The MCU has become a mass phenomenon over the years, reaching its peak with the release of Avengers: Endgame in 2019. All thanks to a well-oiled universe of films and series with a multitude of stories that feed into each other. Although in this, its characters have a lot to say, especially two of them during its first three phases: Iron Man and Captain America, played by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, respectively. Evans wasn’t sure about joining such a big franchise until Downey Jr., who was already Iron Man, convinced him.
How Iron Man Persuaded Captain America
As reported by Vanity Fair (via ComicBook), Marvel Studios went through an exhaustive casting process to find the ideal actor for the role of Captain America, with actors like Ryan Philippe, Garrett Hedlund, Jensen Ackles, Chace Crawford, Wyatt Russell or John Krasinski, who years later would make a cameo appearance as Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Still, casting director Sara Halley Finn had Chris Evans in mind:
He was American. We’ve cast a lot of Brits, but we wanted to cast an American,” Halley Finn said at the time “And a great actor and funny and charming and affable and all of that. But then beyond the obvious qualities, I think there were the other ones that were a little harder to discern: his humility, the sense that he had a moral compass, that he was very relatable. He has this vulnerability as well as strength, so we could take him from skinny Steve to Captain America.”
Chris Evans, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about accepting the role: “I like my privacy. The good thing about movies is there’s a lot of freedom built in: you make a film and then you have time off. If one of those films hits and changes your life, you have the opportunity to... run away. If you want to. Take some time, reassess, and regroup.” And by becoming part of such a huge franchise, Evans would be forced to reprise the role over and over again, as would eventually happen with his individual films and the various crossovers with the Avengers.
The actor continued to give Marvel Studios the runaround until Robert Downey Jr. spoke to him and convinced him to join the MCU, assuring him that Captain America would open many doors for him as an actor and would in no way close them. In order to ease the responsibility, Marvel offered the actor to appear in six films over a decade, three individual and three with the Avengers. And Chris Evans finally accepted.