"I'd have a different career if people saw that," Chris Evans said to Moviefone when the subject of the critically acclaimed-but-barely seen Danny Boyle film 'Sunshine' is broached. Evans adds, "All my good movies, nobody sees." Which is an interesting statement, considering that Evans just came off of playing the lead in 'Captain America: The First Avenger,' one of the biggest hits of the summer. Though specifically referring to 'Sunshine,' it would be easy to substitute Evans' new film, 'Puncture,' as the basis for that sentence, too -- a film that he admits (with almost shocking speed) was immensely more satisfying to film than 'Captain America.'
Based on a true story, 'Puncture' follows Houston attorney Mike Weiss (Evans), a somewhat-functioning drug addict who gets in over his head when he agrees to take on a case investigating why hospitals refuse to purchase retractable safety needles to save staffers from being infected with contaminated syringes. Moviefone spoke to Evans about the difference between playing a character on cocaine versus heroin, why he didn't enjoy filming 'Captain America' and why he does enjoy filming 'The Avengers' even if Joss Whedon doesn't.
With 'Captain America' having just come out, do you think the commercials for 'Puncture' should add one of those, "And Chris Evans, as you've never seen him before!"?
[Laughs] Yeah. Especially coming on the heels of 'Captain America,' this couldn't be further away from Steve Rogers. They are very different people.
How did you research Mike? Because I tried looking him up online and there's not much out there.
I know! I went online at the beginning and I couldn't find sh-t. His family was so great. His family and friends -- everyone who was willing to give us this story and was willing to sit down with me. I met with his dad, his brother, his co-workers, his college buddies. Everybody. And they were just so willing to give me stories and as much information as I could possibly gather.
Is it hard to play an addict? Can you just do what you want as far as the tics?
I guess there are degrees. You don't want to play cliché drugs. I mean, I've been lucky enough -- well, maybe unlucky enough -- to have had a lot of friends who have had their ups and downs. And for an actor, that's good. Life experience in any regard is good. So I've seen a lot and I've had my own experiences. And it kind of depends what drug he's doing. I mean, something like coke -- sh-t, someone could be on coke right now and you wouldn't even know it. So it's not like the typical blow you see in the movies: you're rubbing your nose and itching. So you have to find a balance without overdoing it. As opposed to doing heroin. Sometimes he's on heroin in the movie as well and it's obviously a different high. And Mark and Adam would sometime say, "Chris, tone it down a little bit." Or, "Chris, don't forget, he's on blow."
Was there ever a scene where someone would tell you, "No, that was more coke. We need heroin"?
No, it wasn't about mixing the drugs. It was about doing enough. I mean, I would do a whole scene and Mark would just come in and say, "Don't forget, you're on blow." And I'd be like, "Oh, yeah. I got it." And it's not going to radically change the performance, but you gotta have just enough. Or sometimes you might do something that's just a little too heavy -- like you're almost going to fall asleep. It's a tricky balance to find.
Do you like doing a movie like this better than Captain America?
Wow, OK. That's straightforward. So, no question?
No question. Not even a question.
You know, the reward for 'Captain America' is amazing. It's always fun to see a giant spectacle film and see the fun stuff -- the special effects and sh-t. And it's fun to be a part of that. It's a tent pole and this big sweeping thing. The process of making the film is what I love -- more than the final product. And the problem with big tent-pole movies is that you spend six hours of your day in a trailer. That's a lot of hurry up and wait. You might get through two pages of dialogue in a day. This is a five-week shoot. You are going to get through eight pages of dialogue in a day. You go home [starts snapping] and you're like, "I made a movie today. I made a movie. I acted in a film. I was hired to perform a service and I had to be on my toes and I had to perform well today." With 'Captain America,' like I said, you might have three lines of dialogue the whole day. And there are just a million angles and a million set-ups and it's tedious. This [snapping] you've got to go, go, go. You've got two takes and you had better move on. You've got to be prepared. You work. You work! You know, you come home and you feel like, I went to work today. I acted. I made a movie. It was good.
See, that's interesting. With 'Captain America,' do you feel that no matter what kind of performance you give, you're still just a guy in a suit?
Well, it just depends what substance is given to the character. You know, Batman has demons. Obviously he's a guy in a suit, but he has a lot of issues. The problem with Cap' that I found was that he's just... he's such a good guy. There's nothing that he can't put on his shoulders. The reason he's chosen to be Cap' is because of his ability to say, "I got this. There's nothing you can throw at me that I can't handle. I got it." And as a result it's hard to find conflict because he's so good at taking on conflict and handling it as an adult -- maturely, rationally, calmly, intelligently -- which makes it difficult to find an edge. That's why I think 'The Avengers' is going to be fun. 'The Avengers' was fun because they give Cap' some hurdles.
And we've already seen all of the pictures.
Yeah, right? I know. But he's a fish out of water now. He's in the modern day and everyone he knows in the world is dead. There are some things you have to do with. It's not just, "I can handle it." So that's nice. With something like this, the guy is saturated in conflict and drama. So there's a lot more meat on the bone.
Has 'Captain America' changed your life for the better? I mean, even with this interview, in a way I feel like an as-hole for bringing it up. But I have to or everyone will ask, "Hey, why..."
"Why didn't you ask about Captain America?!" No, no, no. It's OK. Don't feel bad at all. Hey, that's to be expected. It's part of the territory. You know, it's not like... I don't mind it. It's part of my career. It's part of my story and that's fine. Doing movies like 'Cap' allows me to do movies like this. You go and do those big budget films so that you can go and do something that you're really passionate about.
My favorite movie that you're in is 'Sunshine.'
Me, too, man.
I love 'Sunshine.'
More people should see that.
I know, man. Like ten people saw it. All my good movies, nobody sees. Everybody goes and sees 'Fantastic Four,' but nobody sees 'Sunshine.' I'd have a different career if people saw that. I love that movie, man. I love Danny Boyle. I love that experience and I love that cast. That was one of those movies, top to bottom, I'm just in love with.
I love how I'm sitting here just giving you my opinion and having you react. This is fun. One more time: [Evans Starts laughing and clapping] I think an underrated movie is 'Not Another Teen Movie.' There are some funny observations in there.
It is funny!
Do you look back on that in embarrassment or that it was a good experience?
No, that was like, come on, that was the best time of my life. I was like 20 and it was my first movie and, come on... That was a great chunk of time for me. It was before mistakes counted. You can have a bad movie, you're just so happy to be in a movie, period. It's not a matter of "whether it's going to succeed," or, "what am I going to do next?" This was just like, "I'm in a movie! "I've got a movie!" You're just so excited to be on set – that was a great time in life.
'Captain America' screenwriter Christopher Markus is now saying he wants Peter Dinklage to play MODOK as the villain in the sequel. What's your opinion of that?
[Makes a face] I mean... Ugh... I don't know. I don't know. It sounds like... heh. Heh. I don't know. I don't know. The comic book world is so dangerous, you know what I mean? You say one thing and people -- they're ravenous -- they are very opinionated fans. But they're great fans. I mean, they're the reason we make these movies. I don't know. I get asked a lot of questions about Cap' sequels and villains and I just try to stay out of it.
If he's the writer of the movie, I guess he does not have the power to just do that if he wants?
Well, he has to run everything by Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel. And Kevin Feige is a huge comic book fan, so Feige is going to say, "Here are the things we want to touch upon. These are the relationships we want to build on, this is the villain. Like, Kevin Feige will give you the chess pieces and you have to kind of put them in place, you know what I mean?
What's the biggest difference shooting 'The Avengers' and 'Captain America?' I mean, it's weird to say, but it is an ensemble.
Oh my God, I love sharing the workload. On 'Captain America,' I worked every single day -- every single f-cking day -- for six months. Sometimes six days a week. We finished the movie and it was just exhausting. Like, literally, I needed like a month to not move. 'Avengers'? I work, maybe, two days a week. Oh, it's the best. It was like summer camp. You know what I mean? Like, it was fun, it was a character I knew, a character I was comfortable with. I really liked the script. Everyone in the cast... I've done a million movies with Scarlett. I've known Hemsworth a while, he was great. And everyone is so cool: Downey and Ruffalo and everyone's so f-cking cool. The movie could have been -- I mean, it could have been a sh-t show. If we all didn't get along, it just could have been such a disaster. But it couldn't have gone better.
Does everyone feel that way? Everyone's happier because they're only working a couple of days a week?
Everyone is happier. Because everyone comes and goes. We shot in Albuquerque, so you can go right back to L.A. and nobody has any stress. Well, poor Joss. Joss Whedon was ready to shoot himself in the face. But, everyone else? We were having the time of our lives.
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