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HFPA in Conversation: Chris Evans on Playing a Man Without Superpowers

Chris Evans has given up his Captain America costume and shield and dove in as a DA whose work is compromised when his son is accused of murder on Apple TV+’s limited series Defending Jacob. Evans tells HFPA journalist Henry Arnaud why he was excited to take a role on a crime series that is based on William Landay’s novel. 

“Sometimes you really respond to the role and the dialogue, which I did in this job, but the real icing on the cake was that I just really got along with Mark Bomback and Morten Tyldum, the director and the writer. And it was such a collaborative process, the five of us, including Michelle Dockery and Jaeden Martell, we just had such a tight knit group of really dissecting these characters and really going through every single scene and every single moment really trying to make clear what we were trying to say and it just felt the way you hope this industry should go.”

Evans describes his character as a relatively unexamined man, who has demons from his past. “The character is really afforded this great opportunity to bond with the audience in a very personal way and that was exciting because sometimes I play men who are very taciturn, they’re very internal, they’re men of few words and Andy falls in that category but also throughout the story he’s forced to let that shell break a little bit and kind of share his demons.”

He drew on some experiences from his own life. I’m very lucky. I have a lot of love in my life whether it’s my nieces, my nephews, friends. And I have a great relationship with my father so again you could almost take the experiences I’ve had growing up and there were certain moments during Defending Jacob where the cadence or the rhythm of the back and forth between father and son would shake this memory loose in my own head and say oh god I remember this and it warmed my heart to play the paternal side of the exchange.”

Listen to the podcast and hear who calls him Christopher; when did he move to Los Angeles, where did he live back then and how did that time shape his life; what kind of memories he has from his first TV show The Opposite SexFantastic FourCaptain America came along; why he wanted to quit the movie industry; why he decided to direct the movie Before We GoThe Gray Man