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Captain America: Civil War Interview | Chris Evans & Robert Downey Jr.

May 04, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

In Captain America:Civil War, Iron Man and Cap are on opposite sides. After creating Ultron, Tony Stark/Iron Man feels like a little government control might aid the Avenger team. For personal reasons, Steve Rogers would like to have the team stay independent. This escalates into a “family” squabble that makes the old Hatfields and McCoys war look like a tea party!  What do actors Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have to say about each other and their characters? Let’s ask Chris first.

Two angry Avengers face to faceTwo angry Avengers face to faceCourtesy of Marvel

Q:  Chris, the Captain goes on a different moral journey in this film. How did it feel as an actor to explore Captain America further?

  • Chris: It was great. He’s a very binary guy. It’s this or that. He’s black and white and this is the first time it’s kind of been an uncertain decision in terms of what the right move is and it’s self-serving so it was fun to see him have a struggle that wasn’t so clear.

Cap looks for Bucky BarnesCap looks for Bucky BarnesCourtesy of Marvel

Q: This is the 5th time you’ve donned the Captain America suit. How did you feel when you stepped into it this time?

  • Chris: A lot more comfortable. The first few times you’re terrified and you want to make sure you pay the character the respect it deserves. Now I feel a little bit more comfortable doing it. It’s exciting and it feels like home now.

Captain America prepares for battleCaptain America prepares for battle Courtesy of Marvel

Q: How does the relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes play out in this story?

  • Chris: It’s very relevant. It’s a very personal struggle for Steve. Steve always tries to take his emotions out of the equation. He tries to think of the greater good. And, when it comes to Bucky, it’s a very personal situation so it’s easy to become human and to let your emotions fog and cloud your judgment. Bucky represents something from his past that no one else can match. I don’t care how strong his bonds are with his current family, Bucky is his original family and that can take precedence.

Steve doesn't want to sign government sanctionsSteve doesn't want to sign government sanctionsCourtesy of Marvel

Q: You filmed movies where the Avengers are united so what was it like to film the battle scene where you’re going against each other?

  • Chris: Filming a movie where The Avengers are crumbling from within is, it’s strange but exciting because you know that the stakes are going to be higher than they ever could have been prior. It’s far more akin to struggles in life. Anyone can agree that a fight you have with your enemy is nowhere near as a fight you have with a family member. When it’s someone you simultaneously hate and love, it just makes it that much more complex.

Steve Rogers with Agent Sharon CarterSteve Rogers with Agent Sharon CarterCourtesy of Marvel

Q: That’s for sure. Who do you wish were on Team Cap that isn’t?

  • Chris: Hulk would be nice. He would just bat clean up and just take care of this whole mess.

Team Cap chargesTeam Cap chargesCourtesy of Marvel

Q: Was there any friendly rivalry between Team Cap and Team Iron Man off screen?

  • Chris: I don’t think so. We’re all so close and we’ve done multiple movies together now. It’s funny to even come to set and remember “Oh yeah. We’re not on the same team. Do I fight you tomorrow?”  We’re used to making these movies together as a unit and doing press together as a unit, it was strange to come to work and remember “Oh yeah, we’re on opposing sides tomorrow”.

Agent 13 (Sharon Carter) with Cap and Black WidowAgent 13 (Sharon Carter) with Cap and Black WidowCourtesy of Marvel

Q: You guys slam on each other so much. Were there any stunt mishaps this time?

  • Chris: There’s some tricky stuff. A lot of these characters are physical fighters. Iron Man, Vision and guys like Thor they are all CGI-based combat characters but Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, myself, these are characters that fight with hand-to-hand combat so when you have these giant running scenes, you need to hit and collide. I saw a few stuntmen take a few nasty tumbles, really hitting the ground hard.

Steve (Cap) tries to down a helicopterSteve (Cap) tries to down a helicopterCourtesy of Marvel

Q: Okay, now Robert. When you first started reading the script, did you ever think there would be this Avengers Vs. Avengers fight?

  • Robert: I know. I want to say I had it all mapped out in my head. I’ve been on the whole roller coaster (of the Avengers films) for years and years now. It’s been great. I think we’re going into our tenth year. I remembered the comic book series “Civil War” and I thought “Man, if we could pull that off, that would be swell” but it was never in the docket of this is gonna happen in the Marvel movies, so no.

Tony (Iron Man) and War Machine wonder who will winTony (Iron Man) and War Machine wonder who will winCourtesy of Marvel

Q: Were you like “not the suit again” or is it fun to put it on?

  • Robert: What I realized is that there is safety, fun and relief in numbers. I’m sure Chris would tell you that he’s in every shot of the movie practically. I’m on the poster but whenever you put the suit on, and they’ve improved it over time, there’s that (discomfort) thing. But rather than doing that thing of really fortunate people complaining about their circumstances, I’ve come to love the suit.

Team Iron Man ready for battleTeam Iron Man ready for battleCourtesy of Marvel

Q: When you put the suit on, does it bring out the nine or ten-year-old Robert? Do you see it through a kid’s eyes?

  • Robert: (laughs) I do and now there’s kids visiting the set for a bunch of different reasons and back on “Age of Ultron” my son Exton was visiting the set and he was going bananas for all the Hawkeye stuff. He’s kind of over it now because he knows that dad is deeply invested in it so it’s a little less new to him.

Robert and Chris at the premiereRobert and Chris at the premiere

Q: We know you are a great Iron Man but what makes Chris Evans a great Captain America?

  • Robert: I really couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role from the first outing. Also, it’s probably the highest degree of difficulty of all the superheroes in the Marvel world to get right. I think there was a certain confidence and humility you had to have going in. Chris has gotten more and more detached from his own neurosis or judgement as the years have gone by. Initially you are like “Oh my God, the thing with the shield” and what if (they don’t like me)? Then once it was so embraced by the movie-going public I think it’s also afforded him the opportunity to do a lot of other stuff like directing and all that. First of all, to look good in that helmet, they should have done a random facial pattern search. He was just the right guy for the job.

Tony tries to talk Steve into government controTony tries to talk Steve into government controlCourtesy of Marvel

Q: Tony Stark does a flip-flop when he sides with the government. As an actor, how did you approach making that change seem grounded and intrinsic for the audience?

  • Robert: In Iron Man 2, I’m saying that the government can’t have the suit and it’s my private property and now I’m saying we’ve got to sign it all over but I was looking at it as a function of age. Like the things you are so determined and passionate about in your 30’s and 40’s, when you start looking at the back nine, you are like “Or maybe I’m entirely wrong”. You don’t really have the time and energy to stay as rigid.

Tony listens to Steve's point of viewTony listens to Steve's point of viewCourtesy of Marvel

Q: This movie takes you back to being a teenager with computer effects. I want that camera in my life every day. That is great special effects.

  • Robert: Right but it’s kind of like some healthy hallucinogen wearing off then “Oh, no, the real world again.”  I don’t even begin to know how they did it.

Captain America: Civil War PosterCaptain America: Civil War PosterCourtesy of Marvel

Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Which actor is your favorite? Are you more like Tony Stark (Iron Man) or Steve Rogers (Captain America)?  Share a comment below!