- Chris Evans appeared on the latest episode of the Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast.
- Evans spoke about experiencing severe anxiety and "mini panic attacks" while on set, which led him to consider quitting acting.
- Afraid he'd be unable to handle astronomical fame, he repeatedly turned down auditions for the role of Captain America.
Anxiety, if you'll excuse my language, is a real asshole. And it's an asshole that targets anyone it so desires, including lovely angel Chris Evans (opens in new tab), who spoke about the destructive impact it had on his acting career during an appearance on the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)'s "Awards Chatter" podcast (opens in new tab).
Evans began experiencing anxiety around 2007, he explained, and by 2010, when he was filming indie movie Puncture, the illness had become severe. "It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set," he said. "I really started to think, 'I'm not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I'm not sure if I'm feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.'"
When Marvel first offered him the opportunity to test for the role of Captain America—initially demanding a nine-movie deal—he turned it down, afraid the inevitable fame would render his anxiety unmanageable. "My suffering would my own," Evans explained. He turned the opportunity down again and again, despite higher salary offers and a decreased commitment to only six movies.
NEW PODCAST: An hour with @ChrisEvans covering his theater roots; panic attacks that almost led him to abandon acting; what convinced him to take on @Marvel's Captain America anyway; his acclaimed new @AppleTV limited series DEFENDING JACOB; and much more https://t.co/CQSllbrkF9 pic.twitter.com/HigactU3uVMay 25, 2020
Evans reconsidered when Marvel offered him the role outright, he recalled. He spoke to his therapist, friends, and family—and Robert Downey Jr., already a Marvel star at the time. "It was the best decision I've ever made, and I really owe that to [Marvel chief] Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake," he said. "To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition."
Further support came in the form of Chris Hemsworth, who was also relatively new to the fame game at the time. "It was nice having Chris Hemsworth around because he was going through it, too. I mean, at the time Downey's Downey and Scarlett's Scarlett [Johansson]. And [Mark] Ruffalo and [Jeremy] Renner, at the time, were crushing it, too," Evans said. "Hemsworth and I were very new and we also had the stand-alones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting."
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
Whether You’re a New Entrepreneur or an Established Business Owner, Ask Yourself These Three Questions
Simple tips for setting your small business up for success in 2023.
Paris Hilton Shared a Throwback Photo With Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, "The Holy Trinity"
By Iris Goldsztajn
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix Docuseries Trailer Just Dropped, And I Am Absolutely Not OK
I honestly still don't believe it's happening.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J Igoe
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Who Is Jonathan Owens, Simone Biles's Fiancé and NFL Player?
"The easiest yes!" Simone wrote about the couple's engagement.
By The Editors