Chris Evans almost turned down Captain America role due to severe anxiety and panic attacks

Chris Evans has opened up further about why he was reluctant to take on the role of Captain America (Picture: Rex/Getty)

Chris Evans says joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was the ‘best decision [he’s] ever made’ but it nearly didn’t happen.

The 38-year-old actor has starred as Steve Rogers and his alter-ego Captain America in 11 Marvel movies to date, and has said he initially turned down the opportunity to test for the part.

Chris had been reluctant to take on the role because he had been suffering from ‘panic attacks’ whilst working on Puncture’ in 2010, so believed his anxiety would prevent him from performing well.

The What’s Your Number star explained: ‘It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set.

‘I really started to think, “I’m not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I’m not sure if I’m feeling as healthy as I should be feeling”.’

In fact, Chris turned down a testing opportunity several times before Marvel came back to him again, this time offering him the part outright with no need to screen test.

The actor had to be persuaded by fellow Marvel star Robert Downey Jr. (Picture: Marvel/Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

He then consulted with fellow Marvel star Robert Downey Jr. – who plays Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man – who urged him not to make a major decision based on fear.

Chris finally decided to say yes, and a decade later, he’s confident he made the right choice.

Chris had been battling anxiety and didn’t know if he wanted to continue acting before he took on his famous role (Picture: Marvel/Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

The Snowpiercer star added: ‘It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I really owe that to [Marvel chief] Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake. To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition.’

Chris’ nerves was also eased by the arrival of Chris Hemsworth to the MCU, as he says the pair were both new to the franchise and so were able to “share in [their] anxiety”.

Chris admits taking the part was the ‘best decision’ (Picture: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast, he said: ‘I fell in love with Steve Rogers pretty quick. It was nice having Chris Hemsworth around because he was going through it, too.

‘I mean, at the time Downey’s Downey and Scarlett’s Scarlett [Johansson]. And [Mark] Ruffalo and [Jeremy] Renner, at the time, were crushing it, too.’

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He added: ‘Hemsworth and I were very new and we also had the stand-alones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting.’

And now Chris Evans is proving even more that acting was the right choice as he stars in new Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob.

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