you’re good.
Chris Evans: I think he’s still a leader at heart. I just don’t know if he necessarily has the same chain of command that he had in prior films.
Has Black Widow been a part of this underground group, or between the events of Civil War and Infinity War, has she been on her own mission?
Scarlett Johansson: Between the events of Civil War and now, Steve and Natasha have been together, that’s how we imagined it. And they’ve - I think they’ve kind of been sort of flying under the radar but still taking care of business in the way that they know how to do, and I think when we find them in this film, as it was explained to us by Joe and Anthony, they are just a fine, well-oiled machine. They sort of have a seamless communication between them. But they’re more hardened, I think, and I think when you are working underground for such a long time and you don’t have - not that they need to have any sort of back-patting or recognition exactly, but I think when you’re sort of fighting for something that you know is important but is not being really recognized or supported by a larger organization or even like, society as a whole, I think that makes - it takes a certain toll, and you can get feelings about it in a way. So that’s kind of where we find them.
Is their relationship still just platonic?
Scarlett Johansson: Yes.
L to R: Director Joe Russo, Director Anthony Russo and Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow) on set.
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick
©Marvel Studios 2018[/caption]
Mark Ruffalo gave us a pretty good breakdown of Hulk having a pretty terrifying message for everybody, of Bruce having a pretty terrifying message. What’s your guys’ version or take on the news Bruce is delivering after his trip to Thor Ragnarok?
Chris Evans: What’s the news he’s delivering?
Thanos is pretty terrifying, that’s my understanding.
Chris Evans: He’s telling us that Thanos is terrifying?
Scarlett Johansson: (laughs)
Chris Evans: Is that what -
That’s how we understand it. He's had the most experience with Thanos at this point.
Chris Evans: I think that’s common knowledge more so than actually kind of new information.
You said that like no one’s listening to him, because of the conflict of the group.
Chris Evans: I don’t know if I would -
Scarlett Johansson: Our characters though, we have had a little bit of a taste of what’s coming. So I think we’re a little - we have a different perspective, a little bit. And I think our characters also are not - I think one thing that they share in common is they - they’re not - I think they are not, they don’t make decisions emotionally, especially, I think, Natasha. And so - like I said, I think they have a little taste of what is coming and I think they’re wary of what they’re up against.
Thanos is the big bad of Avengers: Infinity War, but also Rogers continues the feud with Tony from Civil War. Can you talk about how the film balances those things and how Steve balances them?
Chris Evans: Can I say that?
L to R: Director Joe Russo, Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Director Anthony Russo
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick
©Marvel Studios 2018[/caption]
Tease it, like in general terms.
Chris Evans: Oh great. (all laugh). So fucking wing it, and get in trouble? God, I feel like I’m on Capitol Hill. I prefer not to answer that question, for no fucking reason. (all laugh). Sorry.
We’re all on the same Twitter stream.
Chris Evans: Um - don’t print that I swore (laughs). I think Cap knows how to compartmentalize. I’m not gonna speak to what the film addresses, but in terms of my character, I think he is slowly - he’s becoming disillusioned as he gets older. Every single movie, he learns a little bit more that the world isn’t the way he kind of wants it to be, and I think that’s why there’s a connection between him and Black Widow. Black Widow has seen a lot more than he is, and is kind of a little more calloused, and I think in a lot of ways, he looks up to that and learns from that. First it was kind of the hierarchy of a kind of government structure that fell apart, and then there was a friendship that kind of betrayed him, or abandoned him, I should say. I think when those things happen, it’s like a destruction of a belief system to some degree, and you kind of can be a little cold as a result. And I think you lean on people that have walked familiar paths and there’s no denying that Black Widow has certainly faced a lot of those challenges. I think, like I said, long-winded answer, I think he’s compartmentalized it enough to put it as a lower priority than what’s at hand, which is obviously Thanos.
What does Cap think about Thanos and what does Widow think about Thanos?
Scarlett Johansson: I don’t know that I have any particular emotional reaction to him. I mean, I think our characters after encountering all that we have, whether it was Ultron or any other kind of psychopathic person, or being - my character in particular is very strategic, and it’s not something that she can necessarily wrap her head around. We’re a little bit blind going into this. I don’t know that we know necessarily know - we are wary of what we’re up against, but I think it’s very abstract.
Chris Evans: Yeah. I think it’s like - I think in some degree, it’s probably worst fears come to reality. I think the first time the sky opens up and aliens pour into the city, you kind of realize, well that’s a possibility, and we handled it this time, but who knows how powerful these people can become? And I think this is kind of a worst case scenario where you find out all the potential of someone trying to destroy your planet can be.
Scarlett, I can’t help but notice your hair’s blond. What’s up with that?
Scarlett Johansson: Yeah, well, Joe and Anthony really wanted our characters to - they wanted us to kind of feel like it had just been a period of time and we were both sort of kind of under the radar, just different, I think that red hair is a signature of Natasha. They just wanted us to look different, and so for me, I thought, alright, well maybe I’ll give it a little wink and nod to the other widows’ kind of story that has been burned out.
Chris, Joe and Anthony confirmed to us earlier that Captain Marvel will play a role and they didn’t give many details, but they did mention that Captain Marvel and Cap’s personalities are very similar in some ways, they’re both very levelheaded and do what they think is right. I’m curious what you can share in terms of how they’ll interact?
Chris Evans: I have no idea, no one’s really - you probably know more than I do, I’ve not had that discussion with Joe and Anthony yet. I mean, that’s great, it’s exciting, I love Brie, and any chance I get to interact with Brie is great. She’s phenomenal.
What can you say about the wear and tear we’re seeing on your suit right now?
Chris Evans: What can I say? Do we know what I’ve been doing? I’ve dropped the shield essentially. I kind of went rogue a little bit. But again, I think it’s in his nature to be of service, and I think to some degree in order to maintain sanity, he had to kind of function within a system. That’s how his brain works, there has to be some kind of functioning factory that he can operate within. I think Black Widow kind of, to some degree probably has a similar output, and I think we leaned on each other, especially in the face of that kind of loss coming off of Civil War. And so he’s been running these missions, answering to nobody, really. I mean, it really is the sign of a broken person. But yeah, that’s the wear and tear.
In this movie we see the return of Banner, at least in the circle if not in the official Avengers. I’m curious about the reunion between Nat and Banner. What can you tell me about their relationship in this film?
Scarlett Johansson: Well, I mean, it’s been a long period of time. Again, I think Natasha’s not necessarily the kind of - I think she's - she’s not a particularly sentimental person and I think she understands that it’s been a period of time and they both have been through - they’ve both had their own experiences separate of one another, and will always have a shared experience with one another, but again, a lot of time has passed and I think - I think they both kind of needed to see this sort of heroic decision the last time they saw one another, that they were going to sacrifice their own personal desire for the greater good. And that’s happened and move on.
The producers mentioned that everyone has personally emotional moments in this story. Can you talk about those stakes in this story, especially this being the third Avengers movie.
Chris Evans: I don’t know that I can say without giving something away…
Just do it man! (laughs)
Scarlett Johansson: I mean there’s a lot - this film is really plot-heavy. There’s just a lot of people coming together, a lot of universes coming together. I actually think that in some ways, there’s not a lot of time to have feelings about what’s going on, because we’re facing the greatest threat we ever have, and I mean that in itself is so much. Do you know what I mean?
Chris Evans: It’s very consuming. It’s like a big game of chess. This is just one move, in a very long game. So it’s tough to kind of carve out individual, fleshed out arcs that would be worth discussing beyond the individual actors’ process. I mean, I show up on screen the way we’ve explained it.
With all these characters coming together for the first time, from all these different universes, with their biggest threat ever coming here, what are you guys most excited for fans to see?
Chris Evans: Sure. I think just the nexus of all these different films. It was fun with Avengers, bringing all these characters to life, but they weren’t all separate threads of characters that’ve had their own separate adventures. I don’t think this has ever been done before, where you have so many different franchises coming together to kind of really try to make one stew. Like I said, Avengers was pretty ambitious, but this really blows that one out of the water.
What is the relationship like for both of you with Tony at this point?
Chris Evans: I don’t think either one of us are ones to hold grudges. I think we operate very binary, utilitarian approach to most things we do, and I don’t think we let emotion dictate our reality. It’s been a couple years, so I think we both, to some degree, not moved on, but maybe buried some things.
Over the course of playing Captain America, we’ve seen a pretty interesting development in politics. I’m curious what it means to you now to play Captain America in this environment?
Chris Evans: I don’t know. Uh, I mean, it’s certainly a tricky environment, we can all agree on that. Everyone’s very polarized and very divisive. So I guess it’s nice playing a character that does his best to not let his political bias dictate his choices, because I know I’m certainly guilty of doing that at times, I think we all are. It’s tough to know how to behave when it feels like the rules have just been blurred on both sides. Things that shouldn’t be effective are, and that can make everyone’s compass a little wonky. And it’s nice to play a character that has a very austere approach to reality, and I don’t know. It’s comforting, I suppose.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019