At 42 years old, Chris Evans has this physical status:
Evans's first credited appearance was in a short educational film titled Biodiversity: Wild About Life! in 1997. In 1999, Evans was the model for "Tyler" in Hasbro's board game Mystery Date. The special edition of the game included an electronic phone, which Evans is shown speaking into on the game box.
In September 2000, he moved to Los Angeles and lived in Oakwood Apartments in Toluca Lake, a complex where he met fellow young actors. When he recalled of his experience during this time, he said, "You make a lot of strange connections with a lot of thirsty people, but you kind of are one of the thirsty people, too. It was a great time. It really was. It's like the L.A. welcoming committee". In the same year, Evans made his screen debut in a television film, The Newcomers; a family drama in which he plays a boy called Judd who falls in love with a girl (Kate Bosworth). Evans also had a lead role in the television series Opposite Sex which lasted for eight episodes. Lastly, Evans acted in an episode of The Fugitive named ''Guilt''.
In 2001, he starred in Not Another Teen Movie, a parody of teen movies, in which he plays a high school footballer. The film garnered mainly negative reviews, but grossed $38 million domestically and $28 million overseas for a worldwide $66 million.
In 2004, he had a lead role in The Perfect Score, a teen heist-comedy about a group of students who break into an office to steal answers to the SAT exam. The film was critically panned; Matthew Leyland of the BBC thought Evans' performance was "bland", and the cast had "little chemistry". Also that year, he co-starred in the action-thriller Cellular, with Jason Statham, Kim Basinger and William H. Macy. Evans plays college student Ryan, who must save a kidnapped woman (Basinger), after randomly receiving a phone call from her. Although the feature received a mixed response, Slant Magazine's review opined that "Evans proves himself a sufficiently charismatic leading man". In a retrospective interview, Evans remarked that some of his early films were "really terrible".
In 2005, Evans starred in the independent drama Fierce People, an adaptation of Dirk Wittenborn's 2002 novel of the same name. He also starred in London (2005), a romantic drama, in which he played a drug user with relationship problems. London was negatively received by critics; Variety magazine described it as "noxious", and thought Evans' character was the worst, and film critic Roger Ebert called the film "dreck".
For his first comic book role, he portrayed superhero Johnny Storm / Human Torch in Fantastic Four (2005), based on the Marvel Comic of the same name. Upon release, the film was a commercial success despite a divided reception. In his mixed review, Joe Leydon of Variety praised the cast for their efforts and thought Evans gave a "charismatic breakout performance". Two years later, he reprised the role of Johnny Storm / Human Torch in the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). Toronto Star's Rob Salem thought the film was a "significant improvement" from the first, and the critic from Chicago Reader thought the cast were "amusing enough" to carry the sequel. In 2016, reflecting on his experience of the Fantastic Four films, Evans said they left him "a little uneasy – because the movies weren't exactly the way I'd envisioned them".
He voiced the character Casey Jones in the animation TMNT (2007), based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series. The film was released by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company, to mixed reviews from critics but was a commercial success, grossing $95 million worldwide. Next, he starred in Danny Boyle's science fiction thriller Sunshine (2007), about a group of astronauts on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying sun. It garnered generally favorable reviews; Roger Ebert wrote the cast were "effective ... they almost all play professional astronaut/scientists, and not action-movie heroes". He also had a role in the comedy drama The Nanny Diaries (2007), in which he plays the love interest to Scarlett Johansson's character. His final release of 2007 was Battle for Terra, another science fiction animation, about a peaceful alien planet which faces destruction from colonization by a displaced remainder of the human race. It premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a wider theatrical release in 2009. Critical reception was largely mixed; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 49% based on 95 critics.
In 2008, Evans appeared as Detective Paul Diskant in the thriller Street Kings, with co-stars Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, and Hugh Laurie. He wa cast in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, co-starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Ellen Burstyn. It is a romantic drama based on Tennessee Williams' 1957 screenplay. The feature received negative reviews, and The Village Voice critic called Evans' performance "catatonic". The following year he appeared in the science fiction thriller Push, with Dakota Fanning and Camilla Belle. The film follows a group of people born with various superhuman abilities who unite to take down a secret agency that is genetically transforming normal citizens into an army of super soldiers. Principal photography was held in Hong Kong, where Evans suffered bruises from doing his own fight scenes. The film's response was generally negative; Claudia Puig of USA Today described it as "silly" and "convoluted", while Mick LaSelle of San Francisco Chronicle criticized the story which "makes no sense", and predicted that Evans, "one of these days he's going to make a good movie".
In 2010, Evans appeared in Sylvain White's The Losers, an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name from the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. Evans was drawn to playing Captain Jake Jensen because the character "doesn't take things too seriously. He's the one that kind of loves life and he's always looking for a joke". Although the film gained mixed reviews, The Guardian's critic praised the cast for their "breezy charm" and for Evans' comic relief. Evans appeared in another comic book adaptation, Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), in which he portrayed Lucas Lee, one of Ramona Flowers' seven evil exes. The film was a box-office bomb but received positive reviews from critics and found a second life as a cult film. He starred in Mark Kassen and Adam Kassen's drama, Puncture, which was filmed in Houston, Texas. The film premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival as one of the spotlight projects for the 10th anniversary of the festival. Evans portrays Mike Weiss, who was a real-life young lawyer and drug addict. Upon release, critical reception was divided; Lou Lumenick of the New York Post praised the "solid" performances despite noting weaknesses in the dialogue and subplots. The A.V. Club critic thought the film "rarely manages to focus on [Weiss]". Next, Evans was cast in the romantic comedy What's Your Number? (2011) opposite Anna Faris, an adaptation of Karyn Bosnak's book 20 Times a Lady. Critic Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade C+, and opined that Evans' and Faris' chemistry was "frisky".
In 2010, Evans signed on for a multi-film deal with Marvel Studios, to portray Marvel Comics character Steve Rogers / Captain America. Evans initially turned down the part, but he consulted with Robert Downey Jr., who encouraged him to take the role. At Marvel's persistence, Evans accepted, and he went to see a therapist afterwards. He found the character fun to portray, and added, "I think Marvel is doing a lot of good things right now". The first film to be released was Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). The story follows the protagonist who is transformed into the super-soldier Captain America and must stop the Red Skull from using the Tesseract as an energy-source for world domination. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning over $370 million worldwide box office. In their positive review, The Sydney Morning Herald thought the film was a "fresh twist on 20th-century history", and praised Evans' "confident-but-subtle treatment" displayed in his role.
A year later, he reprised the character in The Avengers, with a large ensemble cast that included Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner. The feature was another commercial success; it grossed $1.519 billion and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 92% based on more than 350 reviews. The Avengers received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects and a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) nomination for Best Special Visual Effects. For his last release of 2012, he played hitman Robert Pronge in the biographical film The Iceman, about the murderer Richard Kuklinski. Evans' role was originally intended for James Franco, but he dropped out before filming began. In order to look the part, Evans wore a wig and grew a beard. Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney complimented Evans' versatile performance, which was unlike his Captain America persona.
Returning to the science fiction genre, Evans was cast in Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer (2013), which is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. Bong was initially reluctant to cast him, but changed his mind after seeing Evans' performances in Sunshine and Puncture, which showed a "sensitive" side. The story takes place aboard the Snowpiercer train as it travels around the globe, carrying the last members of humanity after a failed attempt at climate engineering to stop global warming. The film was critically acclaimed, with the critic from Salon magazine describing the cast performances as "sensational". Snowpiercer appeared in several lists of best films of 2014, including The Guardian's classics of modern South Korean cinema.
In 2014, Evans starred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. In the film, Captain America joins forces with Black Widow and Falcon to uncover a conspiracy within the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. while facing an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Principal photography began in August 2013; Evans prepared by undertaking three months of strength training and learning all the fight sequences. Similarly to the first film, it was well received and a commercial success, grossing $714 million worldwide. Peter Howell of Toronto Star thought Evans was "impressive" for bringing the comic book character to life, despite the plot being "a little too complicated". Evans has said The Winter Soldier was his favorite Marvel film because he started to understand his character, and enjoyed working with directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
In March 2014, Evans said he may consider doing less acting so that he can focus on directing. In the same year, he made his directorial debut in the romantic comedy Before We Go, in which he also starred, opposite Alice Eve. The film tells the story of two strangers who meet at Grand Central Terminal, and form an unlikely bond overnight. It premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival; The New York Times critic, Ben Keninsberg, opined that it was a moderate effort and the actors' chemistry made it watchable. In the same year, he starred in another romantic comedy, opposite Michelle Monaghan in Playing It Cool. The following year, he played Captain America again in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to 2012's The Avengers. In 2016, he reprised the role in Captain America: Civil War, the sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Both of these films were box office hits, grossing $1.4 billion and $1.1 billion worldwide, respectively. The Hollywood Reporter later learned that his salary for Civil War was $15 million.
Evans starred in the family drama Gifted in 2017, about an intellectually gifted seven-year-old who becomes the subject of a custody battle between her uncle (Evans) and grandmother (Lindsay Duncan). Although set in Florida, filming took place in Georgia to take advantage of the state's financial incentive of $3 million. The film received a favorable response; Empire magazine opined that Evans played his part with "conviction" despite a predictable plot. In the same year, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 2018, he starred in the sequel Avengers: Infinity War, and in spring 2019, the fourth sequel Avengers: Endgame. Both of these were directed by Anthony and Joe Russo; they had intended to film them simultaneously but scrapped the idea due to complexities. Evans admitted that he and Scarlett Johansson did not see the full script to Avengers: Infinity War before filming, saying, "We had to fight to get an actual paper script. There were giving us either pages or bits on an iPad. It's been tricky." While USA Today opined that Evans and co-star Chris Hemsworth were a "blast to watch" in Avengers: Infinity War, the reviewer from Time magazine criticized the film for its lack of pacing and substance. When Avengers: Endgame completed filming in October 2018, Evans explained that it was emotional: "For the last month of filming I was letting myself go to work every day and be a little overwhelmed and a little nostalgic and grateful. By the last day, I was bawling. I cry pretty easy, but I was definitely bawling." The fourth sequel grossed $2.7 billion worldwide, and the filmmakers were praised by The Telegraph's Robbie Collin for creating one of the most entertaining films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Evans made his Broadway debut in the play Lobby Hero, directed by Trip Cullman, which opened in March 2018 at the Helen Hayes Theatre as a part of Second Stage Theatre's first Broadway season. Ben Brantley of The New York Times labeled it a "terrific Broadway debut" and found his performance to be a "marvel of smooth calculation and bluster". Evans was nominated for a Drama League Award. In 2019, Evans played an Israeli Mossad agent in the Netflix thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort, loosely based on the events of Operation Moses and Operation Joshua in 1984–85. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed review; he thought Evans gave a "sincere" performance, despite observing weaknesses in the film's pacing and tone. Later that year, he starred as Ransom Drysdale, a spoiled playboy, in Rian Johnson's mystery film Knives Out, which received critical acclaim and grossed $309 million worldwide. In NPR, Linda Holmes wrote of Evans's performance: "it's a special treat to see him tear right into this rich-brat bit, both preternaturally handsome and cheerfully obnoxious, a one-man cable-knit charm offensive."
In 2020, Evans starred in Defending Jacob, an Apple TV+ crime drama miniseries based on the novel of the same name. He played Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney whose son is accused of murder. Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter praised Evans's performance, stating that he "is sturdy and conveys the right measure of empathy and fear". He had a cameo in Adam McKay's comedy film for Netflix, Don't Look Up, which featured an ensemble cast. In 2022, Evans voiced the titular character in the Disney/Pixar animated film Lightyear, and starred in the Netflix action thriller The Gray Man, a film adaptation of the 2009 novel of the same name directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Both films were poorly received.
Evans will star in the action-adventure film Ghosted, from director Dexter Fletcher, and is also slated to play Gene Kelly in an as-yet-untitled film based on an original idea of his own. Additionally, he will star in the action comedy Red One, as well in David Yates's Pain Hustlers starring Emily Blunt for Netflix.