Chris Evans Advice for People with Anxiety and Depression (Very Powerful)
Maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly what you should do.
I love what I do still, I have passion for it.
Whatever it was, I just tried to dominate it.
Why don’t you just say your name and tell me what you do.
I’m Chris Evans and I’m an actor.
If you could give yourself advice,
like look back and talk to the 12 year old version of yourself, what advice would you give?
Yeah, you know I’d say and it sounds – it might seem
Oversimplified, but it’s profound.
I’d say “Shh.”
It’s been a big thing for me, “Shh.”
You know it’s so funny how noisy my brain is and
everyone’s brain is noisy, it’s what it does, it makes thoughts.
The problem is, I think in most of our lives the root of suffering is
following that brain noise and listening to that brain noise and actually
identifying with it as if it’s who you are.
That’s just the noise your brain makes you know and
more often than not, it probably doesn’t have much to say that’s going to help you
For Captain America, I read that you turned down the role a number of times, can you explain why?
It was because it was a big commitment,
they wanted six movies,
and you know normally you do movies one at a time
and if one of those movies hits and is a success
and your life noticeably changes
you know your personal life, your anonymity, privacy is affected, you have the opportunity to
stop and regroup and go home and just you know make a decision
from then on how do you want to proceed with your life.
The worry was if this movie hits and there is a lifestyle change, and I don’t react well to it
I don’t have the opportunity, the luxury to say
“You know guys, I’m good, I think I’m going to go back to doing,
you know, indies or maybe something else, you know maybe in a couple of years I don’t want to act anymore
I don’t know
It’s just, six movies can be spread over ten years
and you’re making a decision for a decade and it’s not just a decision for you
If the lifestyle changes to a point where your anonymity is compromised,
then it’s really not your right to complain anymore.
So if all of a sudden someone in your family is up in a hospital
and you’re going in and out every day and someone’s taking pictures of you
and you complain, everyone’s going to say
“Too bad. You made this bed, sleep in it.”
And that’s a shame.
And that’s a decision you have to make and prepare for,
this isn’t – this ripple effect isn’t just going to be about me.
And that’s scary, you know, you think “Was there another way to
get where I want to get without this?” you know what I mean,
if the strings attached are six movies
That’s a scary loss of control that I just wasn’t ready to process and so I said no
And I asked every human being in my life what they thought,
and you know everyone said I should do the movie and I did – I said I’ve gone to therapy,
I went to therapy, I was like “Fine, I’ll talk to a therapist, see what they have to say.” you know
you know because I do struggle with – I get anxiety about certain things and
press and things like that, you know all those things were tied into
And it kind of started to shift on me,
it started to feel like maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly what you should do,
maybe this is actually what you should
push yourself into and it just started to make sense to me that way. And I said “Let’s go for it.”
And, you know, it was
a bumpy acclimation, it was certainly a
nerve-wracking first couple weeks of shooting as to whether or not I had made the right choice,
but in retrospect, it certainly was.
Oh my God, can you imagine, I’d be kicking myself
My agent’s got, you know, a lifetime supply of “I told you so”s after that one.
The times that I felt my best are the moment that I’ve been able to pull that plug and say “Chris, shh.”
And it’s not quitting, it’s not giving up.
It’s not washing your hands at the thought. It’s rising above it. It’s operating on a separate plane.
You can’t dissect why that works
because the reason it works doesn’t speak the same language that the brain speaks.
It can’t try and say “Well, why shush?”
Because the shush is you know –
it’s different, it’s different and when you just “Shh.”
It feels good, like that’s better. That’s better.
And I think back to all the amount of time I probably spent suffering as a result of brain noise.
Hours of my life wasted.
So, that’s what I’d say, “Shh.”
Where are you from?
I’m from Boston.
You still consider that your home, you said you’re often up there.
Yeah, yeah, I got a place back there. I mean like I said I got nothing against LA, I just
prefer the East coast.
I’m one of six. I have three brothers and sisters. Older sister, myself, younger brother, younger sister.
We’re really close, you know a very tight-knit family. We did everything together. We’re all actors, so we’re all very melodramatic. We’re all very
imaginative, we played a lot of games together just in our backyard.
I had a great childhood, a great youth and my family was a big part of it, that’s why I love them
but going home for me is kind of where I just reconnect to that part of my mind,
and when I just come out here too long and things that shouldn’t matter start mattering
and you say I gotta – I gotta recharge.
Initially I was really big into art, so drawing and painting.
But art school was going to be the path I was gonna take.
I didn’t start acting till I was about maybe 13, 14. My older sister was doing plays.
She was having a ball, I figured I’d try it and it was a good time, so I kept doing it.
I probably had much bigger balls then than I do now. Now I sit, you know, terrified before auditions.
I probably couldn’t wait to get in the room.
I mean, I think back to some of the things I did at,
you know, acting camp and things like that, just gusto and willingness
God! Who has the yearbook?
Who did this?
Were you were you in the Virtuous Burglar or the Bald Soprano?
I was in the Virtuous Burglar.
And what role did you play?
I don’t remember.
I mean, I did a lot of plays, I couldn’t tell you,
I have nightmares about this where you’re backstage and all of a sudden like
“Alright we’re doing the Virtuous Burglar, you gotta go”
It’s like “I don’t remember my lines.” “Just get out there. They’ll come to you.”
And you come out on stage with the play you did 15 years ago
This is – this is what happens when I sleep.
Back in the good old days – Good old days ’97, what a time.
Where did that change, when did the anxiety start?
When it actually matters, you know, when you’re like auditioning for
you know, for your work, your career, your life. You know you’re an adult, it’s not just funny games,
you’re actually trying to build something and when it doesn’t work out, you start to kind of get, you know.
It’s a heady game acting, you know, for any movie or book
there’s probably you know dozens of rejections and that can play on you,
So you start to kind of put pressure on yourself.
You know, sometimes you go through stints of having really good auditions,
really solid auditions, being like “I’m good. Every time I go in the room I feel centered, I’m present, I’m ready.”
Other times you’re like “Man, I feel like I forget how to act” and you’re on shaky ground every time you step in a room.
You said that there’s a search to be in the moment.
Does that only apply to acting?
It’s everything that reality looks and feels and smells and sounds like but you know it’s not and
you’re completely in control of that unfolding.
And that’s the time where I really feel the most present
And I think that’s part of my addiction to acting because I struggle to find that in life.
It’s a bit harder when there’s no script.
And this is just happening in a chaotic form. But the hunt for the moment, you know
the hunt to be present, that’s the goal. Acting is like a
temporary, artificial substitute that is like a drug. It’s great.
My goal in life is to find that,
to be present like that in life. It’s hard.