ARTICLE MARK JACOBS
PHOTOGRAPHY INEZ & VINOODH
STYLIST PANOS YIAPANIS
THE HOLLYWOOD HEARTTHROB WHO HAPPENS TO BE A TALENTED ACTOR
Chris Evans is not the first actor to have exciting abdominals and a mathematically handsome face. There has to be a better reason that this 25-year-old, who dropped his pants decorated in whipped cream, cherry nipples, and what can be described as a banana tail in 2001’s Not Another Teen Movie, is now getting work with the kind of stars and directors who make serious careers. His appeal, a combination of easy humor and a heartthrob’s confidence, was apparent even in the otherwise artless Fantastic Four, a film he stole as Johnny Storm, a man who flies and shoots fire from his hands. He’s a real dude—and a likable one. A passable high-school athlete from Sudbury, Massachusetts, with a background at theater camp, Evans likes to laugh and when he curses it’s not hard or mean but fun. His next wave of projects includes the Fantastic Four sequel, the film of the best-seller The Nanny Diaries, and the claustrophobic space thriller Sunshine. That’s a little more range than mere muscle allows for.
MARK JACOBS You could easily have been a good-looking actor who doesn’t get the right roles. How are you doing it?
CHRIS EVANS There are so many variables. Sometimes you can be shit lucky and have just one great audition. Sometimes you’re the best guy for the part but you can’t get your shit together in the room and it goes out the window. Maybe your agent is a golfing buddy of the director.
MJ And for you?
CE I can make the rent now so I don’t feel like I have to work. Good careers are not about what you do but what you don’t do. And this is when I have to be picky. Directors are everything. If P.T. Anderson asks me to be in a movie that I think is absolute shit, I’m doing it. I also have a great agent who values me and who I don’t think would pawn me off on The Fast and the Furious 4 to lock down a nice paycheck.
MJ Talk about Sunshine, which is directed by Danny Boyle, who did Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.
CE It’s a sci-fi suspense film about eight astronauts who go into space to launch a bomb the size of Manhattan into the sun to keep it artificially burning. It’s very psychological. If you were part of a team of astronauts going to save mankind you might become drunk with power. People start to crack up.
MJ Are directors always trying to get you to take off your shirt?
CE Yeah. It’s tricky. My new publicist is like, no more photo shoots with your shirt off. You don’t want to end up pigeonholed as a beefcake. But almost every movie I’ve been in, they get my fucking shirt off. I guess anyone with a good career has some history that they aren’t proud of. I had a fucking banana in my ass! That wasn’t my shining moment. [Laughs]
MJ How did that scene happen?
CE Normally there’s a makeup lady but that day they brought in a makeup guy because he’s got to be all up in my junk. I’m just like, “Hey dude, what’s your name? I guess we’re going to get real close.” It was a foam banana and they cut one end into a triangular wedge and we had to go behind this curtain in my little towel and my little nylon sock. He didn’t want to be doing it any more than I did. I was like, alright, and kind of leaned a little bit and he slathered it with some spirit gum and just kind of wedged it in there. This is my fucking film career! [Laughs]
MJ Are you guys still in touch?
CE [Laughs] He’s my valentine every year. We talk on New Year’s.
MJ How often do you go to the gym?
CE I try to go every day. I don’t consider myself some meathead who’s drinking protein shakes and is like, “Where’s my glutamine?” I go to the gym and lift weights because if I don’t, I get thin quickly. If you saw my thighs you’d laugh, dude. I’m just a skinny guy naturally. It’s easy for me to lose weight but if they’re like, “You’ve got to play a marine” and I haven’t been in the gym, I don’t know if I can sell the part.
MJ Do women like your chest hair?
CE That’s funny, man, because I’ve had girlfriends who hated it but other girls who loved it. It’s hit or miss. You never know.
MJ What’s your type?
CE Sandra Bullock. Isn’t that ridiculous? I’m so hung up on her! I saw her in Speed in seventh grade and she was my lady. I loved her. Once I was standing next to her at an awards show but I got nervous and had to get out of there. I started to sweat.
MJ So is it going too fast or are you handling it?
CE I wouldn’t want it to go any faster. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll find out that this was too fast and that I’m in so deep that I can’t imagine not living this lifestyle. It would be telling to see how I would handle it if I lost it all tomorrow. If you’re not cool in life without something you’re never going to be cool in life with it.
MJ So enjoy it.
CE Enjoy it and be endlessly grateful. If you can’t be grateful, you’re an asshole. The truth is you can wake up every day and decide whether you want to be in a good mood or a bad mood. I truly believe that. It’s up to me. Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it.
Hair Luigi Murenu for Kérastase Paris Grooming Dick Page (Jed Root) Photo assistant Shoji Van Kuzumi Lighting technician Jodokus Driessen Digital technician Manoodh Matadin Studio manager Marc Kroop Printing Pascal Dangin for Box Ltd. Chris Evans in NYC, January 2007.