Merely 4 years ago, Luke Evans was hitting high notes on the London theatre circuit. Today, he’s cinema’s go-to guy for brandishing rapiers, daggers, and a million-watt smile. It’s been a rush of blood to the head, he says, and more than a little challenge to consistently to look good and god-like.
Men’s Health: Four years ago, you literally walked off a London stage and onto an airplane to play Apollo in Clash of the Titans. What do you pack when you’re hopping the pond?
Luke Evans: A couple of pairs of trousers. Always a pair of shorts if I’m coming to L.A. so I can enjoy the sun when it shows up. As for beauty products, I just take the bag off the airplane that they give me in first class and utilize that while I’m in town, then pick up another bag on my way home.
Many men choke on opportunity. How have you stayed open to the joy ride these past four years have been?
You have one life. You’ve just got to take these things by the horns and go with it. Everybody has a bit of cynic in them, but life is for the taking. Get on with it. That’s what my mom and dad always said: just get on with it. That way, you’ve got a story to tell.
Your Hollywood costumes have not had a lot of pockets on them.
Forget pockets; there hasn’t been a lot of costume at all. (Laughs) Dressing me costs less than lunch.
Some young actors train on smokes and gin, while others become gym rats. How have you prepared for your sword-and-sandal movies?
I was filming a movie in the North of England, and I wasn’t in fighting shape. (Immortals director) Tarsem called and said to me in a very serious voice, “The rest of the boys have been training for 6 months to a year. We start filming in 7 weeks. Get to work.” I turned up the first day and it was just me and Henry (Cavill) and 16 stuntmen and our trainers, and I remember looking at these guys and thinking, “F** me, I’ve said yes to the wrong job.”
So you turn and run, right?
I called my agent that day and said, “You’ve gotta get me out of this job. There’s no way I can get close to the shape they’re in.” And he said, “You’re not turning this down.” That night, I had a very stern talk with myself: “Just get on with it.” The next day, I showed up and just threw myself into it. I trained 6 days a week with three trainers. I took so much inspiration from the other guys. We trained together. There was comradery. I basically dropped 30 pounds in 7 weeks. It was insane.
You and Henry became good friends on Immortals at exactly the same time your careers are both exploding.
It’s funny how that’s worked out. I’m just so happy for Henry. I’m so proud of what he’s got. We went out for a drink last night, after not seeing each for 6 months or so. I just sat there, going, “Mate, you’ve done so well. Couldn’t happen to a better person.” And he said the same thing to me. This is our moment. And we’re thoroughly enjoying it. I wouldn’t want to be anybody else right now.