Captain America: Winter Soldier — Building The Cast: Chris Evans

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While screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely hammered out the finishing touches on the screenplay, the Russo Brothers focused their attention on putting together an outstanding cast, which included Chris Evans, who returns as Steve Rogers aka Captain America. “In this film a good amount of time has passed since the events with The Avengers, so Steve Rogers has had time to process what has happened to him,” says Anthony Russo. “As the world’s greatest soldier, Cap moves on from the U.S. Army and goes to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., which creates a conflict in him because S.H.I.E.L.D. is a complicated spy organization that deals in grays and clandestine motivation, and that’s not who Cap really is.”

For Chris Evans the grounded and gritty tone of the script played to the strength and sensibilities of the title character. “Cap doesn’t fly; he doesn’t shoot lightning bolts,” informs Evans. “He punches and kicks, so with that type of combat, to make it cool you have the liberty to get grittier. It feels a little more voyeuristic, a little more documentary style, and it just has a rougher feel as opposed to most Super Hero films that tend to be a bit glossier.”

Evans continues, “As far as the character goes, Steve Rogers is now entrenched in the modern world. All of the people he knew are gone and there are many things that he struggles to understand. I always have interpreted Captain America as having a certain sense of loneliness given the fact that everyone knows who he is, but he doesn’t know anyone. Because of that dynamic, I think he’s a little suspicious of people’s motives when they approach him.”

Producer Kevin Feige comments on having Evans suit up again as Captain America: “It’s great because Chris Evans is such a good actor and is growing into this part and is embracing this part in such a great way that we get to see those other sides of Steve as he navigates this world of grays when he came from a place where it was very clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.”

“Chris Evans is one of the more technically gifted actors we’ve ever worked with; he’s easy to direct because he’s a self-corrector,” comments director Joe Russo. “He’s extremely vigilant about the truthfulness of his performance. What I think is almost impossible to convey about Steve Rogers, which I think Chris does amazingly well, is he layers the character with a combination of machismo and morality. He’s made the character very complex; Steve craves a simple code, but it’s difficult for him to find clarity in the modern world. Chris brought in wonderful layers of confusion and pathos, without losing any of the grit and purpose of the character.”

Chris Evans has equal praise for his directors, whose knowledge of both comic books and films impressed him. “They have a real healthy knowledge and love for comic books, which I think is a good foundation, and they have an encyclopedic knowledge of film. When you watch playback and they reference other films in comparison to what this shot looks like, it is spot on. These guys really know their movies and that’s comforting.”

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