Actor Chris Evans is a hot property and not just because of his (to date) dual picture stint as The Human Torch. The 27-year-old Fantastic Four star has come a long way since appearing in bit parts on network TV shows like Boston Public and The Opposite Sex, graduating to such lightweight multiplex fare as Not Another Teen Movie and Cellular to playing the highly combustible Johnny Storm in the aforementioned Marvel Comics blockbusters.
Now Evans is immersing himself in a different sort of pulp fiction with Push (opening tomorrow across Canada), a visually arresting, almost meditative science fiction thriller that co-stars the inimitable Dakota Fanning and is directed by flashy U.K. filmmaker Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin). The rogue psychics vs. anti-establishment picture is a dash more sophisticated and certainly more cerebral than most of his previous genre outings.
“Paul really sold me on Push,” said Evans, in Toronto recently.
“I thought the script really respected the intelligence of its audience and had, for a comic book style film, a very intricate plot and a real independent spirit.”
Push is set in the not-too-distant future and sees Evans starring as Nick Grant, a second generation telepath who gets entwined in a serpentine coup to overthrow an elite, psychic experimentation government organization known as Division. The film calls on Evans to keep his usual smirking jock persona under wraps to play a brooding, fringe dwelling, and reluctant hero.
“At this stage in my career, I’m getting tired of, y’know, throwing on the letterman jacket and tossing the old football around,” says the boyish looking actor.
“I’m always trying to find roles that challenge me and teach me. I watch someone like Russell Crowe in Gladiator and see the way he is both a physical and emotional presence … that’s where I want to be one day.”
Whether or not Push is the picture that catapults Evans into the bigger leagues, he is adamant that the journey to get there is what matters most.
“With every movie I do, successful or not, I think I get just a little bit better at using the brush.”