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.”
V MAGAZINE – The actor and co-founder of A Starting Point discusses partisanship, youth activism, and the importance of empathy.
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“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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Chris Evans talks about his civic engagement site A Starting Point and why he wants to give elected officials a bipartisan platform to explain and debate policy.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from an earnings report that saw it add 10 million subscribers during the pandemic, Netflix has just set its most financially ambitious feature film so far. Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans are set to star in The Gray Man, with AGBO’s Joe & Anthony Russo directing their first blockbuster since setting the all-time global box office record with Avengers: Endgame two years ago. The intention here is to create a new franchise with a James Bond level of scale and a budget upward of $200 million.
The Russos’ AGBO is producing, and the script was written by Joe Russo, with a polish by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who scripted the Russo-directed Captain America and Avengers films and who are Co-Presidents of Story at AGBO. It is based on the 2009 Mark Greaney novel that introduced the Gray Man, a freelance assassin and former CIA operative named Court Gentry.
The film will be produced by AGBO’s Russo Brothers and Mike Larocca, along with Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum for Roth Kirschenbaum. They are eyeing a January start date in Los Angeles with international locations being finalized.
The action thriller is a deadly duel between killers as Gentry (Gosling) is hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort of Gentry’s at the CIA. The Gray Man turned into a bestselling book series, and the expectation is that Gosling will continue in multiple installments. The project was developed years back at New Regency as a Brad Pitt/James Gray vehicle, but it stalled. The Russos quietly have been developing it for years.
“The movie is a real mano a mano between those two great actors who represent two different versions of the CIA, in what it can be, and what it can do,” Anthony Russo told Deadline. “For those who were fans of Captain America: Winter Soldier, this is us moving into that territory in more of a real-world setting. That’s what this movie really means for us.”
Said Joe Russo on the film’s scale: “The intention is for it to be competitive with any theatrical, and the ability to do with with Gosling and Evans is a dream for us. The idea is to create a franchise and build out a whole universe, with Ryan at the center of it. We have all committed to the first movie, and that’s got to be great to get us to the second movie. These are master assassins, and Gosling’s characters gets burned by the CIA and Evans’ character has to hunt him down. We have a great working relationship with Netflix, and we go back almost 20 years with Scott Stuber. We formed AGBO to be an agnostic storytelling company, where we figure out the best platform. We think Netflix is the perfect place for this film.”
This is a lot of faith Netflix is placing on the Russo Brothers, but aside from the Avengers box office record, the AGBO-produced action film Extraction with Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani and Randeep Hooda became the most watched Netflix original movie of all time. A sequel is in the works with Sam Hargrave returning as director and Joe Russo writing the script.
The Russo Brothers formed AGBO to be a platform-agnostic storytelling production venture, but if The Gray Man works, this will give them two franchises at Netflix, each based on original IP. They are back in business with Evans, who like Hemsworth graced the four Marvel movies, and they are working with Gosling for the first time.
CAA reps the Russo Brothers, Gosling and Evans, and the latter is managed by 3 Arts.
Hoping for a speedy recovery for the boy!
Bridger, 6 years old, saved his little sister from an attacking dog. He knew he would get hurt, but he did it anyway. He’s a hero.
So, we made this happen. One of the most fulfilling things, ever, huge thanks to Chris Evans.
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— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) July 16, 2020
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
Paul Rudd (“Living With Yourself”) and Chris Evans (“Defending Jacob”) join Variety Studio’s Actors on Actors #AtHome where the two Marvel alum discuss their time as superheroes on the billion dollar franchise and transitioning from the big screen for TV.
Today is the incredible Chris Evans’ 39th birthday! On behalf of Chris Evans Central and all Chris fans around the world, we wanted to wish you a very happy birthday! We are all wishing you another year of happiness, success, joy, health, and love. Hope you are staying safe!
To celebrate Chris’ birthday this year, we have brand new layouts up on the site thanks to my friend Jasper. I have also added exclusive outtakes from two photoshoots of Chris. One is from an old photoshoot back in 2011 and the second for Esquire Middle East Magazine in 2016. I hope you enjoy them, and I will of course have some more in the future to post! Happy Birthday Chris!
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!