When Chris Evans was cast as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2010. It was reported that he was hesitant to take on the role due to the length of commitment the project would require of him, if successful. However, after agreeing to star in the film and signing on to its subsequent sequels, Evans hung up his shield and bid farewell to America’s morally idealistic defender in 2019. Yet, this was not to be his last venture as a political crusader.
Since the 2016 elections, Evans has been vocal on his twitter account about political opinions, commentaries, policies and was even vocal about a few leaders of state. In 2017 he began to dive deeper into the world of politics in search of answers to questions, and soon realized that there was much unclarified and misinformation on the web about political topics, policies and even general matters, such as healthcare.
On Fridays nights episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Evans told Maher via webcam that it was this realization that made him want to do something and help.
“I’m a bit of a political junkie – and when I’ve tried to google things in the past I’ve found that there is a missing piece there, this kind of gentle entry way into basic political understanding. So we wanted to create a site that would ask the questions that the average American would want to know and have it answered by people across the political spectrum.”
What Evans and his friend Mark Kassen created, was a civic engagement platform called A Starting Point. As written on the site’s bio, “ASP’s mission is to create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.”
Bill Maher, who not only hosts Real Time with Bill Maher but is also a political enthusiast himself. Has been hailed by Politico as a “pugnacious debater and a healthy corrective to the claptrap of cable news,” while Variety noted, “There may not be a more eclectic guest list on all of television.”
While discussing with Evans the premise of ASP, he praised its initiative of being a bipartisan platform that strives to connect with both sides of the aisle to better inform the public. “We can’t own each other. No one wants to try to work together anymore, they just want to own the other side. And I feel like what you are trying to say is ‘no that never can work.’ which is what I’m always trying to say.”
A second feature that Maher praised, was that there are no likes or message boards attached to any of the videos. “I think politics in general is a very vitriolic landscape, and I think that’s one of the things that turns people off.” says Evans. “So we just wanted to remove those negative reward mechanisms to likes, and we wanted to keep it scholastic.”
Watch below for the full interview
Real Time with Bill Maher airs Friday nights on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Max