Chris Evans Shares Lessons From 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Directing Duo

Alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan and Frank Grillo also noted their fanboy-appeasing strategies at an NYC screening on Monday.
Chris Evans
Alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan and Frank Grillo also noted their fanboy-appeasing strategies at an NYC screening on Monday.

The motto for Captain America: The Winter Soldier may as well be "more is more," as the First Avenger sequel features multiple villains onscreen and two directors behind the camera. Franchise favorite Chris Evans is pleased.

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"They share a brain," Evans told reporters of directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo at a New York City screening of the Marvel movie on Monday, presented by the Cinema Society and Gucci Guilty. "There's always an apprehension in understanding the fact that you have two directors you have to report to, but they never left each other's side, and they really do share an understanding of what's necessary. And as a result, I think you actually get a more complex understanding of what the scene requires, based on the pinball understanding between the two of them. Even though on the surface, it feels like this could be a handicap, it couldn't have been more of a benefit."

Evans, who is shifting into a filmmaker role himself and making his directorial debut with the upcoming 1:30 Train, learned a few things from the duo. "You have to maintain an open mind," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's no different than acting -- you walk into a scene as an actor, and you have a plan, but if the other actors in the scene do something different, you have to evolve organically. Directing is no different. You may see something in a scene, but if your actors give you something different than what you anticipated, you have to evolve and adapt."

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Meanwhile, Sebastian Stan told THR of his nerves about joining the Marvel universe as its newest big-screen nemesis. "It's a privilege, and at the same time, it's kind of like a blessing and a curse. People have very specific opinions about the characters -- they're in love with them, and you want to honor that and you want them to be happy. At the same time, you're serving a script, which isn't gonna be a mirror image of the comic book. They're as close as possible, but the movies have to stand on their own also. I think Marvel's got such an incredible grasp on what they're doing right now, and I'm happy to be part of it."

Frank Grillo added of taking on the origin of the villain character, Crossbones, "The super villains are beloved by these fanboys, and they are very opinionated. I almost have to not read what they're saying, because I have no control. I just have to show up and do my job."

Stan told reporters that after seven months of fitness training, followed by three months of fight sequences, he stepped on set ready to conquer the stunts. "I just sort of said, 'F--k it' -- that's really all you can do at that point! I have the job, he's about to say 'action,' what am I gonna do? I'm either gonna pee in my pants or just do this!" Between takes, Stan recalled, "I would always try to hide Anthony Mackie's jet pack," while Grillo joked that his favorite stunt "was probably beating up Mackie, because we got to fight and I got to shut him up because he talks a lot."

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SHIELD characters Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders also attended the screening, held at the Tribeca Grand Hotel (at the same time the How I Met Your Mother series finale aired on the East coast). Smulders, who hit the carpet ahead of husband Taran Killam, told reporters that she always sits through the end credits of the Marvel films: "My husband would divorce me if I didn't!" Orange Is the New Black's Matt McGorry, John Corbett, John Ales and Nicky Hilton, among others, also hit the Tribeca event, and guests then headed a few blocks north for the after-party at Jimmy at the James Hotel.

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee