Chris Evans will not act in any more movies after his final Marvel outing next year, but he will direct them. That is some consolation at least to his fans. And there are many of them: 837,000 twitter followers, and 957,000 Facebook likes. There are lots of reasons why his fans will miss seeing him on the big-screen, namely his on-screen presence and his off-screen support for LGBT rights.
First, fans will miss his on-screen presence. Chris Evans has charisma. The man is drop dead gorgeous, too. What is there not to miss? Hollywood has been built on the likes of Evans, and with his chiseled features, big lips and blue eyes, he keeps the glamour in Hollywood. Won’t it all be a waste hidden behind the camera?
Not at all, actually. The man has talent. That talent was quickly spotted after Evans began appearing on TV shows such as The Fugitive and Boston public in 2000. A year later, he was starring in a big budget hit feature film Not another teen movie. Evans’ looks were put to good use as he was cast as a jock, a role he played effortlessly for a man who is anything but, and millions of teenagers were exposed to Evans’ talents.
Evans’ talents were not fully realized however until 2005 when he shot to super stardom as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four. He appeared in the sequel, too. And his skills at playing superheros in Hollywood Blockbusters were once more put to good use in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Evans has entertained millions of fans around the world in those roles, making a name for himself as the ultimate superhero actor.
But Evans is not all action hero. He is quite the social issues hero, too. Evans provided a much-needed voice to gay men in Hollywood when he spoke out about LGBT rights. Evans may not be gay himself, but he has a gay brother, Scott. In a gay-friendly industry curiously lacking in on-screen out stars, Evans’ criticism of the U.S’ LGBT rights and his support of the community earned the subject an audience it might not have otherwise had.
One of the interviews in which he criticized Gay Marriage laws in the U.S was in none other than Playboy. Evans said the lack of rights was both “embarrassing” and “heart-breaking” and that Americans would be ashamed ten years later. It is voices such as Evans which have been an important factor in gay marriage becoming a right in seventeen U.S states less than two years after Evans’ very vocal support.
Evans is so passionate about the subject, he wanted to be involved in Milk, the 2008 Oscar-winning movie starring Sean Penn. Evans lost out on the role of Scott Smith to James Franco. He would later say how much he wanted the role but losing out to Franco made it a little better. Perhaps now Evans plans to get behind the camera, he will make movies such as Milk. If his transition from small-screen to big-screen is anything to go by, Evans has the networking skills, to get himself behind any topic he likes. And he acknowledges that his success in the Marvel movies is what has enabled him to get the chance to direct films such as his debut, the upcoming 1:30 Train, in which he will also star. What films he will go on to make, considering his diversity and social conscience will be awaited with some anticipation.
Fans will get to say goodbye to Evans appearing on the big screen in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron . After that, fans will be pleased to catch glimpses of him on the red carpet at premieres of his directorial outings not just to enjoy his handsome features but to listen to what he has to say, too. For Evans, a one of a kind Hollywood icon, has proved to be both worth watching and worth listening to.
Commentary by Christian Deverille