Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC

Next month’s Captain America: Civil War will mark the seventh time Chris Evans has played the star-spangled superhero of the title in a Marvel Cinematic Universe production. But the actor told Jimmy Kimmel on Monday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live that his career-defining role almost never happened.

“I was scared because at first it was a nine-picture contract, and there are parts of me that have a little bit of social anxiety with this industry,” Evans said. “Doing movies one at a time, if all of a sudden you decide you don’t want to do them anymore, you’re afforded the opportunity to take a step back and recalibrate. When you have a giant contract, if all of a sudden you’re not responding well, too bad, you gotta suit up again. That was scary.”

Evans told Kimmel he said “no a few times” to playing Captain America before discussing the prospect with his family and friends.

“It started to kind of make sense that I was saying no out of fear,” Evans said. “You can’t be doing something because you’re scared. So it ended up kind of clicking to me in the way of looking at it as ‘whatever you’re scared of, push yourself into it.'”

Watch the clip below.

Captain America: Civil War
  • Movie
  • 146 minutes