The untold truth of Chris Evans

He was the first Avenger. He has awesome biceps. He punched Adolf Hitler on the cover of a 1941 comic book. He's a bad guy-crushing, red-white-and-blue supersoldier with an indestructible shield, and awesome biceps. Did we mention the biceps?

Chris Evans isn't the first guy to take on the iconic role of Captain America, but now it's pretty hard to imagine anyone else as the character. And it's even harder to believe that after Avengers: Endgame, we may never see Evans' Captain America again.

Still, whether he likes it or not, Chris Evans will forever be known as the guy who played Captain America. And you might know the origin story of Cap, but do you know the origin story of Chris Evans? Was he injected with Sexy-Serum during a top-secret super-actor project somewhere in the bowels of Hollywood? Or was he actually born with awesome biceps? It's all here, boys and girls, ready for you to discover.

Besides great biceps, he also has great teeth

We don't want to waste too much time on the whole Chris Evans is a perfect specimen thing that we've already wasted too much time on, but it's worth noting that in addition to his super-ripped physique, he also has super-perfect teeth, and that probably has something to do with the fact that his father was a dentist. But Dad was evidently the only guy in the family who had a high-paying job (initially). According to Biography, Evans' mother was a dancer who later became a youth theater director, and Dad must have been thrilled when his two sons decided that the world of theater was more appealing than the world of dentistry. "We were like the von Trapps [from the Sound of Music]," Evans told W Magazine. "All singing and dancing. I still sing everywhere — in the shower, in the car."

Evans' brother, Scott, who is two years his junior, also went on to become an actor, though he didn't become quite the star his brother did. Scott Evans spent two years on the soap opera One Life to Live, and he's had a couple of bit parts on some random television shows, including Fringe and HBO's Looking. And there's definitely a family resemblance, so maybe he grows a beard and becomes the next Captain America after his brother's imminent retirement? How about it, Marvel?

You know you've made it when you're on the cover of a board game

Before the fame, before the fortune, before the biceps … there was the board game. And we don't mean the Marvel Avengers version of Monopoly, either. According to ComicBook.com, back in 1999, Evans appeared as "Tyler" in Hasbro's classic Mystery Date. Evans can be seen in the top-left corner of the box cover in the weird blue filter, chatting into the fake flip phone that was packaged with the game.

He has his own game card, too, which pictures him (as "Tyler") wearing a blue and black rash guard, carrying an orange surfboard. On the flip side, players get to read about Tyler's ideal date: "A walk around the cliffs, then hang out by the bonfire with other friends."

Just in case you're thinking to yourself, "Noooooo … Chris Evans could not have possibly been Tyler from Mystery Date," BuzzFeed actually dug out a photo from Evans' high school yearbook and compared it side by side with the game card and yup, it's totally Chris Evans. How embarrassing.

He was on the fast-track to Hollywood

Since you've just learned about Chris Evans' family and the whole Sound of Music thing they did, it will not surprise you at all to hear that Evans pretty much always wanted to be an actor. In fact he told Boston Magazine that by his junior year of high school he'd already decided he was going to take this acting thing seriously, so he talked his parents into letting him move to New York City for the summer. In New York, he attended the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and then got an internship with a casting agency. He returned to Lincoln-Sudbury High in Massachusetts to complete his senior year but says he was still traveling to New York for auditions around once a week.

"At that point college was still part of the plan," Evans said in his Boston Magazine interview. "But then I got really lucky. I got a pilot, and that got picked up and took me to L.A. So we decided, 'Maybe college can wait.'" In the fall semester, Evans "doubled up" on his remaining classes and graduated early so he could move to Los Angeles and start work on the teen dramedy Opposite Sex, which was sadly canceled after eight episodes. The show launched Evans' career, though, and got him into Hollywood, and it was pretty much uphill from there. Mostly.

Then came the bad movies...

Okay, so it wasn't straight uphill or anything — there were a couple dips in the road between Opposite Sex and Avengers: Endgame. The first one was his first big screen role in Not Another Teen Movie, a parody of the teen movie genre. The part involved, among other things, a whipped-cream bikini and a banana. Oh, the things that young actors will subject themselves to in the name of "my big break."

We won't go into the specifics of the banana other than to say that it was within the proximity of Evans' backside. "It wasn't exactly some high-brow art," Evans told The Wrap in 2014. "I was thrilled … but my buddies were still giving me a lot of crap and calling me a terrible actor." And it's not like he segued from that film to Captain America or anything either — there were more bad movies to follow. "My first couple of movies were really terrible," he told the Boston Globe. "The Perfect Score, which was gone in a New York minute, and then I did a movie called Cellular, which was gone, then Orphan King, which never even made it to theaters. Your first movie, you think 'This is it! Look out world!' And then you're like, 'Oh … back to the drawing board, I guess."

He's been in a lot of comic book movies

If you are a true Marvel fan, you've almost certainly avoided the Fantastic Four movies because they sucked. In fact you may have avoided them so successfully that you didn't even realize that Captain America was also once the Human Torch.

Evans played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch in the 2005 movie Fantastic Four and in its 2007 sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. According to Biography, the second movie got slammed by critics, so the planned third installment was canceled. On the bright side, a lot of critics said sort of nice things about Evans' performance — when comparing Evans' Human Torch to Michael B. Jordan's Human Torch in the 2015 reboot, reviewer J.M. Wong wrote, "The best thing I can say is that they were both the least worst thing in their respective movies." So that's … something.

But wait, there's more — after Silver Surfer, Evans was in The Losers, a film based on the Vertigo comic series. And he was also in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and a movie called Snowpiercer, which was based on a French graphic novel. So besides his role as Captain America and his ill-advised stint as the Human Torch, he's got some pretty serious comic book cred.

He really didn't want to play Captain America

If Marvel phoned you up one day and went, "Hey we're going to give you millions of dollars, the love and respect of MCU fans all over the world, and a contract that will pretty much set you up for life," you would probably instantly shout, "Where's my trailer?" For Chris Evans, the decision to play Captain America wasn't that easy. "I was scared," he told Jimmy Kimmel. A multi-movie contract, he explained, is a big no-way-out commitment, and he wasn't sure he wanted to take that on. "In doing movies one at a time, if all of a sudden you decide you don't want to do it anymore, you're afforded the opportunity to take a step back and recalibrate. When you have a giant contract … too bad. You've got to suit up again. That was scary."

According to MTV, Evans was competing against actors like Channing Tatum and John Krasinski for the role but evidently didn't know it — Captain America director Joe Johnston said they offered the part to Evans without even asking him to audition. In fact they offered it to him "a few times," until he finally said "yes." Evans told Kimmel he accepted the role after he realized fear was the only thing holding him back. "It ended up kind of clicking to me in the way that whatever you're scared of, push yourself into it." And that's how Chris Evans became Captain America.

He's besties with Scarlett Johansson

As Captain America and Black Widow, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson play two of the MCU's original heroes, but their relationship predates those roles by a number of years. According to Screen Rant, they've known each other since 2004, when they both starred in the teen heist comedy The Perfect Score. (Oh no, not another teen movie!) But obviously it wasn't all Avengers from that moment on, and their professional careers crossed paths again in 2007, when they worked together on a film called The Nanny Diaries.

There's no doubt that Evans and Johansson have great chemistry, but have they ever been a couple? As far as we can tell, no. In fact Johansson once told Access Hollywood that kissing Chris Evans on screen was a total non-issue. "At this point, we're like old and jaded, so it's like, 'All right, bring him on!' No big deal. Pop in the Tic-Tacs. Get the cameras rolling." In fact both actors have, at various times, said things in the vein of "She's like my sister," or the much more specific, "He's like the bigger, yet somehow younger, a little bit annoying but always charming brother."

Even so, that chemistry is definitely there, and not in a Cersei and Jaime sort of way either. There are even some fans rooting for a Cap and Black Widow romance, but it's not likely to happen. They'll just have to stay in the friend zone, both in real life and in the MCU.

He's never really been that into comic books

So obviously, Chris Evans loves comic books and spent hours immersed in them as a kid because why the heck would he be in a million different comic book movies if he didn't have an appreciation for the genre?

"I didn't grow up reading comic books," Evans said in an interview with Extra. "I knew of Captain America, but I didn't really grow up doing the comic book thing." Oh. Well that makes us all feel sort of icky and used.

Still, he's at least warmed up to the superhero thing over the years, so it wasn't all about just about money and Scarlett Johansson. When he was asked to extol the virtues of playing Captain America for the book Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years, he provided a lovely canned statement that we're sure wasn't at all designed to deflect readers from his non-comic book upbringing. "Steve Rogers is a man who wants very much to do good and serve his country … [He's] the true moral compass and heart behind the franchise."

Okay, we believe that. It could sound a little less like something your publicist wrote for you, but we believe it. Thanks, Chris.

He trolls Donald Trump. A lot.

When Captain America, super soldier, wearer of the red-white-and-blue, patriotism embodied, starts criticizing the president, pretty much everyone pays attention, even if roughly 40 percent of Americans don't really like what he has to say.

Chris Evans is not a Trump fan, and by association neither is Captain America because Chris Evans equals Captain America, so that might actually mean Trump is an MCU villain. Or maybe it's the other way around. (Hail Hydra.) Still, Evans really enjoys trolling Donald Trump, and he's not super polite about it, either. "It's 'counsel', Biff. The word is 'counsel,'" he tweeted after yet another Twitter misspelling — in this case, "Councel." "I was trying to comprehend how in the world a man, even as moronic as you, can misspell a word he probably reads fifty times a day. But then it dawned on me, you probably only HEAR the word."

Surely Marvel is not keen on one of their big names potentially alienating a significant chunk of the viewing audience, right? Well, they don't really seem to mind. "Marvel has never said anything," Evans told The Hollywood Reporter. "On the contrary — when I bump into Kevin Feige the first thing out of his mouth is 'Man, I love what you're doing [on Twitter]." And Feige backed that up, too, by describing Evans' tweets as "very astute, very honorable, very noble, very Cap-like. Commentary and questioning." Well, minus the insults, maybe.

He'd like to do some directing

In between Marvel movies and other Marvel movies, Chris Evans directed and starred in a non-superhero (shocking, right?) film called Before We Go, which is about a chance meeting between an unhappy New York street musician and a woman who becomes stranded in Grand Central Station after she misses her train.

According to Variety, Before We Go cost $3 million and took 19 days to film. It grossed $37,151, which Hollywood Reporter says is 0.01 percent of what Infinity War grossed on opening weekend. The film got an abysmal 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so it wasn't exactly well-received, although Hollywood Reporter did give it the high praise of "not embarrassing."

That doesn't mean that Evans is a terrible director, though, and he certainly doesn't seem deterred. "I'm okay with making mistakes," he told Hollywood Reporter. "And I learned a lot from that one."

He's plagued by anxiety

It is hard to imagine that any actor might be secretly dealing with anxiety, especially if you're one of the many normal humans who have to breathe into a paper bag at the mere thought of asking your boss for a raise or giving a speech at a wedding. A guy who can not only pretend to be a superhero in front of a bunch of cameras but is also totally okay with millions of people looking at a supersized version of his face in a dark room couldn't possibly experience anything even remotely resembling anxiety. Could he?

People can surprise you, though. According to Vulture, Chris Evans has pretty severe anxiety, so severe that he had to see a therapist to help cope with the pressures of signing on to play Captain America. His anxiety has occasionally even manifested in public situations — in an interview with the New York Times, he said he once had an anxiety attack while on a European junket for Fantastic Four. "No one's even speaking to me," he said, "and in a matter of 60 seconds I went from being fine to full meltdown, just stood up and walked offstage."

The acting itself, though, doesn't provoke his anxiety in the same way interviews and public appearances do. "[Acting is] a very safe place to play, have fun, and not feel judged or scrutinized," he said.

He's retiring ... or is he?

Rumors about Chris Evans' "retirement" have been floating around since a 2014 interview with Variety, in which he seemed to imply that he was planning to give up acting. "If I'm acting at all, it's going to be under Marvel contract, or I'm going to be directing," he said. "I can't see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I'm contractually obligated to do."

Those do sound like the words of a guy who's maybe getting bored with his "contractual obligations," but all he was really saying was that he'd like to also do some directing. Today, Evans gets annoyed when people ask him if he's planning to retire after Endgame. "I never said the word 'retire.' It's a really obnoxious notion for an actor to say they're going to retire. It's not something you retire from." In fact all he's really said was he's not going to play Captain America anymore — there's plenty of evidence that he'll still be acting. Hollywood Reporter says post-Endgame he'll be in a murder mystery called Knives Out and a limited series called Defending Jacob. He's also negotiating for a starring role in the Antoine Fuqua movie Infinite, none of which sounds like a project one could successfully do while gardening, painting, or telling neighborhood kids to stay off the lawn.