Chris Evans As Captain America – Scrawny to Brawny Effect
Movie magic can do wonders to reality and twist it in ways you can hardly imagine in real life. Chris Evans stars as the new Captain America, a hero who we all know begins as a scrawny misfit soldier that turns into an inhumanly strong and buff superhero. But Chris Evans isn’t thin in real life, so how was he made small and lanky in Captain America: The First Avenger?
I’m not smiling, I’m straining to be the best soldier there is, even with my scrawny body!
In interviews about his new Marvel Comics movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans, who plays the title role, talked about looking small and thin in the first part of the movie and then getting buff and brawny later on as the superhero. Evans, with his 6-foot frame, isn’t exactly “puny human” (taking a cue from the Hulk) material. He’s already got muscles to begin with. So, unless he stopped eating, he couldn’t have gotten so thin to qualify as scrawny army misfit, Steve Rogers. Getting muscles is one thing, but shrinking his body to a pre-Captain America state is another thing altogether. So what was done by the filmmaking powers that be to make it happen?
This female officer is bigger than I am.
First off let’s shed some light on how Evans got his superhero muscles. In an interview, he revealed that he had in fact worked out to get buff, but that there wasn’t enough time to get muscular enough (he admitted to not doing enough for his skinny legs). As Captain America’s legs are massive, Evans had to wear something under those blue fatigues – a faux muscle body suit that made “everything fill out in the right places,” Evans explained. In the scenes where he appears without a shirt, what you see is what you get. That’s actually Evans’s own body built up from working out in the gym.
Don’t use steroids my friends. This is super soldier serum.
Now let’s talk about the special thinning process effect. Evans explained that the movie’s special effects people first thought of using a body double – an actor who was thin, for scenes that showed the thin Steve Rogers. The idea was to superimpose Evans’s face onto the thin actor’s head. But it didn’t turn out well so that idea was scrapped in favor of digitally slimming Evans into a puny human state. Yes, the before and after Steve Rogers is in fact Chris Evans through and through even if the difference in appearance and physique is dramatically pronounced.
So there you have it. To summarize, the transformation of Chris Evans which made him puny was done using computer graphics. There was no body double or superimposition of someone else’s face on his head. It’s Chris Evans from the beginning to the end. “It’s absolutely one character,” said Evans. “I think he’s little Steve through and through, even after he goes through the transformation. I think you want the audience, even in the final frame of the film, to look at him and see the little guy.”
Careful girls, he’s got super strength now.
Chris Evans used a body suit to fill up his costume.