Chris Evans lost 15 pounds after he stopped playing Captain America: People ask me, 'Are you OK?'

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 08: Chris Evans attends the World Premiere of Disney and Pixar's feature film
Chris Evans talks about losing 15 pounds post-Captain America and handing off mantle to Anthony Mackie. (Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Hanging up Captain America’s shield after a decade of Marvel movies was a weight off Chris Evans’s shoulders in both a figurative and literal sense.

“I’ve shed like 15 pounds,” Evans tells us at a recent press event for his new Disney-Pixar animated spinoff Lightyear. “Every time people see me they’re like, ‘Are you OK? You lost a little bit of weight.' I haven’t had to hit the gym as hard.”

Evans was in primo shape through seven featured roles in Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, beginning with 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and ending bittersweetly as his once-frozen, 1918-born super-soldier Steve Rogers finally ages gracefully into an old man in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

“You know, it’s different,” Evans says of life post-Cap. “For 10 years you always have a movie around the corner. For 10 years, you finish one, your life is scheduled by, ‘OK, in six months we have press, six more months we start the next movie.’

“To kind of have open waters… there are parts of it that are nice, and there are parts of it that I really, really miss because it was a role that meant a lot to me. And I love those people. And it’ll be the best 10 years of my professional life without any question, forever.”

Captain America, though, will live on in the MCU. Anthony Mackie — Evans’s friend who’s long played Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in the film series, took over the mantle with heavy fanfare in last year’s Disney+ streaming series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

“No one better to do it,” Evans tells us. “I mean he does it justice and I’m so proud of him and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future with it.”

A fourth Captain America movie starring Mackie is reportedly in the works at Marvel, to be scripted by Falcon and the Winter Soldier writer/creator Malcolm Spellman and series staff writer Dalan Musson.

Lightyear opens Friday in theatres.

Watch the trailer: