“My mom will be so happy”

If you told a middle-school-aged Chris Evans that one day he would be named PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, he would “be blown away!” the star tells the magazine on this week’s cover. “That would probably be the way to the cool table I wasn’t at.”

Today’s Evans, 41, is still adjusting to his new title as PEOPLE’s 2022 Sexiest Man Alive and has yet to talk about it, but he knows this news will excite at least one person: “My mom is going to be so happy.” , says. . “She’s proud of everything I do, but this is something she can really brag about.”

It’s a sunny fall day on a farm outside of Atlanta, Ga., where Evans sits in front of a fireplace in a quaint farmhouse. Although he shows up To fully understand this particular mission, dressed in a cozy knit sweater and jeans, the Boston native would probably rather jump into said fireplace than talk about sexiness.

Chris Evans Sexiest Man Alive 2022

Michael Schwartz

“This whole thing is hard to interview,” he says with a laugh. “It feels like a weird form of humble bragging.”

The Gray Man The star is also bracing for some good-natured ribbing from his close friends.

“Really this will just be a point of intimidation,” he jokes. “It’s ripe for harassment.”

Regardless, Lisa’s mom is thrilled by the news. “I’m not surprised at all,” she tells PEOPLE. “Our family will be beside themselves.”

RELATED: Chris Evans shares sweet dog dad moments in new ‘Dodger’s Story’ commercial for Jinx

Chris Evans Sexiest Man Alive 2022

Chris Evans Sexiest Man Alive 2022

Michael Schwartz

Best known for playing the altruistic, self-sacrificing superhero Captain America in Marvel’s multi-billion dollar project Avengers franchise, and as a devoted, photo-happy dog ​​dad to Dodger, his boxer, on social media, Evans is much more comfortable talking about his career, which has been on fire over the past decade. Just this year he starred in Pixar’s Lightyearof Netflix Gray Man and made three new films, including 2023 Ghost for AppleTV+ which he also produces, and also still works with A starting pointthe citizen participation platform launched in 2020.

Now in his 40s, Evans tries to prioritize a healthy work-life balance and spend as much time as possible at home and with his family in Boston.

“When it comes to looking for the people I’m playing, it’s more about where the movie is being shot,” he says. “I’m too old to live out of a suitcase for six months and I’ve settled into a nicer phase where I’m just happy to be home.”

He’s also thinking a lot more about his future outside of acting — one that includes marriage and fatherhood.

“That’s absolutely something I want,” he says. Just don’t expect him to talk much about it when it happens: “Some things you want just for you or just for my family and friends.”

RELATED: Chris Evans Launches Kickstarter Site to Help Americans Get Real Facts to Inform Their Vote

Chris Evans Sexiest Man Alive 2022

Chris Evans Sexiest Man Alive 2022

Michael Schwartz

Twenty-two years into his career, Evans admits he’s ready to slow down a bit.

“The most enjoyable aspect of my career right now is feeling safe enough to take my foot off the gas,” he says. “I feel like I have a little more freedom to take time away from the industry and still find projects that will satisfy my creative appetite when I come back.”

​And given the amount of time he spends in and around his city, what does he think is the sexiest thing about Boston?

“So much history there! I love the accent. For me, the accent is home,” she says. “I like the weather. The seasons, the sports teams. But the sexiest thing about Boston…maybe our universities. We have a lot of good schools. Let’s give education a plug, that’s damn hot.”

Just don’t ask him to use the word “sexy” in a sentence about himself. And while he’s not quite comfortable with it yet, years from now he’ll look back on the title fondly.

“It’s something that as I get older and mellow, I can look back and say, ‘I remember back then…'” he says. “I’m lucky to be in the conversation in any capacity.”

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