Robert Downey Jr.: Captain America Was “a Stretch” for Chris Evans

From Avengers and Captain America: Civil War to Age of Ultron, Infinity War, and Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans portrayed Iron Man and Captain America across from one another in several Marvel masterpieces.

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans
Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans | Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Often coming head-to-head  – and looking at the world through opposing lenses – their dynamic was one of the most celebrated throughout the saga (likely only rivaled by the father-son dynamic Spider-Man and Stark shared).

While Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have gone on to praise each other’s performances, based on what RDJ has come to understand about Evans, Cap does not exactly align with the man donning the suit.

During an interview with People Magazine, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans discussed meeting one another and working together for nearly a decade. Chris Evans explained that he was initially intimidated by Robert Downey Jr.; however, once Downey gave him “the nod” of approval, it was only uphill from there.

Robert Downey Jr. on what he thought of Chris Evans as Captain America

During the interview with People Magazine, Robert Downey Jr. was asked: “What do you really think of Chris as Captain America?” Though many would have expected a typical – he gave a great performance and showed up every day ready to work – sort of reply, RDJ is never so predictable.

Robert Downey Jr., regarding Chris Evans’ casting as the American savior, stated:

“Cap is a stretch for Evans because you [looks over at Chris Evans] are so…nothing about you is a square. Even though you’re a nice guy from the east coast, and all that stuff, you’re raised like me. You’re raised doing theatre. Kind of artsy, eccentric types…But I like that Cap is cool now. You made Cap cool.”


Robert Downey Jr. focuses on Evan’s personality as a more eccentric, less straight-laced individual; thus, it should come as no surprise that RDJ views Captain America as a “stretch” for Evans.

Captain America is a typical save-the-day kind of hero; he, especially early on, sees things in black and white. Coming to see the gray is part of his narrative arc, and part of what allows Captain to become “cool” with time.

Chris Evans is definitely not a square; however, by most comic book and MCU accounts, Captain America is. Cap is a man to be respected and admired for his strength, virtues, values, and determination, but he’s definitely not as fun-loving or lighthearted as the man behind the character.

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans on how their “working relationship evolved, for better or worse” up through ‘Avengers: Endgame’

When asked how their relationship transformed with time (over the course of several Avengers movies), Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. both seemed thrilled that they were able to work alongside one another for so many years.

Chris Evans immediately communicates a sense of admiration for Downey and explains what an honor it is to work alongside him. Robert Downey Jr. goes on to describe Evans as “extremely shrewd.”

Based on the fallout of Avengers: Endgame, it seems unlikely that these two characters will work alongside each other as Cap and Stark once more; however, here’s to hoping the two continue to find projects they can both act in, for their on-screen chemistry should not have to die with Avengers: Endgame.

Both Evans and Downey are booked up for the next few years. Downey has The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle and Sherlock Holmes 3 on the horizon, while Evans is set to star in Knives Out and Jekyll.