I ran across this article that talks about why Chris Evans is going to quit acting. I really don’t know how much of this is true overall because I didn’t really care enough to go do some crazy librarian ninja googling*. Chris Evans can do what he wants obviously, but some of the complaints mentioned in the article did kind of make me feel bad. And as a fellow person with anxiety disorder (I’ve been on and off medication since I was a child) I wish could say to him I think he’s actually a very good actor.
Let me begin defending that statement by going through my own personal definition of actor and thespian. In the dictionary they mean the same thing, though some might associate Thespian as more an actor doing stage work. For my own personal arguments I like to use actor and thespian differently. To me an actor is a person who acts. They do stage or movies or TV. A Thespian is a person who does it well. And what I mean by this is that they have range. They are versatile. They play different characters differently.
So who do I consider thespians? Let’s start with the obvious, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I assume that brokers no argument. I’ll add Gary Oldman and doubt anyone would argue except his choice in movies is also sometimes questionable. But he is spectacular. Take Dracula, Leon, Fifth Element, Rosencratz & Guildenstern, True Romance… when I see Gary Oldman’s name in the credits, I never know what to expect.
And I’ll argue with people that Chris Evans is actually a pretty good actor. He’s a young thespian in the making. Except perhaps he’ll quit acting, which is a shame. Honestly, his biggest problem I think is that he’s so incredibly attractive that people don’t take him seriously. He’s typecast into these crappy hunk roles. I think if he had a chance to do more maybe indie roles with some characters with depth he’d really be able to get even better at acting and actually get some recognition. He needs some kind of breakthrough movie like whatever happened to Brad Pitt that turned him from hot guy in Thelma & Louis to hot guy that can be given dramatic roles.
Now let me lay down my argument and it starts with the crappy movie Fantastic Four. That movie is background noise. In it Evans is Johnny Storm, a brash womanizing adrenaline junkie, and his performance is as forgettable as the movie but that’s not on Evans I think so much as the script. Anyone could have played Johnny Storm in that movie. Which bring me to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, an underrated movie where Evans plays an asshole narcissitic ex-boyfriend, Lucas Lee. It’s not that much of a difference from Johnny Storm except when you watch the two those characters are completely different people. And that’s all on Evans. It’s easy to picture an evil version of Johnny Storm, but that’s not what Evans gave us. Those were two completely different people.
Which brings me to Captain America. I was one of the people having a fit over having someone play two Marvel characters. I went to see the movie anyway and had to eat my own words. And so did a lot of people I think. The truth is Evans did a good job. No, this isn’t exactly Born on the Fourth of July, but my argument stands that Evans created a different persona for the role. Storm, Lee, and Rogers are 3 different characters with different personality types that we can all sit here and list and come up with different adjectives. But they are all Chris Evans. And when a person can do that, they, in my book, are a thespian.
There’s other movies than that, but since I’m all on Marvel right now waiting for Winter Soldier, I like to bring those up.
In conclusion, Chris Evans has a lot of potential. I think it’s obvious that he is working hard to make these characters individuals. And I see a ton of actors play the same roles the same way over and over again until I am sick of looking at them. Evans is already versatile, he just needs some better roles so he can really just get even better. Maybe if he does go more into the behind the camera part of movie making he’ll find better roles for himself in the future.
By the way, I did see Sunshine in the theater. I’m surprised that movie didn’t do better. I really enjoyed it. Also, as dumb as it is, I argue that Not Another Teen Movie is the best parody movie since Mel Brook’s Robin Hood Men in Tights or Scream if you count that as a parody. I can write another blog post about why that movie is so very well made.
*Sidenote: librarians make really good stalkers. We can find information like no one else.