Chris Evans Wanted To Go The 'Full Nine Yards' With His Role In The Gray Man

Joe and Anthony Russo's "The Gray Man" is just around the corner, featuring two characters going head to head in a life-or-death situation: former CIA agent and mercenary Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling) and his formidable ex-colleague turned villain, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans). The plot of the film is supposed to follow the structure of a classic revenge tale, with Gentry embarking on a globe-spanning mission. The stellar cast for the film also includes Ana de Armas, Dhanush, Billy Bob Thornton, Julia Butters, Alfre Woodard, Eme Ikwuakor, Jessica Henwick, Wagner Moura, Callan Mulvey, Scott Haze, Michael Gandolfini, and Sam Lerner, along with DeObia Oparei.

As glimpsed by the trailers for "The Gray Man," Evans' Lloyd is somewhat of an unhinged character — exacerbated by the weird mustache he is seen sporting. Gentry even makes a comment about Lloyd's "trash 'stache" in the film, a sentiment humorously echoed by Gosling in a recent interview.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, the Russo brothers explained that it was, in fact, Evans' idea to don the mustache, as it added a certain air to the already-dubious nature of the character:

"That's his call. I mean, that was also part of the... we had a look that we presented to him based on some of these extremist groups, and he said, 'Let's go the full nine yards on this one, and let's make the character as sort of reflective of that as possible.'"

Good call, I guess.

Playing a genuinely menacing merc-for-hire

I love to see Chris Evans in his villain era, some of which we got a taste of in Rian Johnson's murder mystery, "Knives Out," in which he plays Hugh Ranson Drysdale, and his transition from so-called good guy to full-on villain is delicious. Evans is obviously known best for his role as Captain America in the MCU, a character who upholds certain patriotic ideals while being a somewhat quietly charismatic character. Evans' Lloyd is a far cry from Cap, as he is as ruthless and show-offish as it gets.

Joe Russo goes on to explain how Evans relished this role, and how he was a natural choice for the directors after the actor expressed his interest in taking risks after "Endgame:"

"He loved [Lloyd]. We were talking to him at the end of Endgame about what he was gonna do next. And he said, listen, 'I'm so comfortable. I've been so blessed and fortunate to be at the point I am in my career that I just wanna take risks moving forward.' So when we were working on this character, we were like, 'Who are we gonna get to play a complete sociopath? Just like scenery, chewing villain. And we thought Evans.'"

Previously, Evans had described Lloyd as a "trainwreck of a human being" and it will be interesting to see him ham up his acting chops for this role, creating a much-needed juxtaposition to his previous roles. It will also be interesting to see whether the Russos are able to infuse a global espionage plot with meaningful stakes, offering an action thriller that is a cut above regular genre clichés.

"The Gray Man" hits theaters on July 15, 2022, and is set to release on July 22, 2022 on Netflix.