"When did you realize you were hot?"
Chris Evans laughed out loud when BuzzFeed's Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins asked him that very question, point blank, during the season finale of their Thirst Aid Kit podcast. "Oh, man! Goodness...I still feel like I'm just trying to pull a fast one over on people," the Captain America actor chuckled. "You don't know what I look like first thing in the morning! It's rough!"
Evans felt like an ugly duckling in his preteens, which is why he doesn't identify as "hot" now. "If you look back on some of my photos from childhood, it was not kind. I had a really bumpy road, and I think like most of us, we still feel like that—no matter what," Evans explained. "No matter what happens, we kind of connect to that chapter in life when you first start exploring the feelings of comparison," the actor continued. "It's usually connected to when you start noticing the people you're attracted to—somewhere around 9, 10, 11—when you first start coming into your own sexuality and start seeing how you stack up. That was probably one of the roughest chapters of my life! And so I think—for most people—you kind of stay in that suspended state."
Ironically, in the early days of his career, the actor's good looks would often work to his advantage. "I guess when I got to Hollywood, and you start going on certain auditions, you're like, 'All right. Typically I'm playing a guy in a letterman jacket. I guess I fit a certain character type,'" he said. "But like I said, that is not how I feel on the inside. I'm a pretty big dork. God, everybody says they're a dork! That's a stupid thing to say; I shouldn't have said it. But I really do have dorky tendencies. So, I don't know. I suppose right when I started auditioning and you see the pattern of things you're going out for, you go, 'All right, I guess this is the role I fit into.'"
Throughout the interview, Adewunmi and Perkins repeatedly complimented his facial hair in Avengers: Infinity War. "I really like it, too; I usually live my life with a beard," Evans told the two co-hosts. "I'm not a huge fan of shaving and it provides a little bit of anonymity at times."
"It just kind of changes things up. We've seen Cap so many times the same way," he said. "He's such a throwback, such a classic. It kind of gives him a modern vibe." Evans added that his beard grows in fairly fast. "I think I can get a pretty full beard in a month—three to four weeks."
Asked which physical attribute he feels has been most objectified over the years, he laughed and joked, "Maybe after this interview, it sounds like my beard!" He was then asked to discuss his grooming routine. "I've had multiple people try to push some sort of beard oil on me. Who is lubing up their beard? That's just gross to me. No, it really is no grooming. You comb it in the morning so you don't have that behead look," he said. "There's really not much grooming to it."
Evans added that in real life, he doesn't look nearly as powerful as Captain America does. "I don't think I really resemble myself the way I look on film. Typically when I run into people, it's kind of explained that I am the actor who plays that character. The typical response you get is this kind of cock-headed look, and they just go, 'No, you're not that guy. I just saw that movie last night. That guy's bigger! He's taller! He's better looking!'" he said. "There really is a disbelief in my actual form in reality—which is kind of a blow to the confidence—but I guess it does help me get through crowds. So, I don't really have people coming up to me as often as you'd think."
With his Marvel Studios contract nearing its end, Evans is looking forward to spending less time in the gym. "It sounds so awful to say it, but, you know, I'm 36. We started these movies, what, eight years ago? Nine years ago? Something like that. So, over the years, your body goes into a little bit of wear and tear, not only to get in shape for the film, but then the actual filming. It's a lot of stunt work. You get banged up and you never want to completely fall off. When you wrap the film—even though you stop going to the gym—in less than six or seven months, you're going to be starting another film. So, you always have to keep some sort of a foundation. I really wouldn't mind just...not quitting the gym completely, but adjusting my workout to fit a 36-year-old body and not try to carry around so much size," Evans said. "Be more functional, I suppose."
With that, the co-hosts grew silent. "You guys sound so upset at that!" Evans laughed.