CHRIS EVANS Edited by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
July 6, 2005
In the comic-to-film action adventure Fantastic Four, a group of five individuals embark on an outer space mission into the heart of a cosmic storm. But when a miscalculation exposes them to a mysterious radiation, they begin to exhibit superhuman powers. One member of the expedition chooses to use his newfound gifts for personal gain, while the other four take the more altruistic approach.
Chris Evans plays hotshot, adrenaline-junkie pilot Johnny Storm, whose power gives him control over fire and the ability to fly. As part of the Fantastic Four, he is known as the Human Torch. In this interview, Chris talks about playing the carefree thrill seeker with the fine sister (Sue Storm, played by Jessica Alba).
CHRIS: [storms in] Here comes the energy!
MEDIA: Tell us a little about your character.
Sure. Johnny is a bit of a daredevil. He's very impulsive, a little immature, he's kind of a borderline between fratboy and playboy. He has youthful spirits and he likes to party and have a good time, but he is intelligent. He's a space pilot, so at the end of the day, he does what a very small percentage of people can do, and I think he knows that.
Of all the members of the Fantastic Four, Johnny is the most enthusiastic about his transformation. What can his attitude teach his teammates?
Well, I don't know that he's necessarily teaching, I just think it makes for good conflict. You need two different approaches to the situation that's given. One approach is, "Look, we need to take this one step at a time, one day at a time, and figure this out." And Johnny just says, "Let's swing for fences, let's go for it, this is great!" And it's fun to play that guy. I think a lot of people would swing for the fences, and would embrace it and enjoy the spotlight. So it's fun to be that guy.
What is the message that this movie conveys?
I think the underlying tone is, more or less, the necessity of a functioning unit. That's what the Fantastic Four is--a family. And it just shows how when we're not working as a family unit, even though we are capable on our own and equipped with these wonderful powers...if we're not communicating, if we're not operating properly, we're not going to overcome our issues.
How does Fantastic Four distinguish itself from other summer blockbusters?
Well, I think it's a number of things. I think obviously the technology's finally caught up to a point where we can make such amazing special effects. It's a lot of things that people just haven't seen before, between the fire, and the Thing, and the invisibility. And it really looks amazing, just technically. But I think it really is a good story, and it's this nice glossy feel--this nice family vibe. It's not dark like Batman or X-Men. It's much more of a welcoming environment to a lot more different demographics.
Will we see more of Johnny and the Fantastic Four on the big screen?
I really hope so. I really hope so. If people go out and see the movie, I'll jump right back in those tights with a smile on my face.
Do you get the feeling this role might really change your life?
I don't know. It's possible. Tell you what...I think thinking too much in that way has potential hidden dangers, so I try not to think in that sense and just look to try and make the next job and book the next role.