Before Chris Evans strapped on the stars and stripes, he appeared in a lot of other films where his acting talent was not fully utilized. We're not just talking about those terrible Fantastic Four movies, either. There are plenty of movies that Evans starred in that people have probably completely forgotten about.
Though he might be one of the biggest stars in the world now, there was a time when Chris Evans was relegated to the most simplistic roles available, probably due to his charm and good looks. However, now that he has proven his chops in the MCU (and some ambitious stage performances), Evans can have his pick of great roles. Still, he had to start somewhere, and these are ten roles Chris Evans plays that everyone forgets.
10 Mr. Freezy (The Iceman)
The Iceman, based on the true crime book by Anthony Bruno, tells the real-life story of Richard Kuklinski (played in the film by Michael Shannon), who was one of the most notorious serial killers in American History. Kuklinski claimed to have murdered hundreds of people over his life and often worked as a contract killer for the Mafia.
In the film, Chris Evans has a small part as Robert "Mr. Freezy" Pronge, another killer that the real Kuklinski knew and learned from. Mr. Freezy (who earned the nickname because he drove an ice cream truck) taught Kuklinski about freezing bodies and how to use cyanide to take out his various targets, before becoming one of Kuklinski's targets himself.
9 Colin Shea (What's Your Number?)
What's Your Number? stars Anna Faris as a woman who wants to settle down and get married after realizing that the number of men she has slept with is far too high. Yeah, this is a pretty regressive film, and it was hated by critics. It does, however, feature Chris Evans as a charming musician, so that's not too bad, right?
Evans is not bad in the role, per se, but the movie itself is so bad that it sort of taints every good thing in it. He and Faris have good comedic chemistry, and they work well as an on-screen pair, but ultimately, this is one role that Evans is probably glad everyone forgot about.
8 Jensen (The Losers)
After Fantastic Four, one could assume that Chris Evans would want to steer clear of any other comic book roles. As we all know now, that was not the case, but before he appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs, The World, Snowpiercer, and, of course, Captain America: The First Avenger, Evans took on the role of Jensen in The Losers.
Though the film itself is largely forgettable, it does feature a great cast which also included future MCU alums Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba. Evans's role as Jensen found him playing not the muscle, but rather the brains of the operation. He even gets one of the best scenes, when (with the help of the team's sniper) he appears to take out security guards with finger guns.
7 Nick Gant (Push)
Chris Evans clearly had a thing for playing guys with superpowers. Just two years before he would don the stars and stripes for Marvel, Evans appeared in the film Push, where he played Nick Gant, a guy with the power of telekinesis who bands togehter with other superpowered people to take on a shadowy government agency.
That sounds... a little bit familiar, right? Change just a few of the elements in that plot description and you'd have, basically, the X-Men. There's no doubt that screenwriter David Bourla was inspired by that comic book series, but mostly the film just falls flat. It does, however, also feature another MCU star: Djimon Hounsou, who played Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy and most recently in Captain Marvel.
6 Detective Paul Diskant (Street Kings)
While this particular film doesn't star any of Chris Evans's MCU friends, it is directed by David Ayer, who helmed Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. In this action flick about dirty cops and drug dealers, Evans plays Detective Paul "Disco" Diskant, a cop who helps the main character, played by Keanu Reeves, clear his name after he is framed for murder.
The film was not well-received by critics and was only Ayers's second film that he directed. Evans does just fine in the role, but the whole film is utterly forgettable. It's brimming with cop cliches and a plot that is all too predictable. Luckily, Evans got to play roles that were a lot more fun than this.
5 Mace (Sunshine)
Sunshine is a science fiction film directed by Danny Boyle that stars Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, and Chris Evans as members of an astronaut team who are sent on a mission to revive the sun, which has begun to die out, leaving the Earth freezing cold. The film begins as an interesting character study in space, but unfortunately devolves into a pseudo-slasher film in its final third.
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Evans plays Mace, the engineer of the crew. He manages to keep a cool head under pressure, and that appears to be a quality Evans brought into his role as Steve Rogers. Once again, Evans appeared in this film with yet another actor who would be featured in the MCU. This time it was Benedict Wong.
4 Jake Wyler (Not Another Teen Movie)
Among all of the parody movies inspired by Scary Movie that were coming out in the early 2000s, Not another Teen Movie might actually be one of the best. It features some pretty hilarious and specific nods to other teen movies, most of them the films of John Hughes, and features a pretty silly performance from Chris Evans, who got the chance to show off his comedy chops.
Evans plays Jake Wyler, aka "the Popular Jock." Jake is the romantic lead of the film and is pulled into essentially the plot of She's All That when his friends bet him that he can't turn the nerdy girl into the prom queen. Though the film might not stand up to repeat viewings, it gave Evans the chance to really have fun in a role.
3 Kyle (The Perfect Score)
Did you know that before they were working together in Avengers: Infinity War to save the world from Thanos, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson were working together to cheat their way into college?! It's true! The pair appeared together in the film The Perfect Score, playing high school students who plan a heist to steal SAT questions in order to cheat their way into better schools.
Evans played Kyle, the main character of the film, who dreams of becoming an architect (the typical movie and television job). Johansson plays Francesca, who joins in on the heist with the group of slackers. The film was absolutely ravaged by critics, but it did mark the beginning of a great friendship between two of its stars.
2 Harvard Hottie (The Nanny Diaries)
Evans and Johansson would go on to star in another film together three years later when they appeared in The Nanny Diaries. Johansson played the lead role of Annie, while Evans played her lover interest, Hayden (who is known throughout most of the film just as "Harvard Hottie").
Though Johansson and Evans clearly have great chemistry (which is still put to great use in the MCU), the film itself is a bit of a mess. Luckily, both stars got to move on to bigger and better things, and they are probably thankful that they got to continue working together.
1 Ryan (Cellular)
Screenwriter Larry Cohen really had a thing for stories about phones. It all started with his screenplay for the movie Phone Booth, a film whose premise was far better than its actual execution. Next came Cellular, which starred Chris Evans as Ryan, a man who receives a call on his brand new phone from a woman who is being held hostage.
Without any of the fancy bells and whistles that phones have now, Ryan is left to try and figure out how to find the woman while staying on the line with her. Though the film bills itself as a thriller, it is light on excitement and culminates in a finale that isn't entirely earned. At least Evans does pretty well with what he's given.