LOS ANGELES — Chris Evans may have put down Captain America’s shield but he’s got a new badge of honor: he’s been named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
People’s selection was announced Monday night on Stephen Colbert’s late night show and on the magazine’s website. Evans, who for nearly a decade played Captain America in Marvel’s sprawling superhero films, takes the baton from another Avenger, Paul Rudd.
“My mom will be so happy,” he told the magazine for its cover story, which hits newsstands on Friday. “She’s proud of everything I do but this is something she can really brag about.”
He also knows that he’s likely to be teased by close friends. “Really this will just be a point of bullying,” he joked in an interview. “It’s ripe for harassment.”
Among those likely to heckle him are co-stars and previous Sexiest Man Alive winners like Rudd, Ryan Reynolds and Chris Hemsworth. (Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel films, was the first Avenger to win People’s annual honor, which was first handed out to Mel Gibson in 1985.)
Other past honorees include John Legend, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Adam Levine, Richard Gere, Channing Tatum and David Beckham.
People interviewed Evans, 41, at a Georgia farmhouse, where the actor talked about finding a better work-life balance. “The most enjoyable aspect of my career right now is feeling secure enough to take my foot off the gas,” he said.
Evans’ first film role came in 2000′s “The New Comers” and he played superhero Johnny Storm in two “Fantastic Four” films released in 2005 and 2007. But he gained widespread fame in 2011 with the release of “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Since then, he’s played the wholesome superhero in 10 Marvel films, laying down his shield after saving the universe in “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019.
Evans has become a highly bankable star, voicing the Buzz Lightyear character in Pixar’s “Lightyear” film and playing a sadistic assassin trying to kill Reynolds in Nextflix’s “The Gray Man” — both released this year.
The actor told People he’s thinking about marriage and having a family, saying, “That’s absolutely something I want.”
He said he didn’t expect to talk publicly much about his private life though. “Some things you want just for you, or just for my family and my friends.”
The Boston native also continues his involvement with the civic engagement site A Starting Point, which he co-founded in 2020.
As Evans charts the next part of his life and career, he fully expects People’s honor will be a milestone.
“It’s something that as I become old and saggy I can look back on and say ‘I remember then…’” Evans said. “I’m lucky to be in the discussion in any capacity.”