Chris Evans joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Steve Rogers/Captain America in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” but it was only the actor’s face that fans saw in the first act of the movie. To show a younger Steve Rogers before he is injected with a serum that turns him into a muscular superhero, the VFX team put Evans’ face on the body of a much scrawnier actor. It turns out that actor could’ve been none other than Jeremy Strong had he not turned down the “role.”
“They told me there was a top-secret film about Captain America,” Strong recently told The Times UK. “They needed someone to play Captain America’s young body, before he turns into a superhero. They said they needed a transformational actor and would use CGI to put the actual actor’s face and voice over my own.”
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Strong said he “was broke” and “needed money,” so he “considered” playing Steve Rogers’ body. The Emmy winner ultimately decided against the role. The offer, combined with a strange audition for “Cowboys & Aliens” (Strong showed up in full cowboy attire, but everyone else auditioning were “guys in T-shirts who looked like models”), led Strong to abandon Hollywood and return to New York City to pursue acting.
“That’s my story of LA. It was just never going to happen for me here,” Strong said. “It didn’t feel like what I had to offer was valued. And the next day I went back to New York and did a play about a veteran from Afghanistan in a wheelchair during the blackout of 2003.”
It turns out Chris Evans had no idea that Strong was offered to play his body in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The two actors grew up together in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The Times UK called up Evans to inform him, to which Evans reportedly “gasped.”
“Oh no!” Evans told the publication. “It just goes to show the industry is so unpredictable. But I’m so happy things worked out, because I don’t think there was ever plan B for Jeremy.”
Next up for Strong is a return to HBO’s “Succession,” which airs its fourth season in 2023. The actor can currently be seen in theaters in James Gray’s “Armageddon Time.” Head over to The Times UK’s website to read Strong’s latest profile in its entirety.
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