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Chris Evans talks Age Of Ultron

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No stranger to the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America after developing the character over three films, Chris Evans tells us that there is still more to learn about the quintessential American hero in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” “Steve Rogers is still trying to figure out where he belongs,” says Evans. “He’s always been a soldier and he’s fit in that format. He enjoys structure and he enjoys having orders and a plan, and without that he does feel a bit aimless, but he is still searching for whether or not he can have a life outside of being Captain America. He’s been of service for so long that trying to figure out what he would do without his uniform and shield is a bit of a puzzle.”
Post Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Evans points out that the world has changed for The Avengers team. “S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen since the last ‘Captain America,’ so now we’re all kind of relying on one another,” explains Evans. “There’s really no one to report to, so it’s this loose hierarchy. They’re just leaning on each other as soldiers; there’s no one person giving commands but they are operating as a true group now.”
As far as Captain America’s role in the new world order, Evans says, “Cap is certainly giving the orders, but it’s not the sort of hierarchy where he gives commands and people have to do it. It’s truly in the sense that when battle breaks out and they need structure, Cap has no problem organizing a team approach. In terms of how they behave when they’re not fighting a foe, there’s still is a loose chain of command; no one is technically in charge but Cap certainly does lean towards the side of structure; on the battlefield is where he feels most comfortable.”
Captain America and The Avengers take on the mega-villain Ultron in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and, at first, Evans wasn’t sure what to expect. “Ultron is written as a very smug and sarcastic character with a personality,” offers Evans. “It’s not just a mindless robot. It has attitude and I had a hard time understanding how this character was going to be portrayed when I first read the script. I knew Spader was playing it, but I really had no idea in what direction he was going to go. The first day where he gives his speech at the party, all of us were eager to be the audience. Being a spectator and watching him perform was exciting because it was good and intimidating and it colored in all the blanks right away.”
In each subsequent film, Captain America’s fighting style is enhanced. “We just keep trying to advance his fighting style. You have to assume that the guy, as a soldier and as a military mind, is going to constantly be trying to better himself, so he’s has to be adopting new fight tactics, approaches and disciplines,” says Evans about his character. “In ‘Captain America: the Winter Soldier’ they set the bar pretty high. Cap was involved in very fluid, acrobatic, sequences, taking down jets single-handedly, so we didn’t want to take a step back. It was trying to continue in the evolution of a constant, fluid and acrobatic style of fighting.”
Working again with The Avengers team of actors was a highlight for Evans, who says,  “It’s like summer camp with all these people that we’ve worked with for four, five years or so on the first ‘Avengers.’ You’re getting to know one another, and you create wonderful bonds during the filming and the press. It really does feel like a family. It really does feel like a great, tight unit. It doesn’t feel like work at all.”
Reuniting with writer/director Joss Whedon led to another positive acting experience for Evans. Recounting the on-set relationship Whedon has with his actors, Evans says, “Joss is not just our director, he’s our writer, so that level of involvement that he has with these characters and this material is incredibly beneficial. If you’re struggling with a scene, or with a line, he’s not only phenomenal with coming up with things on the spot but he is also very witty and has wonderful banter and repartee, so he can always make adjustments. But he’s a comic book fan, so one of the main demographics he is trying to please are the fan-boys and since he is one, it’s a very safe exchange knowing that anything he suggests will be met with approval.”
Evan admits that playing Captain America has definite rewards. “One of the perks of this job is seeing a little kid’s face light up,” says the actor. “Playing a role in their childhood is pretty awesome because I know I had certain movies that I grew up with that I loved, so if you get to be a part of that in someone else’s memory, that’s a treat.”
Summing up Marvel’s “Avengers” Age of Ultron” in one word, Evans definitively states, “Impressive.” And that says it all.


Q&A FOLLOWS:


Q: Where are the rest of The Avengers and your character coming into this story?
A: S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen since the last “Captain America,” so now we’re all kind of relying on one another. There’s really no one to report to, so it’s this loose hierarchy. They’re just leaning on each other as soldiers; there’s no one person giving commands but they are operating as a true group now.


Q: What is the most interesting part of your character’s evolution in this film?
A: Steve Rogers is still trying to figure out where he belongs. He’s always been a soldier and he’s fit in that format. He enjoys structure and he enjoys having orders and a plan, and without that he does feel a bit aimless, but he is still searching for whether or not he can have a life outside of being Captain America. He’s been of service for so long that trying to figure out what he would do without his uniform and shield is a bit of a puzzle.


Q: There are a few new characters this time around. How does Captain America interact with these new people?
A: We don’t know if they're friend or foe at first, so it takes some growing pains to figure out if we all want the same thing. It does take a while to understand who can be trusted and who can’t, and who’s on our squad and who isn’t. But ultimately, we do form an alliance and they do fight on our team.


Q: What is it like returning to The Avengers’ world?
A: It’s great. It’s like summer camp with all these people that we’ve worked with for four, five years or so on the first “Avengers.” You’re getting to know one another, and you create wonderful bonds during the filming and the press. It really does feel like a family. It really does feel like a great, tight unit. It doesn’t feel like work at all.


Q: What are the challenges that come along with playing a more physical character with a lot of stunts?
A: It’s a lot of physical exhaustion because Cap doesn’t fly or shoot lightning, so anytime he’s battling anyone you don’t really get to rely on some sort of CGI post-effect; it’s all going to be in the camera. It’s punching, kicking and running, so between my stuntman and me, we put in a hard day’s work.


Q: As an actor, how do you find working with green screen?
A: It’s not so bad. As an actor, you’ve got to have a good imagination anyway. If you try to tap into the creative part of your brain, it’s just like being a little kid.


Q: Tell us about your move towards directing. Has that always been a driving factor for you?
A: I didn’t realize it was until maybe halfway through my acting career. I had been making films for 7 or 8 years and directing was something I eventually wanted to do. Making the movie as an actor, you’re one small piece of the puzzle. You work on the film and then you hand it over, and you don’t see it again for 6 months. It is a rewarding experience because I do love to act, but I also really enjoy making things and as a director you get to create the film. You’re involved in every decision and there’s a much deeper level of satisfaction in that involvement.


Q: What’s it like working with Joss Whedon?
A: Fantastic. He’s always upbeat, always cracking jokes, very dry, very sarcastic; he’s got a great sense of humor, and he loves these movies so his attitude is pretty infectious.


Q: How has your life changed since you took on the role of Captain America?
A: I have a lot more opportunity to do things in terms of what I’m pursuing in my life creatively.


Q: How could you sum up this movie in a word or sentence?
A: Impressive. These movies always blow me away. Every time we work on another one, I don’t know how they pull it off, but they manage to.


Q: When you look back 20 years from now, what do you think the image of this film will be for you?
A: You try and tell yourself everyday, that in twenty years, you’re going to look back and wish you could do this again. You appreciate, embrace, and remind yourself of that and really enjoy what’s happening now. But I don’t think it’s possible without those twenty years to look back and say, “Man, I had it pretty good.”


Q: What do you hope people get out of watching “Avengers: Age of Ultron”?
A: The fun ride.


Q: Can you elaborate on your experience working with Joss Whedon?
A: Joss is not just our director, he’s our writer, so that level of involvement that he has with these characters and this material is incredibly beneficial. If you’re struggling with a scene, or with a line, he’s not only phenomenal with coming up with things on the spot but he is also very witty and has wonderful banter and repartee, so he can always make adjustments. But he’s a comic book fan, so one of the main demographics he is trying to please are the fan-boys and since he is one it’s a very safe exchange knowing that anything he suggests will be met with approval.


Q: What was your reaction to the script?
A: I thought it was great. The Avengers are a unit now, so it’s not growing pains anymore. Now there is just internal conflict, learning to operate as a team as opposed to how to form one.


Q: How does Captain America feel about being the new leader?
A: Cap is certainly giving the orders, but it’s not the sort of hierarchy where he gives commands and people have to do it. It’s truly in the sense that when battle breaks out and they need structure, Cap has no problem organizing a team approach. In terms of how they behave when they’re not fighting a foe, there’s still is a loose chain of command; no one is technically in charge but Cap certainly does lean towards the side of structure; on the battlefield is where he feels most comfortable.


Q: Talk a little about how you and the cast spent more days all filming together and how that affects the story.
A: The more time together is only going to help. It’s never going to hurt. Even though we didn’t work as much as a total unit on “Marvel’s The Avengers,” there was a lot of time spent together off set and a lot of time spent together promoting the film. By the time this filmed rolled around, we were all friends and that chemistry really translates on screen.


Q: What did you think on your first day stepping on set? Was it impressive?
A: It is impressive, but it’s always impressive. It’s Marvel, that’s just what they do. They always have to out-do themselves, so every set you see is just overwhelming.


Q: Does it help your acting, being in a real an environment?
A: I suppose. All of us, even if it’s not in the Marvel Universe, have done films with green screen so it’s part of the game now. Most actors probably have had a run-in with green screen. And the truth is, if you can't tap into your imagination and access the creative part of your brain, you probably shouldn’t be acting. Obviously a tangible environment is going to be easier, but green screen isn’t the end of the world.


Q: Talk a little bit about Spader and Ultron.
A: Ultron is written as a very smug and sarcastic character with a personality. It’s not just a mindless robot. It has attitude and I had a hard time understanding how this character was going to be portrayed when I first read the script. I knew Spader was playing it, but I really had no idea in what direction he was going to go. The first day where he gives his speech at the party, all of us were eager to be the audience. Being a spectator and watching him perform was exciting because it was good and intimidating and it colored in all the blanks right away.


Q: How does Captain America’s fighting style evolve?
A: We just keep trying to advance his fighting style. You have to assume that the guy, as a soldier and as a military mind, is going to constantly be trying to better himself, so he’s has to be adopting new fight tactics, approaches and disciplines. In “Captain America: the Winter Soldier” they set the bar pretty high. Cap was involved in very fluid, acrobatic, sequences, taking down jets single-handedly, so we didn’t want to take a step back. It was trying to continue in the evolution of a constant, fluid and acrobatic style of fighting.


Q: More and more it seems you are doing a lot of the action. Is that something you wanted to do?
A: As we are trying to evolve Cap’s fight style, certain things are just beyond my realm of capability. I’m embarrassed to admit but I had a wonderful stunt guy on this one: Andy Lister. He’s not of this world and is the one doing the fight scenes. But again, there are sometimes where you just don’t have the ability.


Q: Is Captain America bonding with any of The Avengers in particular?
A: Tony and Steve always have a very push-and-pull relationship but it’s like any dynamic, even if you struggle with a parent, through that struggle you become closer, so we’ve always had this back and forth where we might not see eye-to-eye, but we come through it in the end, and as a result, the bond tightens.


Q: How do you feel about Ultron as a villain and what he adds to the film?
A: He’s kind of cut out of the Stark cloth, so I think there’s a really nice ping-pong display between those two characters and he has the capacity to multiply and create many of him, so we have far more capable foes than I think we did in the previous Avengers film.


Q: What do you love about working with Joss?
A: All of Joss’ dialogue works, in my opinion. Everything you read works. If there’s ever a problem, Joss is so good at changing things on the fly. He’s a writer; he has an endless supply of witty banter and dialogue and he comes up with things very quickly. And it’s always good, so it’s really an invaluable asset. You have anything you need in a director and a writer right there on set all the time.


Q: What changes about Captain America’s look in this film?
A: A little more red, a little more bells and whistles. It’s not too crazy.


Q: How much do you enjoy playing Captain America?
A: It’s rewarding. One of the perks of this job is seeing a little kid’s face light up. Playing a role in their childhood is pretty awesome because I know I had certain movies that I grew up with that I loved, so if you get to be a part of that in someone else’s memory, that’s a treat.


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The Movie Bit: Chris Evans talks Age Of Ultron
Chris Evans talks Age Of Ultron
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