Chris Evans on Anxiety and Turning Down Marvel

The Avengers star Chris Evans is sharing stories of his struggles with anxiety and why it led him to initially turn down playing Captain America. Evans is no doubt at the top of his game in Hollywood, with three Captain America and two Avengers films under his belt, with Avengers: Infinity War on the way in May. After few TV stints in the early 2000s, the actor’s breakthrough role came with the hit comedy spoof Not Another Teen Movie in 2001, and his career rocketed to the next level as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in 2005’s Fantastic Four and again in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Evans was catapulted into superstardom playing the title role in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, one of the early Marvel Studios entries that helped lay the foundation for The Avengers franchise. A role like Captain America/Steve Rogers would seem to be the ultimate opportunity for any actor, but in a video from the YouTube channel Motivation Madness that Evans tweeted Saturday, the actor details his struggles with anxiety and how that led him to initially say no to the role.

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In the 8 1/2 minute video, Evans shares several personal details about his life dating back to childhood and says his anxiety over the potential success of Captain America is what caused him to say no to the offer early on. Evans says he was afraid of a six-film commitment he’d have to make to the role over a 10-year period; and if one of those films were a hit, how he’d lose his anonymity.

After he turned the role down, Evans said went to therapy because of his struggles with anxiety. The actor said he realized, “Maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly the thing you should do” and that fear started to make sense. Evans admits that it was a “bumpy acclimation” and nerve-wracking first couple weeks of shooting as to whether he made the right choice. Now, he can’t imagine how’d he be kicking himself had he turned down the role. See the video in Evans’ tweet below:

Asked in the video what advice what advice he’d give to his 12-year-old self if he could, Evans says it would be the one word that helps him deal with his anxiety to this day. He says:

“It might seem oversimplified, but it’s profound, I’d say, ‘Shhhh.’ It’s been a big thing for me, ‘Shhhh.’ It’s so funny how noisy my brain is. Everyone’s brain is noisy, it makes thoughts. The problem is, in most of our lives, the root of suffering is following that brain noise and listening to that brain noise and actually identifying with it as if it’s who you are. That’s just the noise your brain makes, and more often than not, it probably doesn’t have much to say. (Saying ‘Shhhh,’) it’s gonna help you.”

It’s great that Evans is sharing his struggles with anxiety with the masses, just because it perhaps may give the courage to somebody suffering with similar feelings or depression to no longer suffer in silence and seek the help they need to cope. Confronting his fears has no doubt worked for Evans, who not only has gotten a chance to star in some of the biggest film blockbusters of the last decade, but bring happiness to people because of it, including giving hope to young children suffering in hospitals. By overcoming his fears, Evans has become a superhero both on-screen and off.

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Source: Chris Evans

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