In Barbie World, Kens are merely accessories. But Scott Evans feels absolutely giddy about landing such an iconic role in the summer’s hottest blockbuster.
As an actor, Evans has been putting in a lot of work since his soap days on
One Life to Live
, collecting credits on shows like
Grace and Frankie
, to name a few. But in an interview setting, Evans is a hilarious, down-to-earth person who shares self-deprecating jokes and anecdotes.
For example, when Evans first got the call to audition for
, he wasn’t confident about his odds. “I saw it and was kind of like, ‘Eh, I don’t know, I’m not getting
.” But he still put himself on tape and gave it his best shot. “I like to be prepared for auditions because I can mess up a lot. But the first take of my
audition was just like, ‘We did it. That was good.’ After doing other takes for another half hour, we still ended up submitting that very first take. I was like, ‘Is this a mistake? Should I keep working on this forever the way people do?’”
As fate would have it, Evans received an urgent call a month later while Rollerblading over the Pacific Coast Highway. “My manager called to say that Greta wanted to Zoom with me. I was like, ‘Greta Gerwig!?’” The actor raced home, feeling a rush of anxiety, to sit down and Zoom with
’s director. “She brought up putting Rollerblading in the movie, and I was like, ‘I actually was just Rollerblading!’ I felt like we were old friends. We talked about musical theater and all sorts of different things, like we were cut from the same cloth. She finished the call telling me that I’d hear from her soon. An hour or two later, I got a call with the offer.”
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Though he had bonded with Gerwig over Zoom, meeting her on the set of
was a different story; he realized his nerves were still very much there. “She is such a monumental being to me. On my first day, I went to set to just walk around, and they were like, ‘Greta wants to meet you.’ I thought I was going to say hello, and she was going to look at me, and she’d say that I was fired. I was in a state of panic the entire time, just a huge sense of impostor syndrome, knowing who else was a part of the movie. But when I met her, she was just the most approachable person on the planet. She is so sweet. And watching her think, her creativity coming out…it’s something from another world.”
Evans is amazed by Gerwig’s working style. “She’s never not there,” he says. “She’s the first on set and the last to leave. You never don’t feel supported. On my first day of filming, I had some lines, like a big monologue type of thing. And that night I got a text from her just being like, ‘You were so funny today. It was so exciting.’ Even if she was blowing smoke up my ass, I still think about framing that text message.”
There were earlier signs that Evans was destined for
. He recalls attending a particular after-party for the Academy Awards with his Marvel-ous brother, Chris Evans, a few years ago. “It was either 2018 or 2019. I was at an Oscars party with my brother. And when there’s a dance floor, that’s where we like to be. I was like, ‘Nobody knows me here. I can do whatever I want.’ So I’m just dancing, having fun, and Margot [Robbie] was there. Chris introduced me to Margot and we ended up dancing on the dance floor, having a great time.” And when Evans showed up to film an iconic dance scene in
, he was surprised to learn that Robbie remembered their Oscars moment. “I was like, oh, my goodness!” he gushes. “For once my party antics have paid off.”
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Many queer kids grow up wanting to play with Barbie dolls but are told that they can’t. Thankfully, Evans was allowed to play with “whatever my older sister and brother played with.” He explains, “My older sister had Barbies. My brother had action figures. I had Ninja Turtles and a lot of Dick Tracy action figures. I played with anything and everything. Growing up, I wasn’t even aware there could be a problem. It wasn’t until I started playing with friends and going to their houses that I was like, ‘Oh, OK, so we’re not playing with
things, I guess?’”
Evans’s family was nothing but supportive when it came to expressing his creativity as a child. “My parents were just like, ‘What do you want? Let’s play with those toys.’ My siblings and I, we liked to play pretend a lot, so every doll and action figure had characteristics and names. It was an abundance of things that we played with. Carly, my sister, had a little Barbie Dreamhouse. She also had a McDonald’s little drive-through window thing, and that’s one of the most vivid memories I have: the little McDonald’s box of french fries. I loved to eat as a kid, so that’s probably why.”
These toys foreshadowed the future for the Evans brothers. Chris became a real-life action figure as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And now, Scott is bringing a Ken doll to life on the big screen. “People find so many connections,” he laughs. “My favorite one is from
The Gray Man
. There’s a line where my brother calls Ryan Gosling a Ken doll, which is hysterical. I don’t think
was even a thing yet when they were shooting
The Gray Man
With that said, Scott is more connected to Captain America than even the most dedicated MCU fans might realize. “I don’t know if people know this, but the very first Captain America action doll that spoke, I did the voice on. They don’t have the real actors do the voices because it would cost a lot more than finding somebody that sounds like them, so they sent my brother five options and asked who he thought sounded closest to him. He was like, ‘To be honest, my brother sounds the most like me.’ They got me to do it, and it was crazy to have a connection with that character at the time. So playing Ken does feel like a full-circle moment.”
This writer suggests that Chris should be hired to voice any Ken dolls that are modeled after Scott’s character in
, noting that it’s only fair given his casting and experience. “Exactly. But he’ll have to be gay, apparently! Hand on the hip the entire time,” he jokes, referring to fans who interpreted his pose in the
poster to mean that his Ken would be gay in the film.
’s theme of self-discovery will certainly resonate with
+ fans, Evans believes all audience members will connect to the film in a post-pandemic world. “The lockdown was a really long period for people to look inside and discover new things about themselves,” he says. “When you’re spending this much time with yourself, it gives you a lot of time to go on this journey of self-discovery. Coming out of the pandemic, I had different feelings about things. Different things were important. In this movie, you see people in Barbie World who are perfect…everyone’s just perfect. And then you see someone go through this existential crisis of learning about
they actually are and
they actually are. I think anybody can relate to that. And if they can’t, hopefully this movie will help bring that out in them.”
This cover story is part of the
July/August issue, out on newsstands July 4.
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