SHAUN EVANS WEB
Photograph by @te_angeli.
Name: Shaun Francis Evans
Born: 6th March 1980, Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Roots: Northern Ireland
First major role: French teacher JP Keating in the television series Teachers (2002)
Feature film debut: The Great Ceili War (2003)
Professional stage debut: Blue/Orange (2005)
Best-known for: young Inspector Morse in the television series Endeavour (2012 - present)
Use of time: reading, writing, photography, travel
Social media presence: none
If not an actor, then...: a photographer, a writer, a fighter
[...] there’s so many things that I’ve thought about that are interesting, and I want to make sure that I make the most of them. I’m also going to be working with different people, seeing different parts of the world and seeing how different people do different things – photographers and film-makers. And also studying the history of things as well. There’s so much to do...

I just feel like time is of the essence, and I want to work. There have been times when I wasn’t as productive, but I don’t think I was as happy. I’ve realized what keeps me happy and what keeps me going. Seeing things, mates who inspire me to be creative. [...] I’m into doing my work.

I think it’s important to live your life the way you want to live it. Don’t live your life in fear. It’s important to me to feel free, not to be hemmed in by what others have to say about me.

Keep changing. Keep people guessing about what I'm going to do next.

​If you can keep doing different things then you’ll have a long career. I like an interesting story that I think I can do something good with and a good team of people.

​To make the most of time with people we love. If you love people, tell them you love them. Don't be losing sleep over tiny things. Life is complicated enough.

I guess I’ve always been something of an outsider. As a kid I was always more interested in watching others than being the centre of attention. I’ve always felt that you can see a lot more and learn a lot more when you’re standing on the edge. Things get too noisy when you’re at the centre of things.

​I’m a big reader. And I take a lot of pictures, do a lot of writing. Same as everyone else. But I do a lot of work. [on how he likes to spend his time off set]

I like to travel....being somewhere new. No phones or computer, seeing how other cultures live, how they have their coffee, or what music or food is popular, how they cook, what they believe in.......I love all that.​

I love that part of the world. It's just so different. You've got monks walking down the street barefoot of a morning. I was in a second-hand bookshop and I found a copy of Colin Dexter's short stories. It's funny... You go halfway around the world to a different culture, but good stories are everywhere. [on travelling to South East Asia]

It’s hard to describe, but I never thought I could make a career out of it. And I still really don’t. You know, sometimes you earn a lump sum, sometimes you earn nothing. I think it’s a falsehood to think you can have some kind of plan. Acting isn’t like that, it’s more vocational I think. The question I ask myself more is, ‘Can I survive doing this?’ Sometimes you have to do jobs in different places just to make ends meet. It’s a strange of way of life in that respect

There’s certainly been moments where I’ve thought, ‘this is an incredible job.’ There was a moment shooting at midnight and they’d decorated one of the colleges, we all had tuxedos on, and there was a band playing, and an orchestra; it was an amazing moment. I find it incredibly satisfying and gratifying.​

​​Of course, you want people to see your work, but I'm not interested in being the next so-and-so. It doesn't attract me. Mainly because it's short lived. It's better to keep working and do interesting stuff.(...) I don't spend my time being envious. There are so many variables in all that bollocks! When you desire fame or fortune - which are ephemeral things - you're building your house on sand, aren't you?​

​'I'd love to do something about poets or photographers who have done interesting things and left an impression on their portion of the world. Someone like the American photographer Walker Evans. Or the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. ​

​When you watch it as a piece of work and think, 'That was good' or, 'That's interesting that they've chosen that rather than this' or, 'That could be improved' – it's a good thing," he explains. And also to be grateful and congratulate good work where it's done, even if that's your own, you know, it's important. It helps you grow. [on watching himself back on screen]

What makes this job rewarding is the people that I get to interact with. These are people who have common interests, are more often than not at the top of their game, have something to offer and are willing to ask themselves sometimes difficult questions. I’ve always believed that, even from one of the very first jobs that I had. I thought, ‘God, these people are incredible.’ Aside from the actual work, it makes you want to be sort of the best that you can be.

I like to keep that side of things to myself,’ he says, ‘although it’s more to do with making sure I’m convincing on screen rather than not wanting to let people know about the ins and outs of my life. You need people to believe in you as a particular character and go with you and that’s easier if viewers aren’t thinking about you, the person. [on his private life]

I just don't really like starting a job if I don't know where it finishes. I want to know where something begins and ends, so that you can invest something in it. If there's no end in sight, there'd be a tendency to play yourself or to not put any creativity into it.

Those rumours sound a bit far-fetched. But you could argue that my life up to this point has been far-fetched. So you never know. [on being tipped as a future Doctor Who and a potential replacement for Daniel Craig as the next 007]
SHAUN EVANS WEB
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