‘Captain America’ Set Visit: How Chris Evans Found Steve Rogers

Just in time to coincide with the second trailer for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” MTV News proudly presents our report from the set of the star-spangled superhero’s big-screen debut!

MTV Movies Blog Editor Josh Wigler visited the Marvel Comics adaptation’s Shepperton Studios set in September 2010, and you’ll hear all about it throughout the day right here at Splash Page.

Steve Rogers is the kind of man who would jump on a grenade for you — just check out the new “Captain America” trailer if you don’t believe me — and even if he hasn’t always had the brawn to back up his bravery, he’s always had the fighting spirit. It’s that very spirit that provides the backbone for who Steve is, according to Chris Evans. In fact, it’s exactly what attracted him to the role in the first place.

Evans, who had struggled through a wardrobe malfunction earlier in the day, opened up to the gathered journalists on the “Cap” set about how much he relates to “Skinny Steve,” a guy without the bulk of most men but with heart and guts that are second to none. He attributed his sympathy for Steve to something — or someone, rather — very personal to him.

“I have a friend who is a comic book nut, and he loves when I say this. He’s the best human being I know. He’s an eagle scout — if you don’t know what an eagle scout is, he’s like a boy scout who’s been doing this for way too long, until they were 19 or 20 years old,” Evans cracked. “He’s just a good man who does the right thing. He wouldn’t even tell a white lie. He’s not pious, not condescending; he just wants to do the good thing. His morals are intact. I’m amazed that people like him exist. Even his demeanor is very noble and honorable, and he is Captain America to me.”

Though he found common ground with the character, Evans wasn’t without some reservations when first approached to play the Marvel icon. Indeed, his initial reluctance is well-documented. When we caught up with him, he explained what caused him to pause before donning the red, white and blue.

“There were a couple of factors,” he said. “One, I’d already done the superhero thing. I didn’t know how people were going to respond to me doing it again. And I was just in a really good place in my life, as far as finding a happy medium of working and navigating this profession, but still having anonymity — Paparazzi doesn’t follow me. I can live my life and do this, which is a tricky balance. This movie, nothing is a guarantee, but this is certainly a potential game-changer. It’s a giant commitment.”

Evans directly addressed the infamous multi-picture deal that both he and several of his current “Avengers” teammates agreed to in order to play these superheroes, identifying that as yet another daunting prospect.

“Theoretically, I could be doing this into my 40’s. It’s a crazy thing to wrap your head around,” he said. “Was I ready to make a decision for that much of my life? I love acting, but I want to do other things — I’d love to direct, I want to write. Who’s to say that in ten years, maybe I’ll just want a break. You can’t take a break when you do this. You’re in. That’s a very stressful thing to pull the trigger on — that’s a big chapter in your life you’re saying yes to.”

Of course, in the end, he did say yes — and the friend that Evans modeled Steve Rogers after has gotten a kick out of it ever since.

“I told my buddy I was basing [the character] on him, and I wish I could do his reaction. It was hilarious,” he laughed. “It’s what Steve Rogers would say if you told him you’re going to [base your character on] him in a movie.”

“So on a personal level, that’s who I’m ripping off,” he joked of his acting strategy.

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