Captain America star Chris Evans had no idea that his childhood friend Jeremy Strong had been offered a chance to play Steve Rogers.
The Succession actor has revealed he turned down a small role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hit-up by Marvel Studios to play Captain America’s pre-transformation Steve Rogers in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, Strong ended up turning the role down. Meanwhile, the star of the film and his old schoolfriend, Evans, had no idea.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Strong said: “They told me there was a top-secret film about Captain America. 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.”
He added: “I was broke. I needed money. I considered it. But that’s my story of LA. It was just never going to happen for me here. 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.”
When approached for a comment on the story Evans’ reaction was to gasp, before replying: “Oh no!” He went on to say: “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.”
After turning down the bit-part in Captain America Strong has seen his career take-off, with roles in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Selma (2014), The Big Short (2015) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020).
Strong plays the role of Kendall Roy on HBO’s Succession. The show focuses on the Roy family, who are known for controlling the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. However, the family’s world turns upside down when their father steps down from the company.
In other news, the actor recently revealed that he believes acting is his religion. He opened up about his practice while discussing his role in James Gray’s forthcoming Armageddon Time, telling the Hollywood Reporter that acting in plays offered “a sense of levitation and escape”.