Captain America’s new beard has been one of the most talked about Avengers: Infinity War topics since a select group of fans first caught a glimpse of it in the footage shown at D23 Expo last July. It was famous months before the whole world finally got to see it in the trailer released back in December.
Evans, who often sports a beard when he’s not on a movie set, welcomed the change to Steve Rogers’ usually clean-cut aesthetic. As he tells Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins of BuzzFeed‘s Thirst Aid Kit podcast, Cap needed a new look, at least for a bit.
“I usually live my life with a beard. I’m not a huge fan of shaving. It provides a little bit of anonymity at times. I was really exited that [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] and Marvel were willing to kind of give that look a shot. I think it’s cool. I think it kinda just changes things up. We’ve seen Cap the same way so many times. He’s such a throwback. He’s such a classic. It kind of gives him a little bit of a modern vibe.”
Shaving isn’t Evan’s biggest pet peeve when it comes to playing Cap. With his Marvel Studios contract expiring after he completes his work on Avengers 4, there is one activity on which Evans is really excited to cut back.
“To be honest, it’s gonna be nice to not have to go to the gym. It sounds so awful to say it, but you know, I’m 36 and we started these movies what eight years ago, nine years ago, or something like that? So over the years, your body just goes through a little bit of wear and tear not only trying to get in shape for the film, but then the actual filming, a lot of stunt work. You get banged up and you never really wanna completely fall off.
“When you wrap a film, even though you stop going to the gym, in less than six, seven months, you’re gonna be starting another film so you always kinda gotta keep somewhat of a foundation. I really wouldn’t mind just, not quitting the gym completely, but just kind of readjusting my workout to fit a 36-year-old body and not trying to carry around so much size and just kind of be more functional I suppose.
“I promise I’ll never let it go completely. I’m not gonna turn into Al Bundy.”
While Evans may not enjoy all of the physical benefits that come from playing Captain America, he does get something much more fulfilling out of the role. As an added bonus, being one of the most famous superheroes in the world hasn’t come at the expense of his anonymity.
“Well I guess, luckily for me, in life, for some reason, I don’t think I really resemble myself, the way I look on film. When I run into people, if it is kind of explained that I’m the actor who plays that character, the typical response is [I] get this kind of cock-headed look, and they just go ‘No! You’re not that guy! I just saw that movie last night. That guy’s bigger, he’s taller, he’s better looking!’ There really is a disbelief at my actual form in reality. It’s kind of a blow to the confidence, but I guess it does kind of help me get through crowds. So I guess I don’t really have people coming up to me as often as you’d think.
“When they do, I suppose it’s, I mean it’s really nice. If you have to play a character over and over again and really kind of be a part of this big cinematic chapter, it’s nice to play a guy that has those kind of moral traits and has this kind of sound moral compass that you try your best to maybe take home with you at night. When you’re in that headspace all day, it’s nice. I mean it’s a lot nicer than playing a villain. It’s a lot nicer than kind of dwelling in the darker parts of your head for an extended period of time, so I feel lucky that I get to kind of, in any way, share that kind of good nature.”
Evans will be going to those darker parts of his head in his next gig, which is playing a really bad guy on Broadway. You can hear him go into detail about that on the podcast.
All the presumed retirement talk is making this journey to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 bittersweet. I’m not looking forward to the day when Chris Evans is no longer playing Captain America and I’m still holding out hope that such a day isn’t as close as it seems.
Evans is about to have a very long break from Marvel and the gym. In that time, he could come around to the idea of hitting the weights again (or playing a de-powered Steve Rogers) to reprise a role that he clearly enjoys. Unless, of course, Cap breathes his last breath in these next two Avengers movies.
Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters May 4, 2018, followed by Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019.