Chris Evans may be playing Captain America in "The Avengers," but even he admits he geeked out the first time he saw Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth in costume.
Recently, Evans spoke with Moviefone -- the first in our weeklong series of discussions with the stars of the film -- about how nervous he was to chew out Downey on screen, Captain America's uncomfortable new cowl, and how he wants to do a quirky indie film next (well, unless Ridley Scott calls).
Scarlett Johansson told us that her suit was really uncomfortable. Did you have the same complaint about the new Captain America suit?
It is certainly more flexible than the first suit, but the cowl is a lot more difficult. The first one was a helmet so you could just take it on and off at will, but this one is actually this kind of rubber thing that goes into the suit. So once it's on, it's on. And it doesn't breathe.
So you were thrilled whenever the plot required you to take it off.
Yessss. You got it.
In your previous movies, like "The Losers," you've been kind of snarky. But in "The Avengers," everyone else gets the funny lines. Is it hard to be the straight man?
Yeah, you know, you like to have a few jokes. I'm used to kind of being the wiseass, but [Cap's] the straight man of this. He's kind of the moral compass and he's a goodhearted guy, so he's not exactly the shit-slinger. But everyone's got a role and that's his.
Was it fun to play a different side?
Oh, absolutely. That's the joy of acting.
Were you conscious of trying to live up to fan expectations while you were making the movie or did you try not to think about it?
Oh, you absolutely think about it. You have to. The hardcore fans -- the fanboys, the comic-book geeks -- they're the reason these movies get made. They're the ones that see it two, three, four times. If we didn't have that loyal fanbase, I'd be unemployed. So you have to make sure they're happy, but the way you try and do that is to become a fan. You have to read as many comic books as you can and see the character through their eyes and try to understand what they expect. So you certainly keep them in your head. But like I said, going online and checking ... everyone's going to have a different opinion. There's always going to be someone who doesn't like something, so you can't use that as your litmus test. You just have to respect what their expectations are.
What was your favorite scene to film?
I really liked the scene where Downey and Hemsworth are fighting in the woods at night and I kind of break them up. It was my first time seeing them both in their suits and I remember getting on the set and being really excited and kind of geeking out a little bit. I just like that one shot after Thor hits the shield and we kind of level those trees and it's just the three of us standing there. That's fun. That's cool. I feel lucky to be a part of it.
So this time around, Cap's a little more cynical, he's been through some stuff. I love the scenes he has with Tony Stark, where he challenges him to step up and be more of a team player. Can you talk about working with Downey?
I can't even say enough. He's an amazing, amazing, amazing person on and off set. As an actor, he's so giving. This very easily could have been the Iron Man movie. He's so capable of just dominating a scene. He owns the oxygen in every scene. He made sure to spread the wealth and made sure that everyone had a plot and purpose and everyone had substance. There were a couple of scenes we had to work together and I was nervous, just because it's Downey and I have to chew him out, which is not easy to do. But he just has a way of giving you a thumbs up and you go, "God, that felt good. Thank God." He's just so supportive. It's so nice when you meet people you respect and they're great in person because it's such a letdown when they're not.
Would you be game to do a different blockbuster that wasn't in the Marvel universe?
I like small movies, to be honest. From soup to nuts, I like the process of shooting smaller films. I think these big films, they're great and they're a spectacle and it's fun to be a part of it. But [they take] six months [to make] and it's long days in your trailer and two lines a day. Small indies can film in 21 days and you can bang through 10 pages of dialogue a day. When you go home, you feel like you made a movie. You feel like you acted and you feel like you worked. And then even on the backend, it's a much smaller intimate feel as the movie's released. I'm not a huge fan of press and red carpet and stuff like that. I just think a smaller film's more my speed. I think these will be the only blockbuster movies I'll try to get on board.
So which indie director do you want to call you up and offer you a role?
Oh man, I have so many favorite directors. I really like Wes Anderson. I love his movies, I think they're so interesting and unique. I like P.T. Anderson. I like Michel Gondry.
You like the quirky directors
Yeah. Just something unique. I like different movies. I like doing something that people haven't seen before. The first time I saw "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," I was like, "That is completely original. I've never seen anything like that." The first time I saw "Royal Tenenbaums," I was like, "Wow, that's just such an interesting take."
Well, are you up for more "Captain America" and "Avengers?"
[Laughs] Whether I am or not, they've got me. I'm contractually obligated. But luckily I had a fantastic time doing them and I can't wait to do the next ones.