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"The Avengers" is the latest in a series of blockbusters that have turned Sudbury native Chris Evans from superstar into superhero.
In fact, millions now know Evans as Captain America, protector of the nation. But off-screen, his mother, Lisa, said he still cares most about small-town Sudbury and the people in it.
"This is true for all four of my children," she said. "They love this town. They love their childhood experience. It's pretty hard not to be happy in a house where there's always music, there's always performance."
Puppet shows and plays in the basement as children inspired big sister Carly to take the stage. Their mom remembered, Chris was starstruck.
"He saw Carly performing when she was a little girl," she said. "And he said, this great! She's getting all kinds of attention. She's getting candy and flowers. I want to do this."
Carly supported her younger brother's interest, but on her terms.
"Honestly, I was in charge," she said, smiling. "I was the director and he was my actor."
Carly is an actress herself as well as a drama teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. As kids, she brought Chris to his first audition. They even shared the stage in his first production at Concord Youth Theater.
"Chris' talent --- I mean, that's a lot of raw talent," she recalled. "And he had it from the time he was young."
Through high school, he and his three siblings performed. At age 17, Chris told his mom he was graduating early to move to New York City as an actor.
"Got to do what you got to do," Lisa said. "It was hard. It was hard to be supportive but I just made sure seven days a week, his days were filled."
Connections in New York led to roles in Los Angeles. Today, Chris is the star of a blockbuster franchise that could last another decade.
"It's surreal," Lisa said. "It's strange. It's exciting. It's all of those things."
And to cope with the chaos of his celebrity life, Chris always returns home --- to either his condo in Boston or his mom's.
"This is what he does," Lisa explained about her son's routine in Sudbury. "He sits in front of the TV. He watches the Celtics. He watches the Patriots. He walks his dog and he does nothing."
He even pays for the home's maintenance so his mom won't be tempted to sell it and downsize.
"All of his friends are local," Lisa said. "Chris' closest friends are his oldest friends. And so once again, I have a house full of them."
She then added, whispering, "He still has his bedroom, which he wouldn't let me change."