How Luke Evans savors the moment, despite his busy schedule (Exclusive)
Luke Evans has steadily become one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood and, with that, comes a busy schedule that leaves little opportunity for downtime.
Over the past several years, Evans has had star turns in everything from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" live-action remake to "The Girl on the Train," the "Fast & Furious" franchise and the critically-acclaimed show, "The Alienist," and with an upcoming role in "Murder Mystery" alongside Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, he shows no signs of slowing down.
The Welsh-born actor recently caught up with AOL's Gibson Johns to talk about his mindfulness collaboration with Stella Artois, fitting "me time" into his hectic schedule and the incessant paparazzi presence on the set of "Murder Mystery."
Check out our full conversation with Luke Evans below:
You and Stella Artois are teaming up for a unique partnership in STELLASPACE, which is a 20-minute audio guide for beer drinking narrated by you on the Inscape app. What made this something you wanted to do?
It starts with the fact that I’ve always been a fan of Stella Artois. I’ve been drinking it for many years. I’ve always been very aware of the brand and appreciated it, but it was very interesting doing this audio guide for the Inscape app because, for me personally, it made me think of what I was doing when I was drinking the beer and realizing that I could drink it more thoughtfully. We’ve all downed beer and not thought very much of it, and this is a different way of looking at drinking this premium Belgian lager. I thought it was a very clever, very witty and it’s unique. It’s fun, because we’re using a very successful mindfulness tool -- the Inscape app -- which they’ve collaborated with to create a 20-minute guide to focus on sipping a beer.
Are mindfulness and meditation things that you already practiced? Surely in your line of work, it's easy to get caught up and not take a moment to breathe.
Completely. All you have to do is look at my Instagram page to see how much I travel. [Laughs] I’m constantly on a plane learning lines flying to a different country. My personal time is extremely precious, and I often don’t get a lot of it. I have meditated in the past -- not regularly -- but I absolutely have learned in the last few years the importance of giving yourself little pockets of "me time." The Inscape app helps you to focus on the present and get all of the distractions out of your head. We all have a lot of those and I’m constantly being pulled left and right, up and down by different demands in my career. I try to do things like this on a plane, where you don’t have a mobile phone that works. I might have a script to read, but it's a really good time for me to be in the present and stay in the moment.
When I’m home in London, which isn’t that much nowadays, I have a lovely house with a garden, and we’ve had an incredible summer, and I was fortunate enough to be home to experience it. I enjoy socializing with my friends. We don’t go to a pub often these days, but we just sit in my garden on a summer’s evening and enjoy a Stella Artois while the sun sets. It’s something that always makes me feel good.
You're currently filming "Murder Mystery" in Lake Como, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world. How have you made sure to savor where you are and not take your shooting location for granted?
I’ve learned over the years that, when you don’t have a lot of time and you’re lucky enough to be in a beautiful location, when you have a spare moment -- and I have had a few days recently where I’ve haven’t had to go to work -- I just appreciate being present and observing the food and beauty and nature in this wonderful place. I’m just absorbing it and taking a deep breath. The air is different here. It’s been fun, and you do learn to just absorb your surroundings. It’s a good way of clearing your head, which is something we all need to do more often.
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And the set of this movie -- which you're shooting alongside Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler -- has been a a paparazzi target this summer, with a ton of on-set photos being published online. Is it annoying when paparazzi interrupt your time on set, or do you just consider that to be part of the job?
We were all warned of that, because of the premise of the film -- we were on a yacht, now we’re in a villa and we were in the streets of Italy -- and, in these very small locations, it’s a big deal to the fans and the people that see Jennifer, Adam and myself there. We were prepared for it, but it’s something we have no control over. If paparazzi take photos of you on set in a public location, fair enough -- there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m not so happy about the ones taken privately when you’re on your own, But that’s just the way it is, and it’s one of those evils that you have to deal with as an actor. When you’re internationally recognized, it’s part of the job. Most people are gracious, though. When fans see us on the street, they come up trembling because they’re so nervous. It’s like, "Hey, I’m just a human being!" I’m just another guy that does a job that everyone knows.
This interview has been edited and condensed.