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Return of the Captain

Chris Evans is back as Captain America in the upcoming hero-heavy action flick 'Avengers'

All the superheroes of Marvel comic books answer the call to action in "The Avengers", due to fill big screens in Bangkok starting on May 1. The director of international peacekeeping agency Shield is recruiting a team to defend the world.

Such a crucial mission requires no fewer than five superheroes - and five big stars to fill their costumes. Robert Downey Jr returns to theatres as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo is the Incredible Hulk, Chris Hemsworth is Thor, Scarlett Johansson becomes Black Widow, Jeremy Renner will be Hawkeye and Chris Evans is Captain America.

For now, we choose Captain America. We had an exclusive interview with Evans, whose frail American soldier gains incredible powers after he's dosed with an experimental serum.

How are you feeling about the upcoming release?

Fantastic! And it's rare that you can say you're eager to have a movie released. In my opinion it can be a very stressful process.

But the fact that I really enjoy the product, combined with the elements of really truly enjoying the people I worked with and enjoying sharing their company during the job part of the process makes things pretty exciting.

Did you get a kick out of being Captain America again?

Oh, yeah, it was fantastic, especially around these people. More than anything else I loved getting to work with these amazing actors who have already established such fantastic characters, and it was nice to be a part of the team.

Was it very different compared to filming "Captain America: The First Avenger"?

The workload was a lot less. For "Captain America" I was working every single day, all day. For "The Avengers", not only was it a lighter schedule, but with a lot of other people working you don't feel that silly, given you're not the only one wearing a costume!

How did you prepare for another outing as Captain America in "The Avengers"?

Talking with Joss Whedon a lot - you want to make sure you and the director are on the same page. Given that he was the director and the writer - and a giant comic-book geek - he's been a great primary source for research, so getting on the same page as him was the most important thing for me.

What was the most challenging part making this film?

For me it's the same with any movie - staying out of my own head. Acting is what I love to do because it's fun and it's an enjoyable experience, but it's very easy to slip into an anxiety-based thought process.

As long as you can stay out of your mind, stay present and enjoy the process of filmmaking, then it's going to be a great experience.

Who's your favourite Avenger actor?

I'd have to say Robert Downey Jr, without question! Onscreen, off-screen, in character, out of character, he's an amazing person and I've never known anyone like him.

He really is a movie star - in the best possible way. He comes on set and he just owns the oxygen. He has so much charisma and so much life and he's so sweet. He's such a nice man, given all the success he's had.

You never know what to expect when you meet someone who's climbed the mountain the way Robert Downey Jr has, and he's such a great guy that it's such a relief.

If you could play any other character in "The Avengers", who would you choose?

Iron Man, no question! He's got the coolest powers and a lot of his abilities come from when he's not even in the suit. Who he is, is a superhero. He's a genius, he's sharp, funny and charming and all these great things.

What do you like most about Captain America?

His morality and the way he puts himself last. There are parts to the character that I try to aspire to in my own life. If you're going to live in a certain headspace all day, every day, for months, why not have it be one that you hope rubs off on you?

Do you feel you can relate to Steve Rogers and his alter ego Captain America?

I'd like to believe I'm a fairly magnanimous individual, that I'm fairly giving and my moral compass is sound. But he sets the bar pretty high!

Steve Rogers got a "second chance" to achieve his dream. Have you ever had that chance?

Yeah, almost every audition I ever go on! I think first auditions are always a disaster. I get very nervous at them. So I usually walk in, bomb and then have to call my agent and say, "I really need another shot. I have to go back in there because that was terrible!"

What's next for you?

Well, I did a film earlier this year with Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and James Franco called "The Iceman". It's a true story about a hit man from the Mafia, a really good, dark film.

And soon I'm going to start a film called "Snowpiercer" that shoots in Prague next winter. That's with Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell.

Would you ever consider acting in a TV series again after "Opposite Sex"?

Sure, if it's the right show! In my opinion many of the good products are on television. Sometimes I go to the movies and I'm disappointed, and yet I can click on the TV any given weeknight and be wildly entertained on a consistent basis.

Is there a role or type of character you've always wanted to play but haven't had the chance yet?

I like playing guys who on the surface are extremely confident and charming, but internally are very flawed. I think it's an interesting dichotomy for someone who on the surface is charming, put-together and likeable yet genuinely struggles in life.

What do you do to relax?

I go home to Boston. That's where I'm from. That's where all my family and friends are, and to me that's just peace!

Anything to say to your Thai fans?

Be sure to go see the movie twice, because it really is an amazing film! The first time I saw it I could have sat there and watched it again - and I'm in it, so it's even harder to sit through, but it really is a genuinely good movie.




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