written by Emily on June 09, 2021

Chris Evans Was Captain America. Now He Wants to Help Gen Z Reshape US Politics

NEWSWEEK – Chris Evans is best known for portraying Captain America, who teams up with other superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to form the Avengers. In real life, Evans has joined director and actor Mark Kassen and health care entrepreneur and philanthropist Joe Kiani to launch a website and app called A Starting Point, with the aim of getting young people interested in learning more about their elected officials and political issues.

Evans and Kassen met with Newsweek’s David H. Freedman via Zoom to talk about some of the obstacles they’ve had to overcome, the success they’ve had so far and their ambitions for the project.

Newsweek: What were the biggest challenges you faced in getting A Starting Point up and running?

Chris Evans: First we had to collect the interviews. For the first year and a half before we launched, most of what we did was going to Washington, D.C., and knocking on doors to try to collect these interviews. We needed to garner trust.

Mark Kassen: I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Chris is famous. Sometimes I just forget that, because I’ve known him a long time and to me he’s just a normal person. So I was surprised when we went to D.C. at how excited and nervous people were to meet him. A lot of them told us that celebrities often come to D.C. to try to tell them what to do. They liked that we were asking them to talk about what they think. And they liked that we weren’t just looking for the most exciting, sexy stories. We asked them to talk about some of the issues that are important to them and their states, and that they usually don’t get to talk about.

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CE: It’s a lot easier now that word is getting around. These days we’re fielding incoming calls from elected officials who want to be included.

NW: Do you hope A Starting Point can address the extreme polarization among voters and in government?

CE: The site wasn’t designed to try and promote bipartisanship. This isn’t a therapy session for the left and the right so we can all figure out how to sing kumbaya. It was created to promote engagement with young people. If we don’t get more young people to vote we’ll never get a government that accurately reflects who we are as a country. We felt the best way to fight apathy and promote engagement is to show the full spectrum of opinions that are out there. A lot of those opinions are different from mine, but I wanted to keep that out of it and let young people decide for themselves.

MK: The two parties seem to shape the narratives we hear on different media outlets. We wanted officials to talk to us about the issues without the narratives.

CE: Young people can detect journalistic spin as well as anyone can. Our guiding principle—and I think it’s pretty unique to us—is that we provide this information in a completely unbiased way. The content comes directly from elected officials. Mark had a fantastic idea about our doing profiles of different officials, but I was immediately wary, because it would be hard to do that without letting our own opinions affect how we do them. That could be in part because I am so politically vocal on social media, and I want to make sure that I never let that infiltrate this site. I was really worried that we were going to be branded as some sort of a leftist propaganda machine, that there was some sort of a liberal agenda. But that hasn’t happened at all.

Read more at the source

written by Emily on March 04, 2021

Live Smarter for a Better World

Chris Evans is the new ambassador for Smart Communications‘s new 2021 campaign Live Smarter for a Better World. You can check out photos from the photoshoot, behind the scenes, and screen captures in the gallery. Below you can also watch the TVC and a short message from Chris!

written by Emily on October 23, 2020

Captain America is trying to … captain America

THE WASHINGTON POST – BOSTON — So you’re Tim Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina who opposes Roe v. Wade and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and you get a call from Chris Evans, a Hollywood star and lifelong Democrat who has been blasting President Trump for years. He wants to meet. And film it. And share it on his online platform. Can anybody say “Borat?”

“I was very skeptical,” admits Scott. “You can think of the worst-case scenario.”

But then Scott heard from other senators. They vouched for Evans, most famous for playing Captain America in a series of films that have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. The actor also got on the phone with Scott’s staff to make a personal appeal.

It worked. Sometime in 2018, Scott met on camera with Evans in the nation’s capital, and their discussion, which ranged from prison reform to student loans, is one of more than 200 interviews with elected officials published on “A Starting Point,” an online platform the actor helped launch in July. Not long after, Evans appeared on Scott’s Instagram Live. They have plans to do more together.

“While he is a liberal, he was looking to have a real dialogue on important issues,” says Scott. “For me, it’s about wanting to have a conversation with an audience that may not be accustomed to hearing from conservatives and Republicans.”

Evans, actor-director Mark Kassen and entrepreneur Joe Kiani launched “A Starting Point” as a response to what they see as a deeply polarized political climate. They wanted to offer a place for information about issues without a partisan spin. To do that, they knew they needed both parties to participate.

Evans, 39, sat on the patio outside his Boston-area home on a recent afternoon talking about the platform. He wore a black T-shirt and jeans and spent some of the interview chasing around his brown rescue dog.

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Nearly 100 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 general election, Evans says. That’s more than 40 percent of those who were eligible.

He believes the root of this disinterest is the nastiness on both sides of the aisle. Many potential voters simply turn off the news, never mind talking about actual policy.

“A Starting Point” is meant to offer a digital home for people to hear from elected officials without having the conversation framed by Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow.

“The idea is . . . ‘Listen, you’re in office. I can’t deny the impact you have,’ ” says Evans. “ ‘You can vote on things that affect my life.’ Let this be a landscape of competing ideas, and I’ll sit down with you and I’ll talk with you.”
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written by Emily on October 07, 2020

The Thought Leaders Issue: Chris Evans | V Magazine

V MAGAZINE – The actor and co-founder of A Starting Point discusses partisanship, youth activism, and the importance of empathy.

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“I knew I had to begin work on [my political engagement platform] A Starting Point after Trump got elected. I disagree with a lot of Trump’s policies, and I personally have a very strong stance on that, which I vocalize on my social media. But my biggest concern is that his methodology is designed to divide. He has never once made an effort to bring us together. [A Starting Point] is designed to inform people so they can take a side.

“[As an actor], the lack of expectation from me [in the political world] actually played to my advantage. When no one expects much of you, it takes the pressure off! It’s more of an uphill battle in terms of getting the ball rolling, because people do a bit of a double take—‘Who wants to interview us?’ But now that we have established what we’re trying to do, it’s gone pretty smoothly.

“I think we are on the cusp of a really motivated, driven generation of young people who are very awake and connected. It’s such a platitude, but they really are the future. It’s always the students, isn’t it? Whether it was the civil rights in the ‘60s or today, it’s always young people [working toward change]. With every younger generation, they care less and less about the archaic social norms that people before them are trying to preserve. Now, more than ever, young people are involved in shaping the political and social landscape. It really is like a potter’s wheel and these young voices are molding our future.

“Regardless of Hollywood’s leanings [to the left], there’s ticket buyers across the spectrum. I may not be blackballed from Hollywood for having emotions that spike, but people might not turn up for my movies. You have to understand that you might be alienating a part of your audience. There’s a time and a place for rage, and I think that’s a last resort. You can just cast a wider net by saying, ‘What do you think? Get involved and form your own opinions.’ I’m trying to find more effective ways of coming together. I model it after the way you operate within a relationship. If you want a relationship to work, you have to listen and understand what the other person is thinking and feeling, even if you disagree—and work on finding commonality. As good as it feels to shout your opinion, you garner more results with a more empathetic approach.”

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written by Emily on July 02, 2020

Chris Evans Always Reads Between the Lines

Before Chris Evans became Chris Evans, superhero and superstar, he made a habit of asking scene partners the question every starry-eyed artist wants to ask: “What’s your process?”

I’ve met some actors who are wildly self-aware, wildly self-possessed, incredibly intelligent people,” he says. “I’ve also met actors who have no idea what’s going on around them at any given moment. And both can turn in phenomenal performances. It really begs the question: What is going on in your head when you see a piece of paper with a bunch of words?

Somewhere on the journey from acting in school plays just outside Boston to a blockbuster career in indie flicks, on Broadway, and almost a dozen appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain America, and on to his recent impressive turn on the Apple TV+ limited series “Defending Jacob,” Evans stopped asking the question—but not because he’d settled on an answer.

The only conclusion I can draw is that there is no formula,” he says. “I think it’s meant to be in a constant state of rebirth. It’s this organic, living thing that you have to re-examine with every character.

Sorry if that made me sound pretentious; I’m hearing myself right now,” he adds with a groan.

Evans is too articulate about his 20-year love affair with acting and, frankly, too charming to ever come off as pretentious. In his conversation with Backstage, conducted remotely from his home in Los Angeles, he overflows with practical advice for his peers and fellow students of the craft.

Actors at the beginning of their careers could take a leaf out of Evans’ book: During the summer before his senior year of high school, he wrote to New York City casting offices about interning. “I figured I should probably have a job that brought me into contact with agents,” he remembers. While he was assisting with casting bit parts on the Michael J. Fox sitcom “Spin City,” he ended up “talking to agents every day and keeping a little book of the agents who were nice.” He then asked to read monologues for the agent who, after Evans finished school early to audition for pilot season, got him a role on 2000’s short-lived Fox comedy “Opposite Sex”—plus plenty of other auditions he did not book.

Oh, god,” he says when the subject of auditioning comes up. “Ninety-five percent of the work is rejection. Those first 10 years, you’ve got to put the gloves on for every job and you’ve got to get in the ring.” For the first half of his career, Evans emerged from most auditions convinced he not only wasn’t getting the part, but that he wasn’t getting any part ever again. “When all you hear in your head is that high-pitched buzzing sound and your palms are sweating and you feel like you can’t catch your breath,” he deadpans, “that’s the opposite of trying to drop into a moment.”

Read more at Backstage.com

written by Emily on June 01, 2020

Defending Jacob: 1.08 “After” Episode Stills & Screen Captures

I hope you all had a chance to watch the final episode of Defending Jacob titled “After.” I thought this episode was a great finale to the show. I feel like there would have been great potential for a second season. Check out the gallery for episode stills and screen captures from the episode!

written by Emily on May 25, 2020

Defending Jacob: 1.07 “Job” Episode Stills & Screen Captures

I have added HQ episode stills and HD screen captures from the seventh episode of Defending Jacob titled “Job.” An intense episode! The final episode airs this Friday.

As the trial begins, Jacob’s fate hangs in the balance.

written by Emily on May 19, 2020

Defending Jacob: 1.06 “Wishful Thinking” Episode Stills + Screen Captures

I have added episode stills and HD screen captures from Friday’s episode of Defending Jacob titled “Wishful Thinking.” Check out the gallery for them! 2 more episodes!

Andy and Klein explore two last-ditch efforts to prove Jacob’s innocence.

written by Emily on May 09, 2020

Defending Jacob: 1.05 “Visitors” Episode Stills & Screen Captures

The gallery has now been updated with two HQ episode stills and HD screen captures from the 5th episode of Defending Jacob titled “Visitors.” This was another great episode! There are 3 more episodes left!

Andy visits his father, and learns some troubling information from Jacob’s friends Derek and Sarah.

written by Emily on May 02, 2020

Defending Jacob: 1.04 “Damage Control” Episode Stills & Screen Captures

I have added three episode stills and HD screen captures from yesterday’s episode of Defending Jacob titled “Damage Control.” Check them out in the gallery.

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