When Chris Evans stopped to talk to a small cluster of journalists on the set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the actor was on the way to fight training. This is fairly typical of a huge, $200 million blockbuster, especially when it's the sequel to the highest-grossing superhero film of all time (after all, it has to be bigger, badder, and with lots more fighting). But what was slightly out of the ordinary was that Evans was outfitted in all of his Captain America regalia. So instead of Chris Evans sitting down to talk to us about how the events of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" effect the hero in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and what the sequel has in store for the red-white-and-blue patriot, we were chatting with Captain America. It was awesome.

It should also be noted that Evans has been seen, at least publicly, as the least approving member of Team Marvel, an actor anxious to finish out his contract and move on to different opportunities. But while talking to him on the set he seemed genuinely engaged and excited about returning for the sequel and positively reinvigorated by the response, both critically and commercially, that his last outing as Captain America garnered. (This was, keep in mind, months before Marvel's ambitious, multiyear plan was unveiled and even before the release date showdown that the film had with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" for that primo summer 2016 spot.) When Chris Evans is wearing the Captain America costume, those colors don't run.

The first question issued to Evans was how the character was dealing with the events of "Captain America: Winter Soldier," wherein S.H.I.E.L.D. was discovered to be untrustworthy (thanks to some highly placed Hydra moles) and Captain America was left to his own devices, a soldier without a squad. "You know, he's adjusting," Evans explained. "The team doesn't have anyone to report to now. There's no more S.H.I.E.L.D. so we're all depending upon one another. But that gives him an opportunity to take more of a leadership role. Since there's no one else giving him orders he doesn't have to question the chain of command or anyone's motives but it does mean he needs to rely on his team a lot more so it's added a little bit more tension to the actual dynamic of the Avengers." Still, somewhat disappointingly, Evans added: "But with these movies it's hard to dive too deeply into any one character's plotline, you know, what I mean?" Oh we do. Evans was more diplomatic, though. "That's just the nature of how these moves are going to have to work – do your movie and then you come to Avengers and then we all have to address a group conflict and then go back to your conflict. It's just there's too many, too many plots, too many characters to try and spend too much time with your own individual conflict."

More specifically, the question was lobbed at Evans about whether or not we'd see Cap on his "solo mission" that he was embarking on at the close of "Winter Soldier." Evans curtly shot back: "I can't tell you that." When pressed for information about how the relationships have changed, Evans remained cagey. "I don't think I can tell you that either," Evans said. He said he could see himself "get a little talking to" for giving away too much. When we assured him that we were embargoed for a while, he again talked about the Scarlet Witch's ability to get inside your head, with the heroes "confronted with their own personal issues and demons." Evans then quipped, "It's tense."

When asked about how comfortable he is in the role, Evans perked up. "Very comfortable. The first movie, you're terrified. The second one, you're just intimidated because there's so many great people, but by 'Captain 2' you really start hitting your stride and feeling like you're making some core progress with the character and you get a little more comfortable speaking up when you have opinions. And the Russos [the directors of 'Cap 2'] are so great and I love that movie and it all just worked out in terms of the evolution of my personal connection with character. So at this point I'm feeling really good and I'm very excited for 'Cap 3.'"

Another element that we were curious would make the transition to "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is the relationship between Cap and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. Evans said "we're not going to keep eating on that one. It's built. The foundation is there," adding, she has her own arc in this movie." (This is yet another hint that she will have a romantic relationship with Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner, as we all suspect.)

Evans said that the new movie doesn't waste any time with reintroducing the characters, "having reunion moments." The movie "hits the ground running." He then explained that, "Everything that Marvel does is a chess move. Nothing is by accident. Everything is calculated, so sometimes there are things that I found out and I'm like, What's why you did that? You sons of bitches."

Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed both "Avengers" movies and oversaw a lot of what was going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, apparently didn't have much to discuss with Evans. "You know, in terms of the character Joss got it right with the first 'Captain America' and not only that he's fan boy. He's loved comic books so it's not like you're talking to someone who might not have a handle on what audiences want, who this character is at his core. The only thing I talked to him about was his ability consistency. You know, with the second 'Captain America' we really pushed the envelope in terms of what this guy is capable of which I was excited to see because in the first 'Captain America' he's just strong. In 'Avengers' it was still, in my opinion, a little bit punch-punch, kick-kick."

Maybe most interestingly, Evans put Captain America in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" in the context of the relationships he sees around him. He's always been out of time, out of place, and that seemingly continues in the new film, although on a much more philosophical and emotional level. "There are more relationships in this movie, personal relationships Cap has to witness and I think that does make him question his own purpose in terms of this is a guy that wanted the family and, the wife and kids and stability and normalcy. He wants to serve his country but what he really wanted was a normal life and then he went into the ice and things changed. So it's a matter of where is, where is home? He's always been a little lost and even in 'Cap 2' it's very much about, What do I want? What am I supposed to be doing? What completes me? And in this one he has to watch some of those relationships close and question, Is that the end game? Is that what he's fighting for?" If anyone would know, it's Chris Evans. Even when he's not in the suit, he is Captain America.

"Avengers: Age of Ultron" hits theaters May 1.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
PG-132015
Based on 49 critics

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categories Interviews, Movies