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07.06.2013 | Категория: Интервью | 0 комментариев

Flaunt: The Welsh Actor Finds Roles Both Humble and Godly

 
 
 
 
 
Peering across the rooftop pool of East London’s Shoreditch House, there’s really only one man who could be Luke Evans. Dressed in a crisp white Diesel polo shirt, simple cream chinos, and shades, with a flawless bronzed complexion, he looks every inch the Hollywood star. Refreshingly, in conversation, Evans retains the down-to-earth charm of his Welsh country boy roots. He is warm, relaxed, and broodingly handsome, without a trace of ego.
 
 
It’s been a non-stop couple of years for the rising 31-year-old actor who began his career on the West End stage. "I did a production at the Donmar Warehouse called Small Change,” he remembers, "which was a huge deal for me. Firstly, it was the Donmar, a very special place to work. Also, I got to work with the director Peter Gill who was a huge directorial force in my life. That was basically the beginning of my film career; it opened the door for auditions.”
 
 
Ever since Small Change provided the springboard into the film industry pool, Evans’ star has been on a meteoric rise with turns in Clash of the Titans, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Robin Hood, and most recently,Tamara Drewe, Stephen Frears’ adaptation of the Posy Simmonds comic strip, which premiered at Cannes. "That was a real high point so far,” enthuses Evans. The plot is based on the titular Drewe (Gemma Arterton), a young journalist and flirty sexpot, who returns from cosmo London to her tiny hamlet hometown, stirring up dark passions at the local writer’s colony along the way. She particularly riles her childhood sweetheart and townie handyman, Andy Cobb, played by Evans.
 
 
The actor feels an affinity with Cobb. "I relate to him a lot because I’m Welsh and working class,” he says. "If you could see my parents’ backgrounds, you’d see it’s a lot like his. I come from a family of very manual people; my dad’s a builder and my granddad is a gardener and my nan is a gardener, too, so I completely related to his physicality, and the surroundings were very natural for me. There are other things about him, too. He is a bit of a loner and I was an only child so there were definitely parallels.”
 
 
As Cobb, Evans concretizes hopes he’d make for a great leading man. He’s burly, yet immediately empathetic, soon becoming the film’s lynchpin. The investment is the character is obvious, as Evans’ connection feels palpably affectionate. "The way he was with Beth,” he says of his character’s relationship to the writer’s colony matron, "it was almost like he was a husband to her, and he could see her hurting. I love it when she’s in the chicken coup and he comes up and touches [Beth’s] arm and says, ‘You know he won’t last five minutes.’ It was really sweet.”
 
 
It’s apparent Evans really values his family. He comments that despite persuing an unusual career trajectory for a self-confessed "valley boy,” they’ve remained an infallible well of support. "They love it!” he ensures. "I went home this week and I saw some family and it’s just, they’re fascinated. My Nan is so funny. She said her friends are sick of her telling them about me down the bingo. Its not like I’m a celebrity or anything in their eyes.”
 
 
When Evans reminisces about home, the small countryside town of Aberbargoed, Wales, words cascade enthusiastically from his mouth and his softly lilting Welsh accent thickens. Like many actors he says that his accent comes and goes but it is clear his humble roots have remained firmly intact.
 
 
So, how come this sweet country boy decided to make the move into acting? "I was very young when I started performing,” he says. "I used to re-enact things off the TV.” He laughs heartily before continuing. "I think the first time I performed in front of anyone was doing a sketch by the British comedy duo French and Saunders. They used to do scenes from different movies, and they had a sketch called ‘Star Pets.’ I remember my mum and dad used to get me up at parties to perform it.”
 
 
As a child, Evans continued to indulge his love of performing with regular singing and acting lessons. "It’s such a Welsh cliché,” he laughs. However, until he was offered a scholarship to the prestigious London Studio Centre to study musical theatre at the age of 17, performing professionally seemed merely a pipe dream. "I just didn’t think I could do it as a career until I got offered a place at college,” he explains. Then, following graduation, Evans earned his chops in the original production of Taboo in London’s West End. Still, he dreamed of making the transition into film, though was cautious of the notoriously difficult crossover from stage to screen. "You’re not taken seriously,” he says. "People don’t think that you can do the acting thing [in a different media].
 
 
"In my opinion acting is acting,” he continues. "The only difference is whether you’re in front of a camera or an audience, and that’s when you need to tweak it to work. I think the biggest difference is the amount of time it takes to film something. That was a learning curve for me. [Also], you can begin filming the end of the story. You need to know the script very well.”
 
 
It is this unjaded attitude that explains his willingness to work hard and stay almost surprised at his own success. "I think success is relative,” he says. "It’s completely individual. For me, I think more than wanting to attain a certain thing, it’s about enjoying the process. It’s like this Musketeers job that I just got. It’s like I got the meeting, amazing, [but I think] they’re never going to choose me, these roles are too good. Then, I meet the producer and the director, and I leave the room thinking, ‘Maybe there’s a chance here.’ Then, they offered me the role and I thought, ‘This is amazing!’ I just enjoyed the moment of it. This is how it’s supposed to be—you have to enjoy every single moment.”
 
 
Another thing Evans gets to enjoy is a new sartorial awareness. Coming from a modest upbringing, he admits that money has not always been in abundance. "At Cannes, I was dressed by Armani in a beautiful suit, and Diesel has been really generous. For me, growing up in London, I’d always seen Diesel, but if I treated myself it would be an expensive treat. It’s nice to be treated to so many nice clothes.”
 
 
Later, as we take a stroll through the back streets of London’s trendy East End, Evans attracts curious glances from passers-by. "I often get looked at but they don’t know who I am yet,” he explains. "It’s that point I think that I’ve got five films still to come out and I think people recognize me, but they haven’t really connected that I’m that person.” Still, it’s difficult to ascertain whether the attention is through recognition or simply the lure of his rugged, manly looks.
 
 
Either way, it seems difficult to imagine that becoming one of Hollywood’s most famous faces would change Evans much. When asked about the prospect of his life unfolding in a montage of press, as is the case with many of his contemporaries, he says he recognizes the fact that he chose to be in a business that relies on audiences knowing who you are and going to see your movies. "You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth,” he acknowledges. "It’s part of the job. I think the challenge is to not let it affect your life to the point where you stop doing normal things.”
 
 
Tethering the line between the glamour of Hollywood and his low-key existence may become tricky when Tamara Drewe is released next month—not to mention the fact that he just wrapped filming Immortals, where he plays a Greek god (again). At the end of the month, he will travel to Germany to begin shooting The Three Musketeers, and he just landed his biggest role yet playing the composer Vivaldi opposite screen beauty Jessica Biel.
 
 
At this very moment, though, Evans is enjoying the precious calm before the storm. "I’ve become a really keen camper,” he says with a smile. "I’ve only done it twice, but I’ve bought myself a tent and I go away with my mates. We sit around the campfire, make breakfast, and have a BBQ. And at night, when all the stars are shining, you can huddle around the campfire and get under your blanket. There’s nothing like it.” Let’s hope that as Evans’ career balloons, he can still find the opportunity to get away and connect to his native countryside.
 
 

Категория: Интервью | (07.06.2013) Просмотров: 1380 | Теги: интервью, FLAUNT | Рейтинг: 5.0/3


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