Actors spend their whole careers trying to establish a connection with the audience through their roles. A highly-select few of them, if they're lucky, are able to create a moment in cinema that is remembered through the ages. Chris Evans had one such moment as Captain America in Avengers: Endgame when he picked up Thor's enchanted hammer Mjolnir to fight Thanos. In an interview with Empire, Evans revealed he still feels emotional and like a little kid when he thinks about that moment.
"The first time I saw Endgame was at the premiere. Normally I see the films I work on well in advance, and I rarely sit through premieres (too much anxiety). But being the last installment of a ten-year journey, I wanted to experience this final film the same way the audience would. When Cap lifts Mjölnir, our theater went absolutely berserk. Even though I knew the moment was coming, I still got emotional. In the following weeks, friends and family would send me clips from theaters around the world losing their collective shit at this moment. Seeing those reactions, and knowing that I was lucky enough to be a part of those memories for those people, made me feel a sense of pride and gratitude that I'll never be able to properly express. In those moments I'm not an actor, or even an adult; I'm a little kid again completely captivated by the power and magic that movies can wield. Damn it... I'm getting choked up."
The moment when Chris Evans picks up Mjolnir as Cap was all the more meaningful because it was a decade in the making. The mystique around Thor's hammer was established in the character's first solo film, where it was shown that only someone worthy was capable of lifting the mighty weapon.
Then in Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw Cap attempt to lift the hammer, and only succeed in budging it slightly. From then, to Endgame, Captain America has had a long, troubled journey, going from beloved hero to renegade soldier. But through it all, the hero's unwavering morals never faltered, and the purity of his soul was finally proven beyond a doubt in that triumphant moment when he was able to pick up the hammer and smite Thanos with it.
In a previous interview, Endgame co-director Anthony Russo had revealed that it had been Cap's inherent niceness that had prevented him from wielding the hammer in the past.
"In our heads he was able to wield it, and he didn't know that until that moment in 'Ultron' when he tried to pick it up. Cap's sense of character and his sense of humility, sort of out of deference to Thor's ego, ... Cap in that moment, realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to."
With rumors that Chris Evans might be returning to the MCU once again, now is a good time to rewatch Avengers: Endgame, and soak up Captain America's big moment with the hammer once again as we dream of what the return of Steve Rogers might entail. This news was first shared at The Direct.