Article and photos copyright Suzanne Philips
Superheros were in full force this past weekend at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City as the 2015 Salt Lake City Comic Con swept into town. The event, which ran Thursday – Saturday brought thousands of fans into one place for autograph signings, photo ops and panels and the ability to shop for every sort of fandom item one can imagine.
Marvel stars were out en masse at the event, which included Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, but none got a bigger reception than Captain America himself, Chris Evans.
Evans participated in two days of photo ops with his fellow stars as well as solo ops and autographs, which were sold out in a matter of minutes. The Saturday panel was in such high demand that the event had to hold a lottery for seats in which those attendees wanting to attend the panel had to register online and were notified via email if they would be guaranteed a seat. This was a fantastic idea as it made the process run very smoothly and those who didn’t have a ticket were available to attend other panels or events. The huge overnight – two-day – stand in line forever and still not get in lines that we often see at the San Diego Comic Con were completely eliminated. (are we listening SDCC??)
Evans came onstage to see the hand painted Captain America Harley Davidson motorcycle which was featured at the event and did some quick photo ops sitting on the bike.
Evans said he was excited to be doing his first-ever solo panel at his first fan event which wasn’t promoting a particular film “”I’ve done Comic Cons before, but it’s usually work-based,” Evans said. “You’re promoting a film, or for a specific reason, just getting rushed around. Getting to sign things and take pictures and hug people, you feel it.”
Of course fans wanted to know about the upcoming film “Captain America: Civil War”. “Obviously there is a lot I can’t say”, said Evans “it’s so tricky with Marvel. It’s so hush-hush and on the QT. I have a real, real deep love for the Russo’s (who directed the film), there is something about them that I really respond to. All of the footage I’ve seen so far….you don’t wanna say, you don’t wanna jinx it….but I feel like it’s the best one”.
Evans joked that the one comment he had heard the most over the two days was “I thought you’d be bigger”, which got a lot of laughs from the assembled crowd. He went on to say that “the next thing I’m doing, I’m not supposed to have muscles. So I don’t have to go to the gym, it’s been great”. He will play a former philosophy teacher in his next film, “Gifted”.
He spoke about his anxiety about taking on the role of Captain America, “When I first started this job, I was really nervous about it and very apprehensive. I think a lot of people do this in life, you manage to focus only on the negative. I don’t know why that’s a human trait”, says Evans “I spent the first couple of films trying to process how this could hurt me, how I could not handle this, how this could be a mistake or a regret. And now that we’ve had a few movies in this its been nothing but positivity. By Cap 2 or Avengers 2, somewhere in there I really started to settle in and appreciate it. And now I’m just so happy, I feel like I leak gratitude.”
Fellow Captain America star Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon/Sam Wilson in the films joined Chris onstage and fans and the moderators tried to get more info about “Captain America: Civil War” out of the pair. In the film, the superheroes are asked to sign accords, which would govern their actions and hold them accountable, which creates a schism between Cap and Iron Man, forcing their powered friends to choose sides.
“Tony actually thinks we should be signing these accords and reporting to somebody and Cap, who’s always been a company man and has always been a soldier, actually doesn’t trust anymore. Given what happened in Cap 2, I think he kind of feels the safest hands are his own,” Evans said. “And these are understandable concerns, but this is tough, because even reading the script, you think I think I agree with Tony in a way, and I do agree that to make this work, you do need to surrender to the group. It can’t just be one person saying this is right and this is what we’re going to do.”
“But Cap has his reasons, he certainly has his reasons, and he is a good man and his moral compass is probably the cleanest,” Evans added. “This is a tough thing. This is what made it so interesting while we were filming, and it’s hopefully what will make the movie great is nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. There’s no clear bad guy here. We both have a point of view, which is akin to most disagreements in life and politics.”
“Agent Carter” star Hayley Atwell made good on her threat to crash Evans’ Q&A running in and hugging the star from behind while grabbing his chest, a trait that Evans himself is well-known for, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Evans later recorded a Dubsmash video for the Agent Carter/Agents of Shield Dubsmash war that the two shows have had going for months.
Evans took a few more questions from the audience before he had to leave to attend his photo-op and autograph sessions, leaving Anthony Mackie to continue on with the panel, but more about that later!