Jul 21 2007 by Laura Davis for Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool actor Shaun Evans may be Hollywood bound but he’s not the type to get starstruck. Laura Davis reports
SHAUN EVANS is a master of under-statement.He has recently finished filming a movie alongside the great Sir Bob (as in Roger Rabbit, not Live Aid or the Capital of Culture impressario), in which he gets to snog the very beautiful Stockard Channing, yet his description of them is sparse to say the least.
But then he is squeezing this interview in during a break from a day’s filming and is keen to get on with eating his lunch.
”He was great,” says Liverpool-born Evans of working with Hoskins. “A top man, really good, a great professional but a good laugh as well. Didn’t take himself too seriously.”
And Channing? “The same to be honest.”
But seriously, surely it’s every boy’s dream to go out with Rizzo from Grease, even if it is just pretend?
“I’d seen Grease but I was hardly a fan. I don’t think any guys were, were they? I’d never seen the West Wing although I’d heard it was great, so I didn’t really expect anything.
“Everyone had said she was great, which she was, and a smart, intelligent, talented woman.”
The film in question is Sparkle, shot in Liverpool earlier this year. Evans plays Sam, a young man who decides to seek his fortune in London – his mum insisting in going along too.
He decides to sleep his way to the top and gets involved with Shelia (Channing), the executive director of a PR company.
Although 27-year-old Evans regularly returns to Liverpool to visit his parents in Walton, he was glad of the opportunity to spend more time in his home city.
“I really enjoyed it. A big part of the crew were from Liverpool which was good. It was nice to be able to go and see my family when I’d finished the day’s work,” says the old boy of St Edward’s College in West Derby.
“I saw some cool parts of the city that I didn’t know when I was living there. We shot inside some buildings next to the Town Hall, places that you see when you’re making a film that someone’s sourced out for you that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.”
Having completed a course with the National Youth Theatre when he was 16, Evans moved to London at the age of 18 to attend drama school.
He treats his quick rise to success with the same brevity he afforded Sir Bob.
“I wanted to go to drama school and I wanted to go to London and then I just started working, and things have been great since then. That’s been it really,” says Evans, from Twickenham Studios in London where he is filming Telstar, the story of record the producer Joe Meek which also stars Kevin Spacey.
The role that made Shaun a household face, if not name, was gay French teacher John Paul Keating in the TV comedy drama Teachers in 2002. Although he was with the show for just one season of the BAFTA-nominated series, he remains one of its best remembered characters.
“Teachers was five years ago and since then, I’ve been really lucky with the things that I’ve done, playing really cool parts in interesting films. I had a good time in Teachers but it was a long time ago and as soon as I left, I moved on from it immediately.”
Since then, Evans has been very busy with film and television roles, including BBC historical drama The Virgin Queen, as well as appearing on stage in the touring production of Blue/Orange.
Gone, a psychological thriller set in the desolate Australian outback, in which he plays Alex, a young backpacker, has just been released on DVD.
In the Universal Pictures production, a British couple are travelling across the country when they meet a mysterious American drifter, Taylor, and decide to leave behind the tourist spots for the real outdoors. Alex soon becomes suspicious of Taylor’s growing infatuation with his girlfriend and he begins to question his motives.
“It was awesome,” says Evans of filming Down Under. “You got to travel across Australia for three months as we shot it and there were only three of us in it so it was a really interesting experience.
“It was pretty special. If there’s only three of you, you own the film more. If there’s a massive cast then there’s just lots of stories to tell. On all good jobs people are really open to what you’ve got to say and that’s why they cast you specifically.
“I saw it as the breakdown of a relationship and the thriller aspect comes in at the end.”
Evans is keen to take on a range of different roles, in different genres, and chooses them according to what he feels he can personally bring to the production.
“If you can keep doing different things then you’ll have a long career. I like an interesting story that I think I can doing something good with and a good team of people. If the story’s good and it’s a good director then you get a good cast.”
And plans for the future?
“I’m going to finish my dinner.”
GONE is out now on DVD and Sparkle is due to be released in cinemas nationwide on August 16.