A heart to heart moment with Chris Evans
That’s what his interviews feel like these days. Like he’s letting his guard down and we’re seeing inside the shell. The admissions of therapy, the reluctance to take on another superhero franchise, his open acknowledgment of his nervousness-bordering-on-social-anxiety. None of that is bad stuff. But there’s a fine line actors, especially famous successful ones, have to walk, and that line divides “legitimate conversation about the realities of this world” and “complaining”. In his latest interview with Glamour UK, Chris Evans is trending dangerously close to “complaining”.
It comes down to this quote: I would never trade in the decision to have done [Marvel] movies. I’ve been wildly fortunate. I just don’t know if my heart’s as in it as it once was. I think when I’m done with this Marvel contract, I’ll take a little break from acting.
Can you spot the line that made my left eye twitch? Don’t think about it from the perspective of “Chris Evans fan” or even “fellow human being”. Think of it from “PR flak who has to gloss this over’s” point of view. Here’s a hint: It’s the middle sentence.
Marvel movies are beasts. They’re physically demanding—Evans has to undergo serious training for each movie—they’re a constant grind, and being part of the big machine is, he admits, hard on him. But, saying his “heart isn’t in it”? DUDE. We get that you don’t love Big Sell. We know this about you, and we don’t expect it from you. We’ve been fine with RDJ and Tom Hiddleston being the “faces” of Marvel (and we welcome our next Marvel overlord, Chris Pratt). But don’t tell us your heart isn’t in it.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel that way. Just that airing that particular sentiment in public is, well, ungrateful. And not because he doesn’t know his own good fortune—he clearly does. It’s because of how accommodating Marvel already is. They give him much more leeway than any other actor, especially one of the Franchise Heroes. Evans isn’t even expected to carry his own movie’s press tour—he’ll be ably assisted by Anthony Mackie and Scarlett Johansson (whose pregnancy is sure to pull a LOT of focus), and maybe-somewhat-less ably assisted by Sebastian Stan (I am so interested to see what this guy’s media presence ends up being. They’re hoping for the next Hiddles, but, um. Probably not).
So feel those feelings, Chris, but the next time you start to tell us how your heart isn’t in it anymore, think of the Marvel employees who worked around the clock putting the finishing touches on your movie. You think you’re working a lot? You think you’re tired? I invite you to visit the offices of Marvel Studios and talk to any random employee. Ask them how much sleep they’re getting. Ask them how many meals they’ve eaten at home versus at their desk. And they don’t get seven-figure deals. They get normal person salaries and a studio that finds ways to rob them out of their bonuses. But you know what? They’re so enthusiastic about your movie. They’re excited about how good it is—by how good YOU are. They have your back, Chris. You’re not alone in the big machine. So maybe muster up a little enthusiasm. If not for your sake, then for theirs.
Michael Buckner/ Getty