BROWN: What did your parents think when you decided to become an actor?
EVANS: I think they were a little freaked out. I left home when I was quite young—at 16—so that was first thing to deal with. I think becoming an actor was not as scary because they'd [already] dealt with the fact that their only child had left the house. But they saw that I was good at it; I was winning singing and performance competitions and stuff. They could see that I was doing something that really made me happy. And winning a scholarship, I didn't have any of their help to do that stuff. I did that off my own back. I think that when you see your child do something like that independently of you at such a young age—if it was me, like my mum and dad did, I'd just support them and be there for them. I was just lucky that I had gotten into this college and I was moving to the city I had always wanted to live in. It must be weird having one child though. They were very protective; you're quite precious I guess to them because they only have one. But it all worked out.
BROWN: What did you want to be when you were five?
EVANS: I probably wanted to be a shopkeeper, because I like tills.
BROWN: Did you ever think about just becoming a singer?
EVANS: All the time. I think my dream would have been to be a solo artist. But it didn't work out like that, and I also love to sing lots of musical stuff; I was really good at that, I've got a big voice. I dropped into musical theater and really enjoyed it and I sang for about nine years of my career. I left college two months before I graduated to play the juvenile lead in a new musical in the West End.
BROWN: Have you ever had played a character where you felt like, "I really connect with this character, this is me."
EVANS: Yes. Quite a few times. I felt that with Bard the Bowman [in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug], although I'm not a father yet. I felt his human spirit. I understood it completely and what he was fighting for. He was willing to take on a dragon the size of the Empire State Building to save his people with one arrow. He was the most self-sacrificing man and I admired him. He was a fantastic character to play. Weirdly I felt the same for Vlad Tepes in Dracula, because we brought the human side to that character. He was fighting for his family and his child and for his people. He chose the wrong route but it was with a pure heart and a pure objective. Then there are other times you don't have any connection to them and you have to really find a connection. There's always a connection to be made whether you're playing a psychopath or whatever. It doesn't really matter; you've got to find this thing that you relate to with each character otherwise you're missing something.
BROWN: How did you get cast as Gaston in Beauty in the Beast? What was the process like?
EVANS: I had to audition. They wanted to hear everybody. I can tell you huge names that were in the room before me and after me. I was like, "Fuck." Everybody was being seen for these roles, and for Gaston especially. It's a great role, and he has this big song—well, there are a few big songs. I went in and met Bill Condon and it was quite nice. Sometimes when you audition it's quite a nerve wracking thing, you're quite exposed and maybe have only had the script for a few days before. I remember going in and I knew the song and I knew that I could sing it really well—that's what I've done my whole career up until this point. It was one of those moments where I could relax and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it, knowing that vocally I could do it. It was quite nice to see Mr. Condon's face at the end of it smiling away. I was like, "Okay, well I think I've done something right in this room." But I went back twice to try different things and it was great. It's quite nice to audition sometimes. I'm in a fortunate position that sometimes you just get offered roles—they're not necessarily the roles you take, but to get offered a film is amazing. I think the work you've done before that is why you get it. But when you audition for something you do feel a little bit more legit. It's a validation that you are the right person for the job because they've chosen and they've seen you do something connected to that role. I loved every second of [the film]. It was thrilling. You just felt like you were on a big MGM set of a musical. It's huge and it's breathtaking, some of the stuff that we shot. I can't wait to see the final cut.
BROWN: Do most people in the film world know that you come from a musical background?
EVANS: No. That's the best bit. Obviously more and more people will find out, [but] I don't think a lot of people know that I can sing. It's not common knowledge.
Read the full interview at Interview.