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, in 2014, 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, a movie that combined and spoofed many teen films of the 90s. 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, a superhero movie with big names and bad ratings. While Fantastic Four is regarded as poorly done, it had its redeeming qualities, like the use of a live-action Thing instead of a CGI generated one. Chris Evans played the role of Johnny Storm, hot-headed adrenaline junkie of the group who, as a result of a atmospheric storm, obtained the ability to summon and control fire. When the team is formed, Johnny becomes the Human Torch.
Evans originally signed on to do three FF movies, but due to the equally low ratings and poor performance of the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the final movie was scrapped. But 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...
...as well as the part of Jensen in the action flick The Losers, the voice of Casey in 2007's TMNT, engineer astronaut Mace in the sci-fi thriller Sunshine, and the role of drug-addicted lawyer Mike Weiss in Puncture, before finally leading to his most successful role to date. Do you know what it is?
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.
Now while Captain America: The First Avenger did better in theaters than the Fantastic Four franchise did, it received mixed reviews (I, personally, very much enjoy the first "Cap" movie). But the next appearance of Captain America was Joss Whedon's expertly done, The Avengers. A massively successful movie that tied Marvel's MCU heroes together in a record-breaking feature.
Most recently, Marvel released Captain America: The Winter Soldier 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 Avengers: Age of Ultron and the third Captain America installment in the summer of 2015 and 2016, respectively. Currently Evans is not slated for any other future projects besides these two, but has expressed his interest in directing (he directed and starred in Before We Go which was released this year), and his recent sci-fi film Snowpiercer will become available for purchase on October 21, so there is still plenty of Chris to go around.
So, what is your favorite Chris Evans movie? Are you excited for [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) and the next Captain America movie? Which of his movies would you like to see next?
Sound off in the comments, and thanks for reading!