Chris Evans has catapulted into mainstream movie success with his title role in “Captain America” and, soon, his super-power return in “The Avengers,” plus hunky parts like in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” His latest role, though, isn’t exactly his sexiest, though he still gets to play a hero.
Evans plays Houston lawyer Mike Weiss in “Puncture,” the based-on-the-true-story of two small-time, cash-strapped attorneys who try to take on corruption and antitrust of one of the country’s biggest GPOs, purchasers of medical equipment for hospitals. The point of the film literally hinges on a point — the point of the needle on syringes that infect thousands of medical professionals every year with diseases due to accidental needle sticks. A safe, single-use syringe is available but the corporations refuse to buy and implement the life-saving devices.
Furthermore, Mike himself “has the gift of gab,” as Evans described to HitFix, but certainly suffers his own “demons.” The 30-year-old actor seemingly spends half the film using needles himself — injecting heroin — in addition to snorting cocaine off of countertops, popping pills and swilling booze. The pair’s successes are met increasingly with failures, which causes Mike to further indulge in self-destruction.
“I’ve had some battles, some buddies who had some ups and downs,” Evans said in describing his method of getting into the mind of an drug addict. “Luckily, I’ve said, I’ve been around.”
In the film, Mike makes a heartbreaking phone call to a “sex therapist” at one of his hardest moments. Shooting that scene, “It was one of those days. I took Bad Actor Pills or something,” he continued. “I kept saying, ‘Sorry, cut.’ It wasn’t gelling, wasn’t working.”
But Evans says it was testament moment of character, story and directing; his partner in the film, Paul Danziger, is performed by one of the films directors, Mark Kassan, who helmed with his brother Adam. The shoot was six weeks long, and Evans was working “every day.”
“It’s nice doing movies like this. Small indies just have a different vibe. Big studio films, you spend a lot of time in your trailer, and they’re these long six months tedious shoots.”
Shooting for “The Avengers” and between his chronic shirtlessness in “Puncture” and “Captain America,” Evans says he never got much down time, at least from weight-lifting. He seemed relieved now that shooting is through.
“I haven’t been to the gym in a while,” he smiled. “I feel like I’d been lifting weights for two years straight.”
“Puncture” is out in theaters tomorrow (Sept. 23).