So this is what it's like to date Chris Evans.
One month after their breakup was became public, Jenny Slate opened up in the March 20, 2017 issue of New York magazine about falling for Gifted co-star. The actors first met during a chemistry read for the movie, and they shared an immediate connection. "I remember him saying to me, 'You're going to be one of my closest friends,'" she recalled. "I was just like, 'Man, I f--king hope this isn't a lie, because I'm going to be devastated if this guy isn't my friend.'"
When Evans first showed a romantic interest in Slate, the actress—who had recently separated from her husband Dean Fleischer-Camp—was surprised, considering the actor had previously dated Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly. "To be quite honest, I didn't think I was his type. Eventually, when it was like, 'Oh, you have these feelings for me?', I was looking around like, 'Is this a prank?'" Slate said. "I mean, I understand why I think I'm beautiful, but if you've had a certain lifestyle and I'm a very, very different type of person—I don't want to be an experiment."
While Evans never made Slate feel that way, other people did—purposefully or not. "If you are a woman who really cares about her freedom, her rights, her sense of being an individual, it is confusing to go out with one of the most objectified people in the entire world," she said, noting that random women would often approach her at places like CVS, "being like, 'Oh my God, is that Chris Evans? He's so hot!' You're like, 'How dare you? That's my boyfriend. But yes, he's so hot.' Of course, it didn't help that in Hollywood, "I'm considered some sort of alternative option," the Obvious Child star said, "even though I know I'm a majorly vibrant sexual being."
It was hard for Slate to resist Evans' charms.
When they were filming Gifted, Evans would regularly invite his fellow cast members over to play games. "At first I was like, 'What a f--king nightmare,'" Slate recalled. "Chris is a different speed than me...and so when he was like, 'Game nights,' I was like, 'This is annoying. This guy's like a sports guy. He's the kid that likes P.E.'" Eventually, he won her over. "I first really liked Chris as a person because he is so unpretentious. He is a straight-up 35-year-old man who wants to play games. That's it. I was like, 'I'd better not discount this, because this is purity.'"
Slate soon realized she has more in common with Evans than she'd thought. "What's the same about us is not just that we're from Massachusetts, which was such a delight, but Chris is truly one of the kindest people I've ever met, to the point where sometimes I would look at him and it would kind of break my heart. He's really vulnerable, and he's really straightforward. He's like primary colors. He has beautiful, big, strong emotions, and he's really sure of them," she said. "It's just wonderful to be around. His heart is probably golden-colored, if you could paint it."
Slate, who described herself and Evans as an "odd match," admitted it wasn't easy to date someone so recognizable. "Chris is a very, very famous person," she explained. "For him to go to a restaurant is totally different than for me to go. I sit in my window and I say 'Hi' to people on the street. I have more freedom because I'm not Captain America. I'm mostly a cartoon."
"The stress that I saw him be put under, I've never seen that before, and he handled that really gracefully," the actress, 34, continued. "He's not stressed. I was the person that was stressed."
It was hard for Slate to adjust to Evans' level of public scrutiny.
On top of that, Slate hadn't processed her divorce from Fleischer-Camp, who remains one of her best friends. "When Chris and I started dating, my husband and I had only been separated for a couple of months. Even though we had an amicable divorce, I think that's still something that you need to mourn. When you get separated from somebody that you actually care about, it is the destruction of a belief system. That is really, really sad," she said. "I just didn't have the tools. And I didn't think very hard about that, to be honest. I wanted to step into the light. Chris is a sunny, loving, really fun person, and I didn't really understand why I should be prudent."
Slate confessed that she hasn't talked to Evans since their recent breakup. "We're not on bad terms, but we haven't really seen each other, spoken a lot. I think it's probably best," she said. "I'd love to be his friend one day, but we threw down pretty hard. No regrets, though. Ever." Slate doesn't "mind talking about him at all," because Evans is "a lovely person." Even so, after their split, Slate said she cried and saw You've Got Mail "so many times, it was unbelievable."
Rest assured, Slate will be OK.
"I don't know. It feels like such a huge thing. Last year was a giant, big year for my heart. I've never, ever thought to keep anything private because that's not really what I'm like," she said, "and now I'm learning those things, and they're weird, kind of demented lessons to learn."
Slate is only slightly nervous to begin promoting Gifted alongside her ex-boyfriend. "I feel pretty relaxed about it right now," said. "That's because I know Chris and he's a very nice man. And we've gone into our separate lives. But that doesn't also mean that I'm going to sleep well the night before, you know?" While she may be OK talking about him now, she added, "I don't want people to ask me more about my love life because of him than they ask me about my work."
The actress isn't looking to jump back into the dating pool just yet, but she does believe that The One is out there. "I am inclined toward partnership. I'm like a mallard, definitely looking for my other duck," she said. "But I've been in love in very strong ways enough times now that there are just some compromises maybe I won't make." And when she does find her next partner, Slate said, he's "going to have to respect that I had a husband who I loved and this boyfriend who I loved so much, and I don't want to have to act like they weren't important."