Chris Evans Knew The Gray Man Was A Risky Role For Him To Take

After playing a star-spangled man with a plan for nearly ten years, you start wanting something different. And according to "The Gray Man" directors Joe and Anthony Russo, it's all about taking risks for Chris Evans. The actor, best known for his time as Captain America during the "Infinity Saga" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has reunited with the Russo Brothers for their upcoming action film for Netflix. "The Gray Man" centers on a dangerous globe-trotting game of cat and mouse, with agent Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling) on the run with the particular MacGuffin USB drive that every spy needs to have a target on their back. Chris Evans's character Lloyd Hansen is the metaphorical cat in this situation.

Evans is no stranger to blockbusters, but his role as the antagonist could still take some getting used to for audiences. Evans and his "trash-stache" have been at the center of the marketing for "The Gray Man," with his role as the villain being the selling point. That's part of the plan for Evans and the Russos. Their working relationship has evolved from their days in the MCU, with the directors helping to diversify Evans' filmography.

Chris Evans branches out

Speaking to CinemaBlend, the Russo Brothers revealed when and why Evans was chosen as Lloyd:

"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."

"The Gray Man" isn't the first time Evans chewed on scenery as a villain. Rian Johnson's 2019 whodunnit "Knives Out" featured the Captain America actor at his douchiest, playing a spoiled trust fund killer opposite Ana de Armas (who is also coincidentally in "The Gray Man"). Chris Evans also seems to have a soft spot for evil mustaches, also growing one out in 2018 to play a corrupt cop in his broadway debut "Lobby Hero," opposite Michael Cera. In between roles like "Lightyear," Evans has been hamming it up as exuberant villains. According to the Russos, these lively performances are more in line with Evans as a person than Captain America ever was.

Giving a villain a personal touch

Don't misinterpret, though. Evans isn't someone who would try to frame Ana de Armas for murder in real life. Instead, it's Chris Evans' playfulness and humor as an actor that the Russos wanted to channel in "The Gray Man."

"If you know Chris, he's not anything like Captain America. He is very charismatic, he's high energy he's very funny – where Cap is very low key and, and quiet. And so we thought, 'Well, let's capture that side of Chris, that more theatrical aspect of him.' Cause Lloyd is a very showy character. He's intentionally showy. He is an agent of chaos. He wants people to notice when he comes in the room. He dresses loud, and he's meant to mimic some toxic masculine extremis that are populating the country at the moment."

Evans no doubt played Captain America to perfection, but for Evans, it was time to move on. The actor is now taking more risks, putting more of himself into the characters he portrays, allowing himself to branch out and discover new layers to his characters. And more importantly, new types of facial hair to grow out for whatever role he plays. Long live the trash-stache.