Who Came Up With Chris Evans’ Viral Gray Man Mustache? The Russos Reveal The Origins

Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen in The Gray Man
(Image credit: Netflix)

In the past, we’ve seen Chris Evans clean shaven, sporting a goatee, and going a full beard in various movies, but for the upcoming thriller The Gray Man, the actor is sporting a noticeably different kind of facial hair look. Playing the sociopathic Lloyd in the globe-trotting feature, he is featured with a classic villain look: a mustache. It’s unquestionably a standout feature of the character’s aesthetic, and according to Anthony and Joe Russo, it was Evans’ call to implement it as part of Lloyd’s look.

I interviewed the sibling directors last month at the AGBO Productions office in Downtown Los Angeles, and during a nice long chat about their work on The Gray Man we spent a good amount of time talking about Chris Evans’ performers. I felt compelled to ask the Russos about the mustache, given that it’s not exactly the most common style choice in the 21st century, and Anthony Russo explained not only that it was Evans call to wear that facial hair, but that it was grown to match a specific aesthetic that the actor and the filmmakers were going for with the character:

That's his call. I mean, that was also part of the... we had a look that we presented to him based on some of these extremist groups, and he said, ‘Let's go the full nine yards on this one, and let's make the character as sort of reflective of that as possible.’

In The Gray Man, Chris Evans’ Lloyd is what could be called a functioning lunatic who is tasked by the CIA to organize a manhunt searching for Court Gentry a.k.a. Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), a black ops mercenary who has come in possession of evidence that is a sincere threat to a whole lot of people.

Playing an unhinged killer, Chris Evans was given a chance to really cut loose in the role and have fun with villainy – particularly because he had spent the last decade-plus playing Captain America (the pinnacle of moral rectitude). Joe Russo explained how it was that the sibling filmmakers reunited with the actor after Avengers: Endgame, noting that Evans had told them about a desire to branch out and do very different kinds of roles following his tenure with Marvel:

He loved [Lloyd]. We were talking to him at the end of Endgame about what he was gonna do next. And he said, listen, 'I'm so comfortable. I've been so blessed and fortunate to be at the point I am in my career that I just wanna take risks moving forward.' So when we were working on this character, we're like, 'Who are we gonna get to play a complete sociopath? Just like scenery, chewing villain. And we thought Evans.'

Continuing, Joe Russo added that Lloyd is (strange as it may sound) a bit closer to Chris Evans in personality than Captain America is – not when it comes to being out of his mind, but just in terms of energy and flash. Once the idea of having Evans play the part came together, that was something of which the filmmakers wanted to take advantage. Said Joe Russo,

If you know Chris, he's not anything like Captain America. He is very charismatic, he's high energy he's very funny – where Cap is very low key and, and quiet. And so we thought, 'Well, let's capture that side of Chris, that more theatrical aspect of him.' 'Cause Lloyd is a very showy character. He's intentionally showy. He is an agent of chaos. He wants people to notice when he comes in the room. He dresses loud, and he's meant to mimic some toxic masculine extremis that are populating the country at the moment.

Chris Evans’ Lloyd is about as far away from Captain America on the moral spectrum as you can get, and while he never actually twirls his mustache in The Gray Man, that’s 100 percent the energy the character gives of – making the upper lip accessory quite apt.

Based on the book of the same name by Mark Greaney, The Gray Man sports an outrageously talented cast including Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, and Ana de Armas, and it’s coming very soon. The movie will be getting a limited theatrical release starting on July 15, and then after that you should be sure to make to have a Netflix subscription because the globe-trotting action feature will be online starting July 22.

Learn more about The Gray Man with our quick things guide, and check out our 2022 Netflix Release Movie Schedule to discover more films that are on the way from the streaming service in the coming months.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.