Chris Evans made a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter podcast Awards Chatter, where he reflected on mental health and uncertainties about his role as "Steve Rogers" aka "Captain America" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the interview, he shared that he first rejected an audition for the role because he felt its high-profile nature would exacerbate his struggles with anxiety.
Just prior to the "Captain America" offer, Evans revealed, "was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set. I really started to think, 'I'm not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I'm not sure if I'm feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.'"
Robert Downey Jr. offered wise words to Chris Evans on MCU role
But Marvel envisioned Evans in the role and even offered him the hefty nine-film contract outright. He consulted with friend and soon-to-be co-star Robert Downey Jr. ("Iron Man"), who advised him not to take the role out of fear.
Eventually, Evans grew more comfortable. He decided to take on "Captain America," and, he said, "I fell in love with Steve Rogers pretty quick."
"It was the best decision I've ever made, and I really owe that to [Marvel president] Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake."
"To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition," he added.
The Avengers cast helped Chris Evans find comfort on set
Evans further told Awards Chatter that Chris Hemsworth ("Thor") had entered the MCU at nearly the same time, which provided him with another empathetic friend.
"It was nice having Chris Hemsworth around because he was going through it, too," Evans said. "Hemsworth and I were very new and we also had the stand-alones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting."
Evans, 38, has now starred as the iconic Marvel hero in three standalone Captain America films and a total of ten MCU projects overall.