23 Jun Superhero Spotlight: Chris Evans
Chris grew up acting in school and regional plays before attending New York’s Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. He was hired as an intern in a New York casting agency, which later took him on as a client as he began auditioning.
If you were to ask a stranger on the street back in the early 2000s if they knew who Chris Evans was, you would likely never get anything beyond a confused look. The rare die-hard movie fanatic might have been able to reference him as the stereotypical jock in the 2001 spoof Not Another Teen Movie, or as the unlikely hero in 2004’s thriller Cellular, but for the most part Chris Evans was relatively unknown. Now Evans is an accomplished actor, an aspiring director, and a figurehead of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has become a superhero icon and a familiar face in the cinematic industry and thus, the world.
Chris was born in Boston to G. Robert Evans III, a dentist, and his wife Lisa, an actress at a local theater. Chris grew up acting in school and regional plays before attending New York’s Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. He was hired as an intern in a New York casting agency, which later took him on as a client as he began auditioning. Evans appeared in shows like Opposite Sex and the small screen series remake of The Fugitive before landing the role of Jake Wyler in Not Another Teen Movie. After another assortment of small roles he was cast in Cellular alongside Jessica Biel, Kim Bassinger, and Jason Statham. Evans portrayed an irresponsible young adult who becomes the only hope of a kidnapped woman by way of a mysterious phone call.
In 2005 Fox released Fantastic Four, featuring Chris Evans in the starring role of Johnny Storm, the hot-headed adrenaline junkie of the group who obtained the ability to summon and control fire. When the team is formed, Johnny becomes the Human Torch. Evan’s performance (comprised of mostly improvised dialogue) was noticed, leading to his landing of such roles as the telekinetic “Mover” Nick Gant in Push, evil ex and movie star Lucas Lee in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the part of Jensen in the action flick The Losers, engineer astronaut Mace in the sci-fi thriller Sunshine, and the role of drug-addicted lawyer Mike Weiss in Puncture, before his most successful role to date.
A Hero Is Made
After the performance of the Fantastic Four movies, Evans was extremely apprehensive of accepting a superhero role. He actually rejected the part of Steve Rogers/Captain America three times. But (thankfully) he met with the director and producers of Captain America: The First Avenger, and he finally agreed to take the role.
Most recently, Marvel released Captain America: The Winter Soldier (featuring fellow The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute Alumna, Scarlett Johansson) in the spring of 2014. The sequel combined the superhero genre with government conspiracy to make a movie that even the popular YouTube channel “How It Should Have Ended” couldn’t find anything substantially wrong with.
As the MCU continues to grow, the world eagerly awaits the release of the third Captain America installment in 2016. Currently Evans is not slated for any other future projects besides this, but has expressed his interest in directing (he directed and starred in Before We Go which was released in 2014.)
Chris Evans is an alumnus of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute®. Learn more about the programs and classes available here. Apply here.