I have always liked Chris Evans. In my early days writing for LaineyGossip, I took a lot of sh*t from Lainey for liking him, but I think maybe she’s starting to come around. He’s a low-key guy, good looking but not obnoxious about it, and thanks to the career intervention of Marvel and Captain America, he’s finally in some movies that aren’t embarrassing to be caught seeing in public. And now he’s at TIFF promoting another not-embarrassing movie, the serial killer biopic The Iceman, in which Evans has a small part as a serial killer. During his press rounds, Evans was interviewed by Mike Ryan, and the result is pretty amazing. He’s candid, he’s blunt, there’s impatience and an exhaustion he isn’t remotely trying to hide. And yet, he’s not complaining. Two years ago when I wrote about liking Chris Evans, we hadn’t yet seen Captain America. I was unsure of his ability to go toe-to-toe with Robert Downey, Jr. I hadn’t put in the effort to see some of the more obscure titles on his resume. But now we have seen him capably carry a blockbuster, he can act opposite RDJ and not disappear, and a couple of those random indies are actually not horrible. Evans is turning into the guy I always thought he could be, which is a decent enough actor, a crowd pleaser—maybe the next Harrison Ford. Except…
He has sh*t taste in women.
A few weeks back when word came out that Evans was getting reacquainted with his ex Minka Kelly, I expressed borderline ragey disappointment in him. Lainey was like, “Whatever, he’s a dude, she’s hot, it makes sense.” And if you just see him as a dudebro, as an Action Guy With Muscles, well sure. It does make sense.
But Evans is selling something different these days. He wants some credibility, he wants recognition for the "good movies", and he wants us to know that he Thinks About Things, and Know Stuff, Too. He wants us to take him seriously, or he wouldn't make that comment about how no one sees his "good movies". Taking the easy hook ups with hot chicks, though, is off brand. It’s a harsh judgment, I know, but this is why so many actors go on blind dates set up by their publicist or agent. You are selling YOU as much as you are selling a movie, a fact which Evans seems intimately aware of, more so than many of his peers. He’s almost neurotically conscious of his public perception, and though he comes across as having little patience for it, he is still playing the game. He’s even refreshingly candid about it—he’s playing, we know he’s playing, he knows we know he’s playing. He doesn’t act otherwise.
But then there’s who he’s dating, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Kelly or anyone else of her ilk—Evans has not been interested in dating interesting women. Which is very dudebro of him, the image he is actively combating with interviews like this. Which one is real? The frank Evans who is disaffected with The System but games it anyway (and is kind of boss at it), or the undercover partier with the hordes of hot chicks, the one not making any effort to go beyond Dude With Nice Guns? If you want me to buy the more part, you’ve got to give me some supporting evidence. I’m not asking for increased access into his personal life or anything like that, just more consistency with the branding, to tell me that what he’s presenting is, at least in part, authentic and not just a complete fabrication. Because right now, I don’t know which one is real and it’s tripping me out.
So who would I pair him up with if I was in charge of the Chris Evans Brand?
(Lainey: a few quick notes on Chris Evans and the branding thing at TIFF -- he went to a party one night in a white t-shirt that was threatening to rip apart at his arms; everyone else was in suits and shirts. Also he came into our etalk lounge for an interview and we offered him a gift bag afterwards (almost no one says no and almost all of them take everything) and he hilariously pretended he wanted a One Direction Doll but ended up walking away only with a bottle of Grey Goose. So, Sarah, however you want to read that…)
Click here to read the Evans interview with Mike Ryan.