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Chris Evans Originally Turned Down the Chance to Audition for ‘Captain America’ Due to His Anxiety

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Chris Evans almost let fear get in the way of the opportunity to play Captain America. The 38-year-old actor opened up on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast about his challenging mental state ahead of taking on the role of the iconic shield-wielding superhero. 

While shooting 2010's Puncture, Evans found himself overwhelmed with anxiety. 

"It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set," Evans said. "I really started to think, 'I'm not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I'm not sure if I'm feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.'"

After playing Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four and in the sequel for Marvel, the superhero franchise reached out to Evans again about auditioning for the role of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America. 

Knowing that this role came with greater fame and a locked-in nine-film deal, Evans felt that his "suffering would be my own," and turned down the opportunity to even test for the part. 

Marvel came back and offered him the part outright. As he was grappling with the choice, he reached out to Robert Downey, Jr., who urged him not to make his decision based on fear. He decided to sign up for the part. 

Captain America; The First Avengers
Marvel Studios

"It was the best decision I've ever made, and I really owe that to [Marvel chief] Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake," Evans said. "To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition."

Evans said he "fell in love" with his do-good character and found a comrade in arms, so to speak, in the MCU. 

"It was nice having Chris Hemsworth around because he was going through it, too," he said of the Australian actor who plays Thor in the Marvel universe. "...Hemsworth and I were very new and we also had the stand-alones and so I think we shared in our anxiety, and at least that made it a little bit more comforting."

Evans went on to appear in a total of 10 Marvel films with three of those being stand-alone Captain America movies. 

Evans recently opened up to ET about the possibility of a cameo in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Watch the clip below for more:

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