Sarah Finn, the casting director for the Marvel Cinematic Universe might have the greatest eye for casting in Hollywood. There is no one more perfect for the role of Tony Stark than Robert Downey, Jr., no one more perfect for the role of Thor than Chris Hemsworth, no one more perfect for the role of Peter Quill than Chris Pratt – well, you get the picture.
But arguably, of all the fine castings in the MCU, the finest has been Chris Evans in the role of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America. So, here are 10 Moments That Prove Chris Evans Was The Perfect Choice To Play Steve Rogers.
After the Avengers assembled for the Battle of New York, MCU fans waited patiently for six years to hear Captain America utter his immortal catchphrase. It was teased at the end of Age of Ultron, but he got cut off by the credits.
The payoff in Endgame was so satisfying, partly because by then, the Avengers team had dozens of members we’d traveled the cosmos to meet over the years, and partly because Chris Evans delivered it so perfectly. He cried out, “Avengers…!” to all the heroes as they exited Doctor Strange’s portals, and then smirked as he quietly added, “…assemble.”
9 Singlehandedly trying to remove the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos’ hand
In the moments leading up to Thanos’ finger-snap, it became inevitable that the Mad Titan was going to succeed in his plan and the Avengers weren’t going to win, and we’re dreading that just as much as they are.
Each hero makes a last-ditch attempt to squander Thanos, from Scarlet Witch killing Vision herself to Thor launching Stormbreaker at the guy. Captain America simply grabs for the Infinity Gauntlet and tries, with all his might, to yank it off Thanos’ hand. The look on Steve’s face in this moment is one of a man who really, really doesn’t like bullies.
8 His ground-level heroism in the Battle of New York
After watching the breathtaking Battle of New York sequence, some passive Marvel fans voiced their opinions that Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk could’ve handled the Chitauri invasion on their own, and they didn’t need Captain America, Black Widow, or Hawkeye. But what those people don’t realize is that civilians need protecting.
The former trio can be up in the sky, smashing alien spacecraft, but the latter trio needs to be on the ground, saving people from falling debris and individual alien attackers. Cap proved himself by helping the police with their strategy and saving the Chitauri’s human hostages unaided.
7 Breaking everyone out of the Raft
Chris Evans just looks really badass emerging from the shadows. That’s why the MCU has included so many shots of him doing just that. At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark receives a letter from Steve Rogers, trying to explain why he kept his parents’ murder a secret and telling him that he’ll be there if he ever needs him.
Then General Ross calls and informs him of a breach at the Raft. Cut to Steve approaching all of his imprisoned teammates, being there for them because they were there for him. Evans’ smile says it all.
6 “Oh, God.”
The end of Avengers: Infinity War is one that will probably stick in MCU fans’ brains forever. After so many triumphs, it didn’t seem like there would ever be a villain that the Avengers couldn’t beat. And then one came along that was so powerful (and continued to get even more powerful throughout the movie as he collected the Infinity Stones) that he defeated Earth’s mightiest heroes.
As half of his comrades turned to dust around him, Steve Rogers simply looked on in despair. The Russo brothers gave Chris Evans the final line, and he delivered it perfectly: “Oh, God.”
5 Refusing to fight Bucky
The poignancy of Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes from the fact that Steve’s enemy is actually his best friend, Bucky, albeit brainwashed by Hydra to be a ruthless assassin. In the final battle, Steve refuses to fight Bucky. He holds him off long enough to bring down the Helicarriers and prevent Alexander Pierce’s plan from working.
But then, he lets his shield fall into the lake and refuses to raise his fists and fight Bucky. So, Bucky starts to pummel Steve, but this show of nobility brings back some of his memories and he ends up saving Cap from drowning.
4 The elevator fight
Chris Evans himself has actually said that this is favorite Captain America scene of all, because it was the first one he shot for The Winter Soldier and it was simply all-action. Joe Johnston nailed the Steve Rogers character in The First Avenger, but didn’t quite figure out how to make his action scenes truly cinematic on the big screen.
Then, the Russo brothers came in with a string of visceral sequences that made thrilling use of Cap’s combat skills, quick wits, and vibranium shield. The most visceral of these is easily the elevator fight, in which a team of Hydra agents join Cap and he asks if any of them would like to get out before promptly kicking all of their asses.
3 Going into the ice to save the world
This moment is Cap’s whole origin story. He’s on a plane full of W.M.D.s that are going to wipe out America if he doesn’t crash it into the ice. As Peggy desperately tries to suggest alternative options that won’t end in Steve’s death, the look on Steve’s face – which is really the look on Chris Evans’ face – shows us that there are no other options.
It’s hard not to well up during that scene as Steve and Peggy talk about “that dance” like it’s still going to happen (especially since we now know that it is still going to happen) before Steve goes into the ice and his communication turns to static.
2 Preparing to battle Thanos and his armies alone with a broken shield
A quintessential moment that really encapsulates who Captain America is was also one of his last ones. Thanos had torn Cap’s shield in half, beaten all of his surviving allies, and summoned his armies around him. And rather than accept defeat or cower, Cap simply tightened the strap on what remained of his shield, ruffled his brow, and prepared to march into battle, hopelessly outmatched and outgunned.
This is Steve Rogers in a nutshell, and the way Chris Evans plays the scene, we know he’s not kidding – he’d actually do this. And then came Sam’s voice: “Steve…on your left.” Cue the portals!
1 His last dance with Peggy
Many MCU fans were frustrated with Captain America’s ending in Avengers: Endgame, but they simply got hung up on the logistics of crossing over timelines. That’s hardly the point. The point is that Steve Rogers, a man out of his time, finally got to return to his time and the girl that he left there.
After all these years of waiting for the right time to put down his shield and retire the fight, Steve finally got to go home, marry Peggy Carter, and have the dance he was promised almost a century ago. It was a beautifully quiet and poignant moment to end this three-hour epic on.
NEXT: Captain America’s Solo Trilogy: 5 Things It Did Right (& 5 It Did Wrong)