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.
The 11 superheroes who defined the decade on-screen
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.”
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.”
REGISTER TO VOTE HERE.
Television Productions > Defending Jacob (2020) > Promotionals
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The gallery has now been updated with HD screen captures of Chris in the third episode of Defending Jacob titled “Poker Faces.” Check them out! The next episodes will be released on Friday, May 1st!
The gallery has now been updated with HD screen captures of Chris from the second episode of Defending Jacob titled “Everything Is Cool.” Enjoy!