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Chris Evans worried that playing Captain America would make him "deeply deeply unhappy" before taking the role

The actor revealed the cost of playing Cap in a new interview

Chris Evans as Captain America
Image credit: Marvel Studios

What does it take to play an icon? It’s more than just acting chops; there’s also the very real question of what the role requires outside of the actual production. Turns out, playing a superhero can require a heroic effort in and of itself, as former Captain America Chris Evans has revealed in a new interview when talking about his decision to play the Star-Spangled Avenger.

“The pros were that I’d be able to take care of my family forever; the cons were that I would become deeply, deeply unhappy with fame and loss of control,” Evans explained in a GQ profile conducted prior to the current SAG-AFTRA strike, saying that he’d had to really consider whether or not he was prepared to take on such a high profile character — and make a commitment that would last multiple movies.

From today’s perspective, Evans is very happy that he ending up taking the role — “I feel connected to it in a way that when you revisit a character so many times you can’t help but try to absorb some of their traits and measure yourself against them,” he said about Captain America — but also aware of just how big the role turned out to be.

“It’s strange realizing that you were a part of it and in some ways it lasted, you know, decades and in some ways it lasted a minute. It was over before it began. When I try to remember 2016, ’17, ’18, in the peak of it all, I kind of can’t really remember,” he said about his time as Cap, which lasted from 2011 through 2019, a nine-year span in which he appeared as Captain America in no less than eleven movies. (Here’s our watch order for those appearances.)

“It all goes by so quick. It’s just kind of the norm and another one comes out and you jump back into it, another one comes out and it’s just kinda business as usual. So I still don’t know if I’m far enough away from it to reflect properly,” he continued. “I mean, I feel the gratitude every day, but in terms of impact or meaning, I don’t know that I’ve really properly sat with it. Maybe on purpose.”

Evans will appear next onscreen in pharmaceutical drama Pain Hustlers, which debuts on Netflix October 27… but before that, he’ll be part of New York Comic Con October 14. (Yes, we’ll be streaming that panel live.)

Chris Evans is one of cinema's leading actors, and if you've made it this far you're a fan as well. So with that in mind, here's his thoughts on returning to the MCU, a ranking of his top roles (and how you can vote!), why Winter Soldier is his favorite Marvel movie, his ambitions to be in a fantasy movie, and how to watch all of his Captain America run.