The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its excellent storytelling, fantastic movies, and loyalty to its fans. It also, easily, has one of the most talented casts in Hollywood. More than that, everyone seems to genuinely like each other. Sure, you hear stories about how casts are a “like a family”, but most of the time people don’t really buy it. The cast for the MCU seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company outside of work.
Naturally, this leads to some hilarious behind-the-scenes moments when they’ve all assembled for an Avengers film. From 2012 to 2018, when the cast has gathered together shenanigans tend to ensue. Really, the fact that shenanigans ensue isn’t that much of a surprise. For all the A-List status, the Avengers casts are made up of some ferociously funny people. It’s always fun for the fans to learn of these behind-the-scenes antics.
With that in mind, let’s look through the history of behind-the-scenes stories and factoids from the various Avengers films: the original, Age of Ultron, and Infinity War. The cast grows each time, but so do the stories. Oh, they are truly special. Here are the 15 Hilarious Exposed Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From The Avengers Set.
15 The Original Avengers Got Matching Tattoos
This one is less hilarious and more heartwarming, but we had to share it. Recently, it was revealed that five of the six original Avengers (Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Robert Downey Jr) all got matching tattoos in order to celebrate the release of Infinity War. The tattoo is a stylized Avengers “A” which incorporates part of the characters symbol into it. It’s honestly gorgeous.
Now they weren’t together when this happened. New York based tattoo artist Joshua Lord did the tattoo for Johansson and Evans, even flying out to L.A. to do it for Downey, Renner, and Hemsworth. He also got one himself and even let each Avenger do a line of his tattoo with the tattoo gun.
According to Downey, who talked with Entertainment Weekly, it started with Johansson.
“Five of the original six Avengers got a tattoo. And the sixth was the tattoo artist, who gave it to five of us, the one who opted out being Mark Ruffalo. It was (Scarlett) Johansson’s idea, and she and (Chris) Evans did it in New York. Then, their New York guy, Josh Lord, who is amazing, flew out to LA, he did me, did (Jeremy) Renner, and then we just bullied (Chris) Hemsworth into doing it, and he got it. And each one of us drew a line on the artist with his own tattoo gun and it was a total massacre. Each of us contributed to giving the tattoo artist the sixth tattoo that he designed for us.”
14 The Children Keep Roasting Their Superhero Parents
A good reason why an actor usually does a superhero film, outside of love for the character and everything, is because they want to share such a project with their children (Maybe not Ryan Reynolds given Deadpool’s content). The thing is, for most of the kiddos, they tend to roast their parents pretty hard over such projects. It makes some pretty hilarious Instagrams and stories for the talk show circuit.
Only one of Chris Hemsworth’s three children is a Thor fan. Paul Rudd’s son, when told that his father would play Ant-Man, said, "I can't wait to see how stupid that'll be." Paul Bettany’s daughter loves Iron Man more than Vision.
Chris Pratt’s son dressed up as Captain America for Halloween over Star-Lord. He also apparently thought Pratt was a fireman for some time.
Mark Ruffalo’s kids, however, seem to take pride in their dad’s Hulk status. Although he did troll one his daughter’s classmates by pretending to Hulk out in class, which freaked the kid out over not wanting the building destroyed. Zoe Saldana’s kids think that she’s related to the Hulk, which she used to get them to eat their veggies. Hey, whatever works to make the next generation of heroes.
13 Anthony Mackie Is The Biggest On-Set Joker
Most MCU fans know several things about Marvel press tours: pairings will usually repeat themselves, the jokes will be numerous, and Anthony Mackie is comedy gold. It’s usually his interviews (usually with Sebastian Stan) that get GIF'd to high heaven. For good reason, as he’s dangerously personable and has an amazing sense of comedic timing. Mackie needs to star in more comedies is what we’re getting at here. Or, at least, do an episode of Saturday Night Live.
One thing that fans have learned over the years is that Mackie is the biggest joker on-set. That’s impressive when you’re in a cast that hosts Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr, Paul Rudd, and other comedically gifted actors. Let’s be real. His scene-wrap phrase “cut the check” is in every dedicated Marvel fan's lexicon by this point.
Famously, on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live while promoting the Avengers adjacent film Captain America: Civil War, the panel agreed that productivity drops when Mackie’s on-set. Sebastian Stan says, “There’s were a few times that we were tryin’ to do the scene before he [Mackie] showed up.” Evans agreed saying, “There’s a ten percent drop in productivity when Mackie’s on-set.”
Well ten percent isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things.
12 Everyone Kept Getting Surprised By Who Was In Infinity War
One of the funniest things about the set of Avengers: Infinity War was that no one really knew who exactly was in the movie. It’s not that much a surprise, is it? Look at how big the cast is, the poster itself is stuffed full of heroes and there are nineteen names on there. Plus no one even got the real script, so it makes sense Marvel would try to keep even the cast list quiet. With a cast comprised of a ton of stars, some surprises would definitely occur on-set. Actors would hang out in a little communal area near their trailers and that’s where they would learn who exactly was in the movie they’re making.
The shoot did take about a year and a half since both Infinity War and Avengers 4 were shot back to back. The actors would be cycled out in groups during filming, based on the scenes that they were in.
During an interview with E! with the Golden Press Trio (Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Winston Duke) of Avengers: Infinity War, Mackie said that he learned Duke was in the movie because they ran into each other in New York and got to talking. Duke admitted that he got a call on a Tuesday and was on set by Thursday.
11 Chris Pratt Kept Messing Up Tom Holland
While Anthony Mackie was the biggest joker on the Avengers set, it doesn’t mean he was the only one who caused productivity to drop. Chris Pratt is well-known for being a funny guy who can teach a masterclass in improvisation. According to Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man and can’t keep a secret to save his sweet little life, he had a hard time keeping in-character around the Guardians of the Galaxy star.
Apparently Pratt made Tom Holland break-out in laughter so much that it was difficult to get a close-up of the youngest Avenger.
Holland said, “Working with Chris Pratt was pretty awesome. He is so funny, he's so fun, and he has such great stories about his career and about the industry, and he's also just super talented, you know? I found it quite difficult, because he would make me laugh so much. He's the man, I absolutely love him.”
It seemed that the young actor had found both a friend and mentor in Pratt. When Pratt was in London, Holland took him out for a drink and they caught up. That’s definitely really sweet to hear. Though if the two Peters ever have to meet on film again, we’re hoping that it will be with Peter Parker making Peter Quill feel so old.
10 Chris Evans Sings On-Set
Fans the world over may still be swooning over Lumberjack Cap that they got in Infinity War. To be fair, it’s the correct and valid reaction to that wonderful image. Evans is a multi-talented individual, but he’s also a ginormous theatre nerd, who apparently broke out the tap shoes on the set for Avengers: Infinity War.
While competing in a game focusing on the various 'Chrises' of the MCU, Evans theatre past came up. Apparently when he was in high school, Evans was voted “Most Theatrical” (it was also like the ONE question that everyone got correct during the challenge). His co-stars were more than happy to roll Evans under the bus about his song and dance antics on the Avengers set. Sebastian Stan joked that, “Somethin’ about those tap shoes lately have come out.” Don Cheadle poked fun at Evans by singing “Who knows? Uh we know, Chris.” So apparently Evans would like a role in Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story? Okay, maybe not but let us dream, yeah?
While fans can see Evans tap dance in Playin’ It Cool, we can only hope that some BTS footage of Infinity War on the DVDs will have him singing some sweet tunes. Watching Chris Evans sing in full Captain America costume? We need that. ASAP.
9 Benedict Cumberbatch Thought Tom Holland Was A Fan
Shortly after meeting Tom Holland for the first time, Benedict Cumberbatch was doing some filming for Sherlock. While he was hurrying back to his mark, Cumberbatch heard someone call his name. Thinking that it was a fan, he focused on getting set-up to reshoot the scene and ignored the voice. Eventually, Cumberbatch heard “Benedict! It’s Tom!” That made him turn around. Holland was coming home in an Uber from the Captain America: Civil War premiere, saw Cumberbatch, and wanted to say hello.
What makes this interaction hilarious in hindsight is how much time the two ended up spending together both on-set and during the press tour. The Marvel executives saw how good Cumberbatch was at stopping Holland from spoiling relevant plot points, so they were paired together for about every interview that we could dig-up from this press tour. There’s a supercut of all the times Cumberbatch had to cut-off Tom Holland before he spoiled something. It’s about ten minutes long, which seems about right.
Poor Tom Holland doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut about the spoilers. He still has one movie to go as well. The Marvel press people can only half relax until Avengers 4 comes out. Hopefully, Cumberbatch can take up duties during the next press tour.
8 Marvel Let Tom Holland Leak The Avengers: Infinity War Poster
As we’ve pointed out many times so far, Tom Holland has a reputation for spoiling Marvel movies if you let him. He’s also insanely good as Spider-Man, so Marvel Studios will never, ever let him go. One example of this from the Infinity War lead-up is when he leaked the poster on Instagram in a video. He was super excited and then he saw a note that read CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT SHARE, leading him to quickly turning the camera off. Who sent the poster to Holland? The man who accidentally streamed 20-minutes of his own movie, Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo replied to the poster with a “not my fault”.
Now that alone would be pretty hilarious, but the reveal turned out to be staged.
That just adds another layer to it. Marvel knows and is pretty chill with Holland’s reputation by this point, so they’re more than happy to poke fun at him. Is it funnier than the Deadpool marketing? Of course not. It’s still some amazingly self-aware humor from the normally tight-lipped Marvel Studios.
While Holland was mostly paired with Benedict “The Secret Keeper” Cumberbatch for the press tour, when paired with Chris Pratt, Pratt duct-taped his mouth shut when it looked like he was about to reveal a spoiler.
7 The Avengers Cast Loves The Memes
Internet culture is all about the memes, especially when they are just utterly fun. Although nothing is quite as surreal as when the people that you made the memes about start commenting on them. Most of them, especially the actors, take it with very good humor. This is especially true with the Marvel cast.
When visiting Conan a couple years ago, Chris Hemsworth was presented with the Thor name puns. He loved the Thoreal one (based off the Loreal “Because I’m Worth It” brand), Thor de France, Pas-Thor, Vic-Thor-ia’s Secret being some of the excellent name puns that Hemsworth enjoyed. Chris Pratt had to explain to Zoe Saldana about the Parks and Rec “this is my boyfriend and this is his boyfriend” meme (about Gamora, Star-Lord, and Thor). Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, and Winston Duke mainly enjoyed the innuendo from M’Baku’s name.
Tom Holland, who keeps on appearing here, took it to a new level. He shared the meme about the frog in his mouth on Instagram because he thought it was funny. As we learned on the Infinity War press tour, the weeks after learning about the meme sent Holland into an existential tail spin over the frog in his mouth. Apparently, he’s since embraced the frog and learned to love him.
6 Robert Downey Jr Occasionally Calls Chris Evans “Dorito”
Much like the memes, fan nicknames can also work their way back to the cast. One of the most enduring is “Dorito” for Chris Evans. In 2014, with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans took note that Evans shoulder to waist ratio perfectly matched up with a single perfect Dorito shape. Thus, people began holding chips up to Evans in his previous films showcasing this fascinating phenomenon. There was also fanart, so it was a pretty magical time all around.
Things got super interesting when Robert Downey Jr learned of this. Downey, naturally, is more than happy to tease and roast his co-stars when the time arrives. During 2014’s San Diego Comic Con, Downey learned about Evans’ nickname while talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was absolutely delighted to learn about this nickname, so he proceeded to use it throughout the convention and with numerous interviews.
On occasion, Downey still calls Evans by the nickname. Though obviously the sheen has worn off by this point, it remains a nice reminder of genuine friendship and comraderie that the cast has behind the scenes.
5 Anthony Mackie And Sebastian Stan Bug Tom Holland
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are considered the Golden Boys of any Marvel press tour. They’re both hilarious together with excellent timing and good riffs in interviews, plus they’re just insanely personable. The two jokesters also, however, are more than happy to rib their fellow castmates. Like when they did the ALS ice bucket challenge by using plushies as stand-ins or their jokes about Chris Evans. Lately, however, the two seem to enjoy getting under the skin of the youngest Avenger, Tom Holland. Oh, Tom, how do these things keep happening to you?
Apparently, this started when Holland stole one of Mackie’s signature jokes (“Cut the check!”) while on set.
Since then, Mackie has brought Holland a juice box during an interview, teased him about his demands on set, and got in a fake Spider-Man’s face.
Now most people seem to think this is a genuine feud of some sort, but it really isn’t. All three actors do seem to like each other. It just looks like Mackie and Stan have taken the role of an older sibling roasting their younger one. Holland is definitely amused and more than ready to shoot back when the jokes fly. So it looks less like a genuine feud and more like a joke one.
4 Robert Downey Jr Stole The Avengers “A” From Age Of Ultron
It’s a fact of life that actors will occasionally swipe stuff from set after something has wrapped filming. Ryan Reynolds literally walked off set wearing his Deadpool costume. Chris Pratt stole his Star-Lord outfit from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Chris Hemsworth has stolen like five different Mjolnirs. Sebastian Stan has an endless supply of lube, since he needed to use it on his arm to get it in the Winter Soldier cyber arm. Chadwick Boseman has the kimoyo beads. The list goes on, obviously.
Robert Downey Jr may take the cake, however, for the sheer size of what he took from set. After Avengers: Age of Ultron wrapped filming, Downey took the giant Avengers “A” from set. Why? He’s Robert Downey Jr, that’s why.
Okay, it’s not just that, except that it kind of is. As Downey explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “I said ‘Why is this in England? Send this back to L.A. I’ll put in my office. They’re like ‘Seriously?’ and I was like ‘Yeah, Yeah. I’ll wait.’ I have it.” If that isn’t the most Tony Stark thing, then we don’t know what is.
Clearly, what we need to know is if anyone can outsize Downey from stuff on-set.
3 Anthony Mackie Tried (And Failed) To Recreate “Guardians Inferno”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had some pretty hilarious moments in the film. One thing out of the film, however, was “Guardians Inferno”. The song sums up both the team and the film with sing-spoken lyrics done by the main man of the 80s, David Hasselhoff. For people who love that decade, then this is the song for you. There was also a music video and it’s pretty freaking awe-inspiring. MCU fans loved it.
Who else loved it? The rest of the cast of the MCU to the point where Anthony Mackie tried to recreate the music video using his Avengers castmates. He explained at the MCM London Comic Con why we’ll never see it. Why, you ask? Most of the cast are terrible dancers.
"We had this idea of making a music video, of this song. And we shot half of it, and then people realized how bad they were at dancing, and we couldn't get anyone else to dance.”
The worst offender? Mark Ruffalo.
"Mark Ruffalo dancing is a spectacle that everyone should behold once in their life. Once! You never wanna see it twice.”
Now we really, really want to see the video. Perhaps with commentary. If not that, then we just want to see Ruffalo dance.
2 Chris Evans Assembled Everyone By Text
Captain America has been the leader of the Avengers on and off for years in both the comics and now the movies. Way back in 2012, Chris Evans would take the leader role seriously off set. At least, he took it seriously when it came to the fun to be had off set. In a famous story around the Marvel fandom, Evans would text “Avengers Assemble” to his co-stars in order for them to bond off-set. Clark Gregg, who plays Phil Coulson, called it one of the coolest things that he’d ever gotten.
In an interview with Collider, Chris Hemsworth recalled, “Chris [Evans] sent us a text that said, 'Avengers assemble at such and such bar, at 9 o’clock on Saturday night.' That was a good group effort. We paid for it at work, the next couple of days.”
When Evans and Hemsowrth were promoting Age of Ultron with Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr, the group called Evans the social director of the set. Evans also admitted that Renner shares some of the responsibility for getting the crew together off-hours, while Downey compared going out with Renner like going into the Underworld. By this point, everyone had also become parents except Evans, who admitted that it’s now a rotating group when they go out.
1 Avengers Fantasy Football League
Almost every company has a fantasy football league going on. You get a group together, get a pot going, and wait to see who emerges victorious through the ashes and shattered hopes of their competitors. The cast of the Avengers was no different. Apparently, at least amongst the Americans, there was a league going on for, at least, two years. It led to some epic trash-talking on-set and some solid jokes on Twitter.
Who won? Captain America himself, Chris Evans. It apparently was his second time winning.
This story came out when MTV’s Josh Horowitz asked about celebrity fantasy football leagues on Twitter and Evans responded.
Don Cheadle, who plays War Machine, took to the internet and replied, "how do you manage to sound so smug in only 8 words? (*waits for sarcastic answer...)"
Evans was quick on the draw as well, "....says the guy who came in last place. (*waits for weak excuse)."
Apparently, the feelings are still real between them. Cheadle still looks annoyed when the press brought it up during the tour. Chris Pratt, also in the league, just gave a thumbs down. Ladies and the gentleman, let us present the people who will save the world next year.
Which of these surprised you most? Let us know in the comments!