Actor Chris Evans — known best as the red, white, and blue-clad Marvel Comics superhero Captain America — is set to take on another kind of enemy: toxic masculinity.
The Avengers: Infinity War star is making his Broadway debut as Bill, a narcissistic chauvinist NYPD officer in Kenneth Lonergan’s play Lobby Hero. According to the play’s director, Trip Cullman, Evans’ role as Bill, who uses his position of power to sexually coerce his partner Dawn, will “expose toxic masculinity.”
“Kenny [Lonergan] has given voice to Dawn’s predicament in such a compassionate and powerful way,” Cullman told the New York Times of Lonergan’s play, which follows four workers, two male security guards, one black and one white, and their nightly encounters with a charismatic and corrupt cop (Evans) and his young female partner (Bel Powley) in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building.
Lonergan, who’s 2016 indie drama Manchester by the Sea won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, contends that his play wasn’t prophetically written to fit the #meToo era.
“This isn’t new,” Lonergan said of the kind of harassment women, like the female character in Lobby Hero, experience in the workplace and beyond. “Anyone who’s shocked by these issues — I don’t know where they’ve been.”
Evans, however, says he’s aware of the parallels between his role as a powerful and exploitative male taking advantage of his female subordinate and the real world consequences many accused men in his industry have come to grips with in recent months.
“The hardest thing to reconcile is that just because you have good intentions, doesn’t mean it’s your time to have a voice,” Evans said about the #MeToo era.
Lobby Hero opens March 26 at the Helen Hayes Theater. Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters everywhere April 27.