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The First Avenger: Captain America

Chris Evans Brings Captain America to Life

Chris Evans talks about taking on the role of Captain America!

We’re celebrating the July 22 premiere of “Captain America: The First Avenger” with Captain America Month! Enjoy daily doses of new Cap goodness including interviews with the film’s cast and crew as well as some of the biggest creators in the Sentinel of Liberty’s history, retrospectives on our hero’s most memorable Marvel comics and surprises galore! Come back to Marvel.com every day for new Cap Month coverage, and mark your calendars for July 22 to see the Star-Spangled Avenger in action!

By Zack Zeigler

Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Becoming Captain America wasn’t as easy as slipping into a red, white, and blue costume for Chris Evans in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The 30-year old Massachusetts native had to revamp his exercise and eating habits to properly fit the part--and Cap’s suit.

“I worked out with a trainer for two hours a day for about four months,” Evans said. “It was brutal. I usually like working out, but this was different. Instead of doing three sets of something and moving to another muscle, it was an hour of the same muscle. The extent [of the workouts] was grueling.”

And to sustain that muscle growth meant he’d also have to beef up his caloric intake.

“The training sucked, but eating was the hardest part,” he admitted. “I’m naturally a veeeery skinny guy. I’m like a twig if I don’t work out consistently, so I had to eat. I wasn’t eating ice cream and cake, either--it was naked pieces of chicken. I got to a point where I didn’t want to eat any more fish, or look at another piece of chicken…but I had to do it.”

Evans’ size was important not only to make Captain America a believable hero, but also to make the contrast between the scrawny Steve Rogers at the beginning of the film and the much larger post-surgery Captain America resonate with audiences without creating a disconnect in the context of the story. 

Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

‘When we first talking about how to do the skinny stuff …  they said some of it was going to be my body shrunk down, and some of it is going to be a skinny actor with my head.” Evans explained. “I said I didn’t mind doing the head replacement if I wasn’t moving, like sitting in a car or lying down, but my body is just as much of a performer as anything else. And [director] Joe [Johnston] agreed.”

Evans’ relationship with Johnston was one of give and take. If Evans had concerns, the director wanted to know what they were. That openness, Evans said, was one of the perks.

“Working with Joe was such a good experience,” he said. “He was so accommodating, understanding, respectful, and he listened.”

One thing both Johnston and Evans agreed on from the beginning was that the film had to be about the human spirit--not about nationalism or propaganda. 

“I don’t think anyone making the movie was trying to make [a movie] about flag waving,” Evans reflects. “The movie is about values, morals, and someone standing up for the right thing. It’s about someone fighting for justice who puts himself last and compassion first.”

"Captain America: The First Avenger" will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.  As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

Check out the official "Captain America: The First Avenger" teaser site as well as its hub page right here on Marvel.com for the latest on Cap's big screen adventure hitting theaters July 22!

In addition to "Captain America: The First Avenger," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 4, 2012, and "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013.

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