East needs to do his business, so Evans and I take him up to the roof deck. Evans bought this apartment in 2010 when living in L.A. full-time no longer appealed to him. He came back to stay close to his extended family and the intimate circle of Boston pals he's maintained since high school. The move also seems like a pretty clear keep-it-real hedge against the manic ego-stroking distractions of Hollywood.
"I think my daytime person is different than my nighttime person," Evans says. "With my high-school buddies, we drink beer and talk sports and it's great. The kids in my Buddhism class in L.A., they're wildly intelligent, and I love being around them, but they're not talking about the Celtics. And that's part of me. It's a strange dichotomy. I don't mind being a certain way with some people and having this other piece of me that's just for me."
I asked Downey about Evans' outward regular-Joe persona. "It's complete horseshit," Downey says. "There's an inherent street-smart intelligence there. I don't think he tries to hide it. But he's much more evolved and much more culturally aware than he lets on."
Perhaps the meatball and the meditation can coexist. We argue about our egoic brains and the tao of Boston girls. "I love wet hair and sweatpants," he says in their defense. "I like sneakers and ponytails. I like girls who aren't so la-di-da. L.A. is so la-di-da. I like Boston girls who shit on me. Not literally. Girls who give me a hard time, bust my chops a little."
The chief buster of Evans' chops is, of course, Evans himself. "The problem is, the brain I'm using to dissect this world is a brain formed by it," he says. "We're born into confusion, and we get the blessing of letting go of it." Then he adds: "I think this shit by day. And then night comes and it's like, 'Fuck it, let's drink.'"
And so we do. It's getting late. Again. We should have eaten dinner, but Evans sometimes forgets to eat: "If I could just take a pill to make me full forever, I wouldn't think twice."
We talk about his dog and camping with his dog and why he loves being alone more than almost anything except maybe not being alone. "I swear to God, if you saw me when I am by myself in the woods, I'm a lunatic," he says. "I sing, I dance. I do crazy shit."
Evans' unflagging, all-encompassing enthusiasm is impressive, itself a kind of social intelligence. "If you want to have a good conversation with him, don't talk about the fact that he's famous" was the advice I got from Mark Kassen, who codirected Puncture. "He's a blast, a guy who can hang. For quite a long time. Many hours in a row."
I've stopped looking at the clock. We've stopped talking philosophy and moved into more emotional territory. He asks questions about my 9-month-old son, and then Captain America gets teary when I talk about the wonder of his birth. "I weep at everything," he says. "I emote. I love things so much—I just never want to dilute that."
He talks about how close he feels to his family, how open they all are with each other. About everything. All the time. "The first time I had sex," he says, "I raced home and was like, 'Mom, I just had sex! Where's the clit?'"
Wait, I ask—did she ever tell you?
"Still don't know where it is, man," he says, then breaks into a smile composed of equal parts shit-eating grin and inner peace. "I just don't know. Make some movies, you don't have to know…"
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