After Chris Evans said goodbye to Captain America, it was time for a change — a dark, villainous change.
“It does seem that I’ve aggressively gone 180 [degrees] from Steve Rogers,” Evans admitted to Empire in May 2022. “But it just kind of unfolded that way.”
Cap was the epitome of a good guy. From risking his life for others long before he became a super soldier to time traveling to save the world, Steve would do whatever it took to do the right thing. However, after playing Captain America for a decade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Evans hung up his shield in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
His first post-Marvel role came in the star-studded mystery Knives Out. He called his character “different” while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the film’s release. “In the Marvel movies I play a guy who’s a little more taciturn, a little more selfless, and in this movie I play a guy that’s a little more vile,” Evans teased.
Scroll down to take a look at all the bad guys Evans has played on the big screen since his Marvel exit.
Ransom Drysdale in Knives Out (2019)
Ransom is the black sheep of the Drysdale family. After his wealthy grandfather suddenly dies, Ransom just wants to ensure that he gets his inheritance. But don’t let the cable-knit sweaters fool you. He’ll do anything to make sure he receives his “birthright” — as long as that doesn’t include working an actual job.
Evans was begging to play the spoiled brat. “I don’t even think I let him speak,” Evans said of his initial meeting with Johnson. “I think I just kind of was babbling the entire time about what I wanted to do with the role and what I thought I could bring and please cast me, basically. It was just kind of me just pitching him, just begging.”
Lloyd Hansen in The Gray Man (2022)
This Netflix film saw Evans reunite with Marvel directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who joked via X (then known as Twitter) that they “turned @ChrisEvans from America’s Ass to America’s A—–e.”
Evans donned a mustache while playing this hit man, who is determined to take out Ryan Gosling‘s Sierra Six. They used to be CIA agents together — until Hansen developed psychopathic tendencies and got kicked out. He takes a child hostage to get the upper hand and kills anyone and everyone who gets in his way.
During a press conference to promote The Gray Man, Evans admitted he had a great time depicting the baddie. “Playing a villain is always a little more fun. You have a little bit more freedom, you get a lot more jokes,” he said via ScreenRant.
Pete Brenner in Pain Hustlers (2023)
Evans plays a flashy pharmaceutical sales rep in this Netflix movie, which is loosely based on a true story. “Casting Chris Evans for that was a delight because his clean-cut, alpha male, heroic demeanor is completely turned on its head when you cast him as a sleazebag pharma sales rep,” director David Yates told Netflix’s Tudum. “I’d seen him do a couple of things that really surprised me previously. I love seeing an actor do something surprising.”
Pete swoops into Liza Drake’s (Emily Blunt) life right when she’s hanging on by a thread. After losing her job and with her daughter’s medical expenses piling up, she takes the opportunity to join Pete’s dangerous racketeering scheme. But don’t make the mistake of thinking Pete feels for Liza.
“Everything in Pete’s life is transactional,” Yates added. “It’s all about the sale. He doesn’t really have any deep connections with anyone beyond that notion of hitting the right numbers. So there’s a superficiality to him, but equally there’s a vulnerability to him. He’s also very entertaining because he’s completely unfiltered — loud, brash, profane.”
Pain Hustlers is set to premiere October 27 on Netflix.