The Alienist star Luke Evans is featured in Square Mile Magazine‘s Issue 133.
“I try and draw on as much of my own life and my own emotional experiences as possible,” says Luke Evans. “Doesn’t matter if you’re playing Dracula or a dragon slayer or a psychopath or a KGB assassin – you have to find the humanity in it.”
Two takeaways from the above: Luke Evans knows his acting. Luke Evans has played some cool roles.
Evans is worth talking about. He was born to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Welsh town of Aberbargoed, once home to the largest colliery waste tip in Europe. (Bargoed Colliery closed on 4 June 1977; Evans arrived on 15 April 1979.) On weekends young Luke unwillingly helped his parents spread God’s Word on the town’s doorsteps; the rest of the week was spent avoiding the classmates to whom those doorsteps belonged.
You can understand why, aged 16, Evans dropped out of school and moved to Cardiff, but that doesn’t make the decision any less ballsy. “I was ready and headstrong,” he tells me. “I was always very worldly wise, and knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted a career and to see if I could be an actor.”
“When I started doing movies ten years ago it was like starting from scratch. I knew nothing about film acting at all. I didn’t know camera angles, I didn’t understand any of it… But then I always say, you strip it all down and it’s acting. You’re telling a story.” His story reads like a film spec. In an age where no celebrity biography is left unwritten, surely Evans must be tempted to have a crack?
“Let’s break it down to day-to-day life.” He talks of travelling and the solitude of the road – working on a new film, promoting an old one. “That’s my pressure. I know people say, ‘oh, don’t complain, it’s first-world problems’, and maybe it is, but it can be immensely stressful when you’re juggling a lot at the same time.
“I have therapy, and have done for years. It helps me decompress and download many things. My personal time is so precious – I get very little of it. I work a lot, and I like working, but work sometimes doesn’t allow you to process things going on in your own life. I found having a therapist helped me offload things I hadn’t even had time to think about.
One day he hopes to return to the stage. “It’s in my blood to perform, and to perform with a live audience, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s the best high you’ll ever have.” For now, however, he stays on screen: 2018 is slated to bring three more films, and there’s chatter of a second season for The Alienist.
The Alienist recently wrapped season one on March 26, 2018.
Photography: Matt Holyoak