MCU: 10 Fascinating Facts Behind Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

7. The "Skinny Steve" Scenes Had To Be Shot Four Times

Captain America The First Avenger
Marvel Studios

One of the most memorable aspects of The First Avenger is the "Skinny Steve" effect, whereby a pre-serum Steve Rogers is decidedly scrawnier than even Chris Evans' natural physique (let alone his buff post-serum bod).

Creating the rail-thin, pint-sized version of Rogers was an enormously complicated undertaking, requiring every scene involving a scrawny Rogers to be shot at least four times.

The first time, Evans acted out the scene as normal, then Evans performed it again in front of a green screen, before a third time with Evans absent, and once more with a skinny body double copying Evans' performance.

In order to compensate for the height difference, Evans often had to be lowered or his cast members raised up, and to make eyelines match for close-ups, Evans had to have marks placed on his chin for where they should look, while his co-stars had marks placed on their foreheads.

A composite of these takes was then used, allowing digital manipulation of Evans' performance, while in some scenes the VFX team were able to "simply" paste Evans' head onto that of the body double.

Either way, it was decidedly more complex a process than you'd probably expect today, and though it hasn't aged spectacularly, you have to admire the work that went into it.

Contributor
Contributor

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.