Finally, Chris Evans plays an iconic hero that doesn’t involve working out.
That’s why it was so nice to go to a recording studio instead of a gym for his role as Buzz Lightyear in the animated sci-fi adventure “Lightyear” (in theaters Friday). “Pixar literally does the heavy lifting on this one,” jokes Evans, whose sparkly, star-studded Captain America won the hearts and minds of Marvel fans.
The “Toy Story” spinoff is an origin story for the beloved space ranger, with Evans voicing the role popularized by Tim Allen. In “Lightyear,” Buzz and his fellow intergalactic travelers are trapped on a planet millions of light-years from Earth and have to battle an army of robots led by the evil Emperor Zurg.
Check: Chris Evans’ Buzz Is Cooler Than Plastic In Pixar’s Sleek ‘Lightyear’
Evans, 41, didn’t stray too far from his predecessor for inspiration.
“The reason we’re making this movie is because Tim Allen had such an iconic impact,” says Evans. “Not only would you be a fool not to accept his interpretation because it worked so well, but the truth is that this character is, in fact, the human version of that toy, so there is a need for them to overlap in terms of timing and nature. . “
“Lightyear” director Angus MacLane says he didn’t want to cast an Allen impressionist or even a “superhero guy” for Buzz, but someone who had “a commanding presence who was also able to be funny without being goofy.” “. The filmmaker found that by watching Evans in Bong Joon-ho’s dystopian film “Snowpiercer,” “you could really see the scope of what Chris could do.”
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However, it took Evans a while to find the right mojo for voice acting. “At first, I almost felt like a deer in headlights,” he recalls. “I would be so still. You are so focused on your voice that I would almost rest every other part of my body. But with each passing session, you find a little more comfort and before you know it, you’re incorporating your physique and that would inform the deliveries.”
After nearly a decade of playing Cap, Evans is changing his “creative appetite” and playing a few antagonists for a change. He played the grim, sweater-clad Ransom in the 2019 Rian Johnson murder mystery “Knives Out” and in Netflix’s upcoming spy flick “The Gray Man” (in theaters July 15, streaming July 22). ), Evans plays psychopathic and rebellious secret agent Lloyd. Hansen, who is hunting down a former CIA colleague played by Ryan Gosling. (In the film, Gosling’s character mocks his enemy’s “garbage stache.” Evans’s key to growing it out? “Luckily, I just had to sit back and wait.”)
Evans enjoys exploring “a state of mind that is so different from mine. When you play someone like Captain America, it’s easy to understand why he feels compelled to do the right thing. You can certainly identify with the desire to be good.”
In contrast, “someone like Lloyd has a unique perspective on the world,” he adds, “and it comes out in such a dark way, but to him it’s completely normal. It’s a fun chess game to try to get into a role like that.”
After co-starring with Ana de Armas in “Knives Out” and “The Gray Man,” she and Evans are reuniting for next year’s Apple TV+ movie “Ghosted,” which Evans describes as “a little throwback” to the action of the 80s and 90s. adventures like “Romancing the Stone.”
“It’s the kind of movies that I love and don’t think are made enough,” says Evans, who loved mixing romance and comedy. “Most of the characters you channel through your own experience and I consider myself a romantic person. I love love, who doesn’t? It’s nice that he takes a central role in a piece of material instead of saving the world.”
An Instagram photo of her “fluffy” hairstyle for the role garnered 4.5 million likes, proof of Evans’ enormous popularity and tendency to go viral at any moment. “Most of my career, I am already standing on the shoulders of giants. So if that kind of interest in my hair is the aftershock of other people’s art, I’ll take it,” she says. However, Evans admits that he isn’t as interested in the lead role as he is in group endeavors these days.
“Playing a supporting role is the dream career. That’s what I like the most,” says Evans, whose upcoming movies include “Red One” with Dwayne Johnson and “Project Artemis” opposite longtime “Avengers” co-star Scarlett Johansson. “Being number 1 on the call sheet can be a strange burden. Letting me be like three or four or five is the sweet spot. Plus, the role is usually a bit more fun anyway.”