Spotlight On: Luke Evans

With so few successful LGBT members in the media, it is important to recognise and support the openly gay stars that we do have. With his star on the rise, Luke Evans is quickly becoming one of Hollywoods leading men.

Born in Pontypool,  and raised in the small town of Aberbargoed, Evans was an only child brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, though he left the religion and school when he turned 16-years-old.

At seventeen he moved to the big city of Cardiff, where he studied singing, quickly gaining a scholarship to The London Studio Centre in Kings Cross, London. He left Wales and graduated from the school in 2000.

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Evans landed on his feet, scoring role after role on the West End where he stayed for eight years. During this time he starred in many productions including La Cava, Taboo, Rent, Miss Saigon and Avenue Q, as well as several fringe shows in London and at the Edinburgh Festival.

In 2008, he landed his most significant theatre role playing Vincent in the play Small Change. Here his performance gained recognition from film casting directors and US agents as he was nominated for best newcomer in the Evening Standard Award.

In 2009, Evans attended his first movie audition which proved to be successful, as it landed him his first movie role as Clive Richards in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. He continued working steadily over the next two years on a number of project, including featured roles in Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood.

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In 2012, he bagged his first major role in The Hobbit trilogy, and continued his success in Fast & Furious 6 and 7, The Girl on the Train, and the star role in Dracula Untold.

In his most recent role he starred as Gaston, in the much-anticipated and highly successful live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. His talents have garnered critical praise, and raised his demand by Hollywood agents.

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In 2oo2, Evans publicly came out in an interview with The Advocate stating: “Everybody knew me as a gay man, and in my life in London I never tried to hide it. It’s not a big issue, and it’s never going to be a big issue for me, whether I’m successful or if I weren’t successful, at least I’ll never have that skeleton in the closet they can rattle out”.

Working exclusively in the theatre, the actor acknowledged in 2004 that coming out has not affected his career negatively at all and that he was happy being out.

Around the kick off of his movie career as an action star, thing got a little sketchy as rumours of a relationship spread. He was said to be dating fashion industry PR Holly Goodchild, even though she was listed as single on Facebook.

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At the premiere of one of Evans’ film she confirmed: “Luke’s lovely – we’re really old friends and it just sort of happened”

Of course he could be bisexual, but in several interviews in the decade prior he had always described himself as gay, and never once mentioned women.

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In another interview with British Cosmo Evans was evasive on his dating life saying: “I love to cook! I’ve impressed hundreds of women with my cooking. And they always come back for more.”

By 2014, now working in movies he acknowledged the importance of marketability, and that while he does not hide his homosexuality, he is reticent to discuss it with the media. His PR team prep interviewers by advising the publication not to ask questions about his personal life, or his sexuality.

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A rep for Evans stated: “I do not comment on my clients’ personal lives in the media. As for Luke, he did so once, a long time ago when he was an inexperienced, young actor and now with maturity and hindsight, he has learned not to engage the press in his personal life again.”

A Women’s Wear Daily interviewer broke this rule by asking him if he was setting a new precedent as an openly gay action star to which he responded: “It’s good for people to look at me and think this guy is doing his thing and enjoying what he’s doing and successful at it and living his life. And that’s what I’m doing and I’m very happy.”

That same year, a Spanish media reported that he was in a relationship with model Jon Kortajarena, though the couple ended their relationship in 2016.

Now fresh off his most successful role to date, we’re excited to see what Evans does next, and if he will publicly acknowledge his sexuality once again and become an action icon for the LGBT community.

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