What’s Your Number is another spoke in the talent wheel possessed by Chris Evans. After being super in Captain America and dramatically delicious in Puncture, now in the Anna Faris starring romantic comedy What’s Your Number, Evans is showing another side of his acting skill set: Comedy.
Evans, who is busy filming The Avengers currently where he reprises his role as Captain America, is the picture of worried success at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica. He enters our room eager to shine the spotlight on the comedic talents of Faris and that is what makes him so appealing both on screen and off. Evans is a humble success. In his mind, he’s still the guy that grew up in Boston with dreams of making movies.
What’s Your Number not only allowed Evans to flex those comedy muscles, but also film a movie in his hometown. That rare experience was not lost on him during our chat.
His film with Faris follows a woman who believes that her “The One” is someone who exists within her Ex files. Meanwhile, Evans is an across the hall neighbor who helps her in that effort. Sparks fly immediately during the film and we could also describe Evans in person as equally electric.
Movie Fanatic: Were you looking for something different with What’s Your Number?
Chris Evans: I love doing comedies and I feel like I hadn’t done one in a little while. I did Scott Pilgrim but I was in and out in like four days. That was so out there. I love doing comedies. Any film you do, you can’t help but take a little bit home with you. If you’re doing something really heavy and dramatic, you’re gonna go home exhausted and spent. If you do comedy things like this, you go home cracking jokes. It feels like summer camp. I’m always looking to do a movie like this.
Movie Fanatic: How did you come upon the film?
Chris Evans: I had a pretty standard audition process -- got the script, read it, loved it, knew the people involved and just went to pursue it. I went and auditioned and had two or three rounds of just reading with people and got lucky.
Movie Fanatic: Was there a chemistry read with Anna? You guys pop onscreen.
Chris Evans: I missed the chemistry read [laughs]. I was in Houston working on something else and I got sick. I was like, “Well, I just missed my shot” and I begged (the casting director) “Please fight for me.”
Movie Fanatic: Did you think of your character as a player?
Chris Evans: Is that radically new for a guy in his 20s? That’s pretty standard. There’s that window of time when guys in their 20s are just selfish and trying to have a good time. They aren’t looking to settle down. At least not a lot of the guys I know.
Movie Fanatic: There is a good amount of you and Anna seen in the film. Were you uncomfortable with that at all?
Chris Evans: That’s right. Well, the first time I read it, I was like, “Yeah, there is a lot of skin” but it’s funny. It’s all funny. It didn’t ever really feel gratuitous. It felt like it was all serving a pretty humorous purpose.
Movie Fanatic: Have you looked up an ex on the net? If so, how far did you go?
Chris Evans: I’ve done a little digging [laughs]. I’ve done my share but Facebook makes all that real easy.
Movie Fanatic: So they never knew you were looking for them?
Chris Evans: On no. I succeeded and made contact and now we’re good friends.
Movie Fanatic: In the film, Anna compromises herself for a guy. Did you ever have to do that in your career in Hollywood?
Chris Evans: I’ve never had to compromise who I am, meaning shift the way I present the person I am. Maybe there are things I might not want to do. You’re great but this (press interviews) might not be where I wanna be on my Saturday. You’ve gotta jump through those hoops at times but I don’t think that’s a compromise of your integrity. So that’s a no.
Movie Fanatic: Being a comedy, was there any room for improv while filming?
Chris Evans: It was on the page but there was a lot of rehearsal. A lot of times, you don’t get the amount of rehearsal we got. There was a lot of input and a lot of voices and any fire that could have sprung up, we were putting them out weeks before we had to start shooting and that’s rare, especially in comedy.
Movie Fanatic: Another part of you we get to see in What’s Your Number is you singing and playing a guitar. Was that really you?
Chris Evans: Yeah, I do play guitar and, once upon a time, I used to sing. It’s still awkward to do it in front of people but I wasn’t too scared.
Movie Fanatic: You must see a lot of romantic comedy scripts. What was it about this one that really gelled with you?
Chris Evans: For me, a lot of times when you read those scripts you don’t know who is going to be in the film. I knew it was going to be Anna. Every page, I’m picturing Anna doing it. It is a character that is a mess and Anna’s really good at being a mess. She’s funny in every scene. I knew Anna was going to destroy this. She’s so funny. I laughed out loud at least six or seven times when reading the script. If that happens, that’s a good sign.
Movie Fanatic: Can you talk about shooting in Boston? I know you’re from the area.
Chris Evans: I loved it. It was the time of my life. My whole family was 10 minutes away.
Movie Fanatic: What did it mean to you to actually be shooting at the Boston Garden?
Chris Evans: Unbelievable, it was strange that I was running around in my underwear, but you know it was quite a day. It was crazy. I don’t know how to put it into words. It’s one of those rare things that film affords you.
Movie Fanatic: Do you think this movie will remind people that you are more than a superhero as Captain America?
Chris Evans: [Laughs] He also takes his clothes off. Yeah, I don’t know. I’ll say I hope so because I think a good thing about film as opposed to TV is you get variety so you get to flex a lot of different acting muscles. It’s fun to play a certain character and put on a blue suit and toss a shield around and it’s fun to go and crack some jokes and get naked.