While Slate and Evans won't be making any red carpet appearances together anymore, you will see the pair reunite on the silver screen in the movie Gifted. Premiering on April 12, Gifted is a story about a young girl with a brain like a computer processor. And it’s also the movie on which Chris Evans and Jenny Slate first met.
After Mary’s mother died, her uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) acts as the precocious girl’s guardian. Frank knows his niece is smart, but on her first day of school, Mary’s teacher Bonnie Stevenson (Jenny Slate) confirms just how smart her student is. As occurs in almost every movie about geniuses, Mary solves an insanely difficult square-root equation — in her head. In the understatement of the century, Bonnie tells Frank, “I think your niece may be gifted.”
Mary’s so gifted that a battle for custody ensues between Frank, who wishes to raise Mary as a normal girl, and Frank’s mother, who wants Mary to go to an elite math academy outside of the state. Frank has a reason for wanting to keep Mary in Central Florida, and it isn’t an affinity for alligators. Before she died, Mary’s mother, Diane, expressed her wishes that Mary have a normal childhood.
During the custody battle, Frank relies on Bonnie and his landlady Roberta Taylor (Octavia Spencer) for emotional support. While the presence of Chris Evans and Jenny Slate’s relationship lends Gifted a bittersweet quality, we suspect that Spencer and the adorable McKenna Grace will steal the show.
Over weeks of filming the uplifting drama, Evans and Slate struck up a strong, if initially unlikely, friendship.
On Anna Faris’s podcast Unqualified, Slate walked us through her initial thought process. “He’s a giant man with huge muscles, and he’s Captain America. How could we ever connect, because I’m the daughter of two artists and very involved in the feminist community? When I met Chris, and found out that his best friend was...a woman, and that it was a long-term friendship, I had a real moment of shame and said woah — I had definitely [been] prejudged. The first time we hung out I was like, 'Oh I could hang out with Chris for, like, 90 hours.'"
By the time the podcast was recorded, Gifted had already completed filming — but Slate's friendship with Evans was going strong.
“When you meet someone and you can really connect to them, you just say — let’s just go for it. Let’s see if we can be real friends. We made a movie together, but even after the movie is over, we have an actual friendship," Slate said.
A little while later, Slate and Evans began dating. We weep, Jenny, we weep!