Hayley Atwell Discusses a "Scary" Tommy Lee Jones and Touching Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger
07.05.11 by Ryan
Captain America: The First Avenger star Hayley Atwell is featured in the latest issue of Esquire magazine, offering American audiences a chance to meet the actress behind the image on their soda can and other Captain America-sponsored merchandise.
Prior to her role in First Avenger, Atwell's most recognizable role outside of her native Britain was a supporting role in AMC's 2009 mini-series The Prisoner. While talking to Esquire, Atwell revealed that she won her First Avenger role without an audition, and, perhaps, after a few drinks with director Joe Johnston.
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.
Atwell got to work with Tommy Lee Jones during First Avenger, in fact, Atwell was the one to publicly expose Jones' casting in the movie. Working with the legendary actor, Atwell admitted, was "scary."
Tommy Lee Jones is really scary. Because he'll take his time answering a question. It feels like he's ignored you. He does it long enough for you to feel completely humiliated. I said hello to him and then there was a long pause and then he said, "Do you like opera?" He's got a very, very dry sense of humor.
Less frightening was working with co-star Chris Evans.
When Chris Evans first took his shirt off on the set of Captain America, I just instinctively grabbed his man boob. 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.
As for what comes next for Atwell after First Avenger, the actress admitted it could be a biopic of a famous rock star, but she's not sure since her "team" isn't aware of who she is.
Next up is possibly a Jimi Hendrix biopic — an independent film with Andre 3000 from OutKast playing Jimi Hendrix. But I don't know, really. The Atwell team is like, Let's just wait and see... I love how I call them Team Atwell because each of them works with fifty other people as well. Sometimes they forget who I am. I was on the phone with a member of Team Atwell once, and we chatted for like half an hour and he said, "I really loved you in that film." And I said, "I wasn't in that film." Team Atwell doesn't even know who Hayley Atwell is.