How Did Hayley Atwell Get Her Part in “Captain America”? Plus, she dishes on AMC’s “The Prisoner”

Hayley Atwell — who stars as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger — gave a revealing interview to Esquire recently. Though she reveals some humorous anecdotes — including stealing a robe and being scared of Captain America co-star Tommy Lee Jones — perhaps the most revealing is her explanation of how she got her role in Captain America.

Atwell explains that she hadn’t seen a script and didn’t actually audition, so when she went to meet with director Joe Johnston they talked instead.  “With a lot of those big films,” she reveals, “they’ll do that instead of an audition — and I prefer them, because I love a chat. I’ve found the messier the meeting gets, the more successful. You vomit on someone’s shirt, it’s probably going to work in your favor. Because you shared something: an intimate moment of drunken behavior.”  Hmmm… that seems like a rather specific situation — something you’re not telling us, Hayley?

Atwell goes on to talk about what is one of the most curious scenes of the trailer — when Peggy Carter grabs the chest of the shirtless Captain America (Chris Evans), which seems rather uncharacteristic of a military officer.  “I just instinctively grabbed his man boob,” says Atwell, “They kept it in the film. So we did a couple of takes of me being really inappropriate with my hand on his pec for the duration of the scene.”
Though Atwell openly speaks of her dislike of her work on the television mini-series The Prisoner — she calls it “a complete joke” — she does provide a bit of explanation on how she and her agents (or, as she calls them,  “Team Atwell”) choose roles.  “I’ll say to Team Atwell, ‘What is this project about?’ And they’ll say, ‘Okay, look, it’s not a great script, but it’ll give you exposure,’ or ‘It’s three months in the Caribbean.’ In which case I would probably say, ‘I’ll do it.; That’s a legitimate reason to take a job. I once spent four months in Africa shooting The Prisoner. What else could I do on the planet that allows me to go there for all that time?”  Seems like Atwell has already discovered the perks of being a major actress in the film industry!

Atwell, along with “scary” Tommy Lee Jones and shirtless Chris Evans can all be seen in Captain America: The First Avenger, which will be released in theaters on July 22.

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