07/12/2011 03:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Chris Evans Sought Therapy Before 'Captain America'

No doubt, taking on a deformed madman and a squadron of Nazis is a daunting task. Being injected with a potentially unstable super serum meant to entirely change body chemistry isn't easy, either. Doing so while wearing blue tights? Even worse.

True, Chris Evans would only be doing these things on screen, but still, he'd be performing in front of the entire world, embodying a hero beloved by generations. So you can understand his trepidation before accepting the lead role in the upcoming Marvel comic-to-big screen epic, "Captain America."

The pressure was so great, he told the New York Times, that he sought out therapy before accepting the role.

"I wouldn't have done it had I not agreed to do 'Captain America' and gone into panic mode," he told the paper. "The second I agreed to do it, I was like, 'All right, I'll do this, but I've got to start working on my head.'"

Of course, this wasn't his first superhero role -- he starred as The Human Torch in two "Fantastic Four" films. But here, he'd be lead, and that he even accepted the role was a big breakthrough; as he told GQ earlier in the year, he barely made it that far.

"I said no a bunch, and every time I said no, I woke up the next morning so happy and content," he said. "I kept saying no; they kept coming back. And eventually I was like, 'You know what? This is your biggest fear -- this is exactly what you have to do.'"

His fear was two-fold. One, the massive publicity tours, and two, the long commitment. He's currently filming the massive Marvel superhero teamup, "The Avengers," and is already signed on for "Captain America" sequels. In total, it's six films he's agreed to do.

"It's nice job security, but it doesn't give a whole lot of freedom," he told the Times. "That's the compromise, and it's worth it. These are good problems to be having. It's not like, poor me, I'm working in the coal mines."

Once he was in, though, he was all in. The story calls for his Steve Rogers, a super skinny yet hungry kid eager to get into battle during World War II, to take the serum and bulk up to massive proportions. Evans made sure that he'd play both the buff hero and the puny pre-serum mighty mite, thanks to some insistence and special effects.

"Initially, they were just going to do body shrinking, and then they thought, 'Well, maybe we can get another skinny actor and put Chris' head on it,' and I really, really was against that," Evans told USA Weekend back in April. "I said to Joe [Johnston, director], 'Look, I know we want this to look good and this effect to not be distracting from the film, but it has to be my performance. I don't want to share this. Your body is a huge piece of the acting puzzle, and I don't want to have somebody else's body tell the story that I'm trying to tell.'"

For much more on Evans, including "Avengers" co-stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth discussing their friendship with Evans and their own difficulties with stardom, click over to the NY Times.