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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With a suit of stars and stripes, and a loyal Marvel fan base behind him, actor Chris Evans once again brandishes the shield of superhero Captain America in a new film. In real life, the actor finds himself at odds with the demands of fame.
Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," out in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Friday, thrusts the patriotic superhero into battle with an elusive enemy.
The film catches up with Captain America's alter-ego Steve Rogers after he emerged from being frozen for 70 years and helped save New York in 2012's blockbuster superhero ensemble "The Avengers." Rogers is now living in Washington and adjusting to modern life. The former soldier has joined the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and teams with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to unravel a conspiracy.
The 32-year-old Evans talked to Reuters about what drives Captain America, dealing with the press, and what makes him feel like a kid again.
Q: What has changed about Captain America in the sequel?
A: He has always been a servant for the people. The problem now is given the current technological advancements, in order to preserve the freedom that we try to promise people, you may have to bend the rules in order to keep people safe. There is a great line in the movie that (S.H.I.E.L.D. director) Nick Fury says, "S.H.I.E.L.D takes the world as it is, not as we'd like it to be." That's a tough concept for Cap to swallow.
Q: What do you think makes him stand out among the Marvel characters?
A: His fight for morality. He puts himself last. For the most part, the majority of other superheroes in the world, their personal conflict is the main conflict. I think Cap tries to not burden other people with his own issues.
Q: There seems to be a humility about him or a reluctance. Is that part of the character?
A: There is certainly a level of selflessness. He has no desire for fame or accolades.
Q: Is there any parallel to your life in that? You were reluctant to take this role.
A: Sure. Acting is great. It's one of my first loves. Acting doesn't come without strings attached. Enjoying acting is different than navigating fame. At times, it can be a bit of a challenge.
Q: In a previous interview, you said you hate doing press for your movies. Why?
A: It wouldn't be so bad if it was all in one nut, if I had one giant conference and we all talked once. There is no question you can throw my way that I haven't answered 30 times today. That's the problem. It's a very mundane. It's very tedious. It's a real chore. But in the grand scheme of things, I'm not flipping burgers. I'm not in the coal mines.
It's one thing if you are talking in a room to people who want to ask you genuine questions about the movie. Unfortunately, people aren't always interested in those. They are waiting for you to slip up. They want a headline. You make some foolish statements, then there's a headline they can sell. Press is not always simply promoting something you worked hard on. Press is about not putting your foot in your mouth to afford other people to try and tear you down.
Q: You seem pretty at ease. Do you worry that you are going to slip up and say something you wish you hadn't?
A: Always, and that's the problem. You want to try and attack these questions with candid honesty, but you can't do that because not every interview is going to come and meet you with the same sense of genuine curiosity. A lot of press, they are wolves in sheep's clothing. As a result I feel guarded, and as a result, you don't get the truth. That's unfortunate.
Q: You have a couple other projects coming up. One is "1:30 Train," which you are directing and starring in. Why did you want to direct it?
A: Acting, you are one small piece of the puzzle. I wanted to be involved in a few more of those choices. I really wanted to build a movie. I wanted to set shots. I wanted to cast characters. I wanted to pick music. I wanted to actually construct the film.
Q: You said you are going to take a little break from acting. What are you going to do?
A: I'd like to direct. I just enjoyed it. You know when you are a kid and you get a hobby? You find something you like, and you wake up on a free day, and it's the first thing you think about? You just wake up and you run to do it. Directing was that thing I felt. I love acting and I'll still act. But I think when I have a little more free time from the Marvel universe, I will probably try and pursue that first.
Q: You always play the hero. Would you ever want to play the bad guy?
A: I would love to. I hope I get that opportunity. Maybe I can direct something where I get to play the villain. Why not?
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Lisa Shumaker