Hayley Atwell Went Off Script After Watching Chris Evans Half Naked, Touched His Chest in Marvel’s First Captain America Movie
There have been countless moments of improvisation in film history that have elevated a scene, adding an extra element or two to it during the translation from script to screen. While some improvisations were made to increase the gravitas, some have just been an instinctive response due to awe. Hayley Atwell had one such moment that falls under the latter while shooting a scene for the 2011 Marvel film Captain America: The First Avenger.
Atwell, who played Agent Peggy Carter in the film, rose to global prominence with her portrayal and would go on to play the character in other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. Sharing what it was like to look at a buff shirtless Chris Evans for the first time as a part of a scene, she revealed that her response wasn’t something mentioned in the script. The improvisation would go on to be well-received and is considered one of the best unscripted MCU moments by some.
Hayley Atwell created the best unscripted MCU moment without even thinkingSpeaking to Esquire ahead of Captain America: The First Avenger’s release, Hayley Atwell revealed a thing or two about the making of the film, beginning with how director Joe Johnston approached her.
“When I met with the director of Captain America, I hadn’t seen the script, and I had to go meet him, and we spoke for like an hour. With a lot of those big films, they’ll do that instead of an audition — and I prefer them, because I love a chat. I’ve found the messier the meeting gets, the more successful. You vomit on someone’s shirt, it’s probably going to work in your favor. Because you shared something: an intimate moment of drunken behavior.”
Hayley Atwell also shared her initial response to seeing Chris Evans shirtless for the first time, which resulted in an instinctive improvisation. She went on to riff on how she was “really inappropriate” in the takes that followed.
“When Chris Evansfirst took his shirt off on the set of Captain America, I just instinctively grabbed his man b**b. They kept it in the film. So we did a couple of takes of me being really inappropriate with my hand on his pec for the duration of the scene.”
The “improvisation” was loved by the director and the audience as well when it made the cut.
Chris Evans’ “grueling” body transformation for Captain AmericaChris Evans, in an interview with Men’s Health, shared that he found the transformation process to be painful and that he was looking for excuses to skip the workout sessions.
“It hurt. But it worked. It was grueling, it was brutal and I’d find any excuse possible not to go. But I had to do it.”
Opening about the work that went into getting him in shape for the aforementioned scene to British GQ, Evans’ trainer Simon Waterson revealed that his workout procedure included hand-to-hand combat, swimming, explosive strength, sprinting, and mirror muscle.
“They briefed me on how they wanted Chris to look. I did work to that shot where he comes out of the machine to make him look a tiny bit bigger and leaner than he is in the rest of the movie. But, ultimately, it is about performance rather than just looking good. He has to be able to sprint, throw a shield, jump over a wall. The aesthetics are almost like a byproduct of being an athlete.”
Captain America: The First Avenger is available on Disney+