The MCU alum voices the titular Buzz Lightyear in the Disney/Pixar animated film, in theaters June 17. Uzo Aduba plays fellow scientist Hawthorne, who is married to another woman. A kiss between her and her wife was cut from the film and later reinstated amid the “Don’t Say Gay” bill-backing backlash toward Disney. The film is currently banned from release in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait due to LGBTQ+ themes — not unexpected over some Middle Eastern countries’ approach to gay material in movies, however implied or slight.
When asked by Variety about Pixar standing by the kiss, Evans said, “I mean, it’s great. As great as it is — and you know, I’ve been asked the question a few times — it’s nice, and it’s wonderful, it makes me happy. It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’ The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.”
The “Captain America” star continued, “That representation across the board is how we make films. Look, it’s an honor to be a part of something that is taking those steps, but the goal is to look back on this time and just be shocked that it took us this long to get there.”
And as “Lightyear” is one step for mankind, Aisha’s love story onscreen is also a crux of the plotline, with her granddaughter Izzy, voiced by Keke Palmer, a pivotal character. Aisha also inspires Buzz’s “to infinity and beyond” catchphrase.
“I thought it was beautiful. That’s the best thing about Pixar, being able to kind of take these great catchphrases that Tim Allen originated and made so iconic and create origin stories for all of them,” Evans shared. “It’s basically a movie full of easter eggs, and it’s incredibly satisfying. But it’s a little daunting because those words are precious, not just to me, but the fans of Buzz Lightyear, the fans of Tim Allen, and you want to honor them as best you can.”
Evans added that he “sobbed” during the montage of Aisha’s love story.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pixar movie where I didn’t cry,” Evans said. “They have the recipe, they really do. I don’t know what it is, but man, the tears start falling.”