In behind the scenes footage, Chris Evans explains why he took on the role of Captain America — and why he was initially against it

By Alexia Fernandez
July 25, 2019 01:00 PM

Before Chris Evans was cast as Captain America, Marvel struggled to convince him to take on the iconic character.

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip, Marvel casting director Sarah Finn reveals the actor, 38, was reluctant to be a worldwide star.

“When we really distilled the core qualities that we wanted out of Captain America, I think there is really a moral fiber to him that really isn’t something you act, that it’s something that you need to possess,” Finn says in the clip.

She adds, “Chris Evans was someone who seemed to inhabit all of those qualities the most. So everyone was in love with the idea of Chris — except Chris.”

For his part, Evans realized that saying yes to the role would change his life dramatically.

Chris Evans as Captain America
Marvel

“The only reason there was hesitation, to begin with, is because of the commitment,” Evans says.

He adds, “It’s a big movie and if it succeeds there’s a change, a lifestyle change. And if it fails, it’s a whole other can of worms.”

Someone who did believe in Evans? Costar Robert Downey Jr., who began playing Iron Man/Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man.

“Once he committed, he committed 1000 percent,” Downey says of Evans in the video. “He stands there, tells the truth and then he kicks a—.”

Evans told The Hollywood Reporter in March that he passed on playing the Marvel superhero twice.

RELATED: Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth Joke About Their Marvel Bromance: We’re ‘Like Kids in School’

“Getting the [Captain America] offer felt to me like the epitome of temptation. The ultimate job offer, on the biggest scale. I’m supposed to say no to this thing. It felt like the right thing to do,” Evans said.

Even a studio tour at the invitation of Disney didn’t change his mind — until he received a fateful phone call from Downey.

“I’ve spent a lot of time just in repose with this guy, on set,” Downey told THR about his Avengers costar. “You know ­­— the shield’s on the table, and we’re waiting for the techno crane to get put in place. And I’ve had some of my greatest moments of gratitude when he was looking at me in my suit, and I was looking at him in his suit, and we’re just like, ‘Jesus, is this still working? How lucky are we?’”

Avengers: Endgame arrives on Digital July 30 and on Blu-ray Aug. 13.

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