Last week I was with a small group of people and we were able to speak with Chris Evans for an extended amount of time. While most of what we talked about is under embargo, I’m able to post part of our conversation and it covers what Chris said about Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and what he think about 20th Century Fox rebooting “Fantastic Four”. As you might imagine, he was incredibly excited to talk about “Scott Pilgrim” and he was raving about working for Edgar Wright. And regarding the “Fantastic Four” reboot, I asked him if he would be willing to go back and play Johnny Storm again and he said it all depends on the director. Of course, it’s more than likely Fox is going to hire an all new cast and creative team when they reboot the property, but you never know. Exactly what Chris said is after the jump:
Question: So what was your experience like on “Scott Pilgrim”?
Chris: It was fantastic, man. You always say this and I want to say it’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie, but it’s probably that’s it’s the most recent movie and it feels like it was the most fun. But if that’s an indicator so be it. It was fantastic. The only problem was that I only worked for 3 weeks. That movie was 5-6 months and it was just heart-breaking having to leave. I got to do…I was up there before they started shooting doing some physical training and stuff like that with the cast, and everyone was just so awesome. Just so nice, you know what I mean? It’s so nice working with…I know it sounds obvious and basic but just nice people. And they’re incredibly successful, phenomenally talented-everyone. Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman and Kieren and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. They’re all just amazing people and just the kindest, funniest most wonderful people to work with and they just wrapped. They just wrapped a couple weeks ago.
I know the guy, Brian O’Malley who did the books…
Chris: Another phenomenally nice man. A phenomenally nice man.
A while ago he and I did an interview about all the little references and you play Lucas Lee who is in a way a flip version of Jason Lee, who is a professional skateboarder.
Chris: Right, yeah.
Did you think about that? Do you know Jason at all?
Chris: No, I don’t know Jason but someone actually mentioned that. The thing about Jason is although they do have the similarities of skateboarding and acting, Jason-from the interviews I’ve seen-seems like a very modest, down to earth guy and he’s incredibly funny and incredibly likeable. Lucas Lee is kind of a guy you’d want to smack in the face. He’s a horrible actor. Jason Lee was hilarious. Jason Lee is a phenomenal actor. Lucas Lee is like the Steven Segal school of acting.
One of the things about the way how Edgar Wright makes movies is that he does these quick cuts and there’s all these little bits. Did you have to do a lot of that like turn on the skateboard 30 times and get all those kind of film things?
Chris: Yeah, well there’s a lot of quick cuts. It’s not necessarily quick cuts it’s that he just has the movie edited in his mind already. He knows exactly what he wants. He knows exactly what he needs. You could do one take and he can come up and say “Look I got what I needed. If you want another one you can have it but I’m good.” And you just trust him. I’ve never felt so secure with a director. He gets his days because, you know again, there’s no fat. He’s not working anything out in the day. He’s done his homework. He’s on-set like a machine and I’ve never seen producers give him so much…give a director so much freedom. They really let him do…they have so much confidence that he knows exactly what he wants and he does. And it’s funny you try and…the lines will be written in way that’s very informative and it definitely indicates a certain line reading and you try and say “well, I’ll try something outside-out of the box” or you give a suggestion and he’s like “Okay” and he’ll let you do it but then he always says “Well just try it the other way” and he’s always right. His direction is always spot-on. What he initially wanted is always the right thing. I feel completely safe in his hands. And actually I have a lot of confidence and faith in that movie. I really think it’s going to come out pretty cool.
Fox has gone on record now that they’re re-booting “Daredevil”. They are going to re-boot “Fantastic Four”. I have to ask you want are your thoughts on this?
Chris: I think it’s great. I’m sure it’ll be a great movie. They do that with a lot of movies. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. “Batman”, “Superman”, “Incredible Hulk”. Sometimes it’s a 10-year gap, sometimes it’s 5-years, sometimes it’s 20-years. I think there’s room to readjust the tone in “Fantastic Four” as it was for “Batman”. You know, “Batman” took on a very cartoony feel towards the end and even in the beginning. It was a lighter movie, even though it was Tim Burton. It was still a lighter film and the newer Batman’s have just been amazing, so I’m all for good filmmaking. If they can go make a good dark edgy “Fantastic Four” right on.
A lot of fandom, myself included, liked the cast of “Fantastic Four”. That wasn’t the issue. They had an issue with the story and the tone aiming for kids. Would you object to going back to doing “Fantastic Four”, or are you sort of like I’ve done this and let’s have a new team do it?
Chris: I guess it would depend. I mean I’m never against revisiting, well I guess I should say not yet, I’m never against revisiting genres or character types. If I played a doctor in one movie I wouldn’t be against playing a doctor again if the director was the right director. I think at the end of the day you’ve got to work with the directors. I do what I do because I like making good movies. It’s fun to act but if you just loved acting alone you could sit in your room and act. You could act in a vacuum. You want to make good products. You want to make good films. I love movies and good movies come from good directors and like I said since there isn’t this massive surplus of films out there, if a good director offers you a chance to make a good movie, you take it even if you say well I just played a character like that. Who cares? You’re a great director. “Scott Pilgrim”, I played characters similar to that guy but no fucking way I’m going to say no to this guy. I’m doing your movie. So if “Fantastic Four” got rebooted and Christopher Nolan was going to direct it and said do you want to play Johnny Storm again, I’d be in those blue fucking tights.
Of course I have to ask, you worked with Edgar, so you like “Shawn” or “Hot Fuzz” more?
Chris: I’m going to say…well that’s a tough one. I liked “Shawn” for awhile. It was first experience with Edgar Wright and I loved it. I thought it was fantastic. The more I see “Hot Fuzz” the more I think it’s a great movie. They’re just brilliant movies. They’re so well thought out. The guy’s just a wizard when it comes to filmmaking.
That’s the thing about…I remember that when “Hot Fuzz” came out it was like they announced he was doing “Scott Pilgrim” right before it came out and everybody was like wait are they going to do all 7 boyfriends in one movie? How are they going to do that? But then you see “Hot Fuzz” and see how much shit he crams into that movie.
Chris: There’s nothing by accident. There’s nothing that you have to imagine in the post-period of filmmaking…a lot of things have to happen spontaneously. A lot of things don’t go as planned. If you have to cut and paste plot points, if you have to…sometimes you have to edit on the fly and re-think things as they happen. I can’t imagine any of that shit happens in Edgar’s…there’s no room for it. There has to be a plan from the beginning and it is executed perfectly and whatever ends up in the theatre is exactly what he had planned from day one. This is brilliant.