Yes, Chris Evans has a full beard. No, super fans, it's not for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
The 32-year-old actor endured hours of questioning from the global media earlier this week to discuss his third go around as Marvel's Star-Spangled Super Soldier in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” And, considering the monster success of 2012's “The Avengers,” we're going to speculate that beard comes in handy when you're trying to get around town without being besieged by fans and paparazzi (who make Hydra seem like a walk in the park).
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the sequel to 2011's “Captain America: The First Avenger” finds Steven Rogers hard at work running clandestine missions for an increasingly aggressive S.H.I.E.L.D. Under the auspices of Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) the super spy organization is planning on implementing a “big brother”-esque satellite spying system to find terrorists before they become a serious danger to the world at large. Rogers immediately sees this as a threat to Americans' (at least) freedom and as the plot moves forward the agency determines he's actually a threat to undermine the project. In fact, a good chunk of the first half of the film alludes to contemporary concerns about drones and the NSA bypassing civil liberties all in the name of keeping the country safe. Compared to the somewhat strict origin story approach of “First Avenger,” Evans tells HitFix he was excited when he found out Rogers was actually going to have some real conflict to deal with this time around.
“You know, in the first couple films, you know, in the first 'Captain America' he's such a Boy Scout and he's just so ready and willing to put everyone else in front of him and that's kind of the nature of his character,” Evans says. “And in 'Avengers' you have so many characters to address it's hard to kind of have any too much of a personal arc. In this movie, they gave him some hurdles. I think the most difficult thing with Captain America is being such a good man. Being a guy who refuses to bleed on people. It can be a challenge trying to find a dynamic storyline. And so in this one I think they really gave him some conflict.”
Based on the trailers and TV spots which mostly focus on generic action, Fury possibly dead or missing and the always sexy Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) most moviegoers won't expect the political undertones that fuel “Winter Soldier.” Evans wouldn't say it surprised him, but he did admit he was “really happy” Marvel went in that direction.
“Whether it was unexpected or not I think Kevin Feige, you know, in Kevin we trust,” Evans says referring to the head of Marvel Studios. ” He just knows what he's doing. So, when you read the movie and think 'O.K., you know what, I could see this working.' Anything Kevin kicks out you can see it working, if it's done right. And such is the case with any movie. You read any script and you say 'This could be good, if it's done right.' And anytime Kevin has an idea it's going to be done right.”
That's high praise coming from Evans. No pressure on getting Marvel Studios phase three right Mr. Feige.
You can watch our entire interview embedded at the top of this post, but one quick news update for all those hardcore Captain America fans out there and it contains a slight spoiler.
Cap's “Avengers” uniform gets shredded pretty early in the picture and he spends some time in just civilian clothes and the third act in another familiar uniform. It all begs the question, however, will Captain America dawn a new costume for “Age of Ultron.” Needless to say, Evans has learned to be quite cagey after three years in the Marvel Studios system.
“I do,” he says when asked about if he has a new Captain America uniform.
Is it different?
And there you go.
Look for exclusive video interviews with Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, the Russo Brothers and Sebastian Stan over the next week or so on HitFix.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens nationwide on April 4.