If you were to tell a high school year old Chris Evans that he would one day be called the sexiest man in the world by PEOPLE, “he’d be pumped!” the star tells the magazine in this week’s cover story. “This would probably be the way to the cool table where I wasn’t.”
Current Evans, 41, is still adjusting to the new title of PEOPLE’s 2022 Sexiest Man Alive and needs to talk about it, but he knows this news will delight at least one person: “My mom will be so happy,” he says. . “She takes pride in everything I do, but this is something she can really brag about.”
It’s a sunny fall day on a farm outside Atlanta, Georgia, where Evans sits in front of the fireplace in a quaint farmhouse. Although he appears to have fully grasped this particular command, dressed in a cozy knit sweater and jeans, the Boston native would probably rather jump into that fireplace than talk about being sexy.
“This whole thing is hard to be interviewed about,” he says with a laugh. “It feels like a weird form of modest bragging.”
the gray man star also braces for some good-natured ribbing from his good friends.
“This really just becomes a point of bullying,” he jokes. “It is ripe for intimidation.”
Anyway, his mom Lisa is thrilled with the news. “I’m not surprised at all,” she told PEOPLE. “Our family will be beside themselves.”
Best known for playing the altruistic, self-sacrificing superhero Captain America in Marvel’s multi-billion dollar avengers franchise, and as a devoted, photo-happy dog dad to Dodger, his boxer mix, on social media, Evans is much more comfortable talking about his career, which has been on fire for the past decade. Only this year he starred in Pixar’s light yearNetflix’s gray man and filmed three new movies, including the one from 2023 haunted for AppleTV+ which he also produces, and also still co-runs A starting pointthe citizen engagement platform he launched in 2020.
Now in his 40s, Evans tries to prioritize a healthy work-life balance and spend as much time as possible at home and with his family in Boston.
“When it comes to looking for the people I play, it’s more a matter of where the film is shot,” he says. “I’m too old to live out of a suitcase for six months and I’ve entered a finer stage where I’m just happy to be home.”
He’s also thinking a lot more about his future outside of acting – one that includes marriage and fatherhood.
“That’s definitely something I want,” he says. Just don’t expect him to talk much about it when it happens: “Some things you want just for you, or just for my family and my friends.”
Twenty-two years into his career, Evans admits he wants to take it easy.
“The best part of my career right now is that I feel safe enough to take my foot off the gas,” he says. “I feel like I have a little more freedom to take time off the industry and still find projects that will satisfy my creative hunger when I get back.”
And given all the time he spends in and around his hometown, what does he find sexiest about Boston?
“There’s so much history there! I love the accent. For me, the accent is at home,” he says. “Love the weather. The seasons, the sports teams. But the sexiest thing about Boston…maybe our universities. We have a lot of good schools. Let’s plug education, that’s fucking sexy.”
Just don’t ask him to use the word “sexy” in a sentence about himself. And although he is not completely familiar with it yet, he will look back on the title with great pleasure in years to come.
“It’s something that, as I get old and limp, I can look back on it and say, ‘I remember when…'” he says. “I’m lucky enough to be in the discussion in any capacity.”