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BEST KNOWN FOR PLAY­ING THE ROLE OF BARD THE BOW­MAN IN THE HOB­BIT, WELSH AC­TOR LUKE EVANS IS SET TO CAP­TURE MORE HEARTS AS HE STARS IN THREE NEW MOVIES THIS YEAR. KARISHMA TUL­SI­DAS GETS CAN­DID WITH THE HEART­THROB DUR­ING BASEL­WORLD

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents -

Ac­tor Luke Evans gets up close and per­sonal and shares his love for Bul­gari’s watches

“Watches are time­less, and are like a piece of jew­ellery. Your watch has to rep­re­sent you and also has to blend in with what you’re wear­ing.”

It’s 11am, and the bvl­gari booth at the

Basel­world fair is packed to the brim—to be fair, it’s al­ways buzzing with jour­nal­ists and re­tail­ers. But to­day is spe­cial. In­ter­na­tional press have been in­vited to have break­fast with Luke Evans, ac­tor and brand am­bas­sador for watches for Bul­gari. As I sit down for a chat with him, his agent prof­fers strict guide­lines: no pic­tures. He smiles and asks, shall we take a selfie then?

If his good looks, an­gu­lar jaw­line and hooded eyes hadn’t al­ready cap­tured my heart, that easy charm and lilt­ing Welsh ac­cent warms me up within sec­onds. There is an in­trigu­ing po­lar­ity be­tween his easy-go­ing per­son­al­ity and the dark, sin­is­ter char­ac­ters he typ­i­cally por­trays. The day af­ter we meet, he’s off to Lon­don for the pre­miere of High Rise, his first launch of 2016. It’s yet an­other ve­hi­cle for Evans to por­tray a ne­far­i­ous, multi-lay­ered char­ac­ter, this time in the form of Richard Wilder, an al­pha male who hur­tles into a state of anarchy.

It’s a far cry from his the­atri­cal be­gin­nings, where he starred in West End pro­duc­tions Miss Saigon, Rent, and his break­through role as Boy Ge­orge’s ob­ject of af­fec­tion in the mu­si­cal Taboo. While he misses act­ing on a live stage, Evans is now mak­ing his way up to the Hol­ly­wood big leagues. From play­ing the Smaug-slay­ing Bard the Bow­man in 2013’s The Hob­bit: The Deso­la­tion of Smaug, Evans has three movies out this year alone, in­clud­ing The Girl on the Train and Mes­sage from the King.

With The Girl on the Train, Evans plays the role of a wid­ower whose wife was mur­dered. He says, “He’s a bro­ken man; it’s quite in­ter­est­ing and some­thing I haven’t played much be­fore. It’s a fun, but dark and quite sin­is­ter plot. The book is bril­liant.”

Bring­ing lit­er­ary char­ac­ters to life is some­thing he quite en­joys. “Ev­ery role I play is sort of a dream role,” he muses. “I have played a lot of char­ac­ters from books, and peo­ple have told me that I was ex­actly what they thought the char­ac­ter would look like. That’s a very lovely thing to hear.”

His se­lec­tion of more “se­ri­ous” char­ac­ters is not de­lib­er­ate: he says that he would like to do a lit­tle more ro­mance and com­edy. “I would like to play a true ro­man­tic one day, and some com­edy would be nice, have a lit­tle gig­gle ev­ery now and then.”

WATCH THIS SPACE

Evans has joined Bul­gari for its many glam­orous par­ties around the globe, but the one project that res­onates most with him is the Ital­ian brand’s sup­port of NGO Save the Chil­dren. He has par­tic­i­pated in a photo shoot for the cof­fee ta­ble book Stop Think Give, whose pro­ceeds go to the char­ity, and he has also trav­elled to an un­der­priv­i­leged neigh­bour­hood in South Wales near his child­hood home.

He says, “We met the chil­dren and their par­ents, and I saw what a suc­cess it was to give them some­thing to do af­ter school, to bring the fam­i­lies to­gether and to work as a com­mu­nity. This was an ini­tia­tive partly funded by Bul­gari. It’s nice to see that for this glam­orous, beau­ti­ful, in­cred­i­bly his­tor­i­cal lux­ury brand like Bul­gari, they haven’t for­got­ten that there are peo­ple who need help.”

Through his role as am­bas­sador for Bul­gari, he has also be­come a watch col­lec­tor over the years. He ap­pre­ci­ates the Octo, and col­lects its dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions. “I’ve had to put a safe in my house, but re­ally I shouldn’t be telling you that! Watches are time­less, and are like a piece of jew­ellery. Your watch has to rep­re­sent you and also has to blend in with what you’re wear­ing; I wear the pink gold Octo quite of­ten. It’s such a beau­ti­ful colour and seems to work with the colours I wear.”

He is par­tic­u­larly en­am­oured of the lat­est ad­di­tion to the Octo fam­ily—the ti­ta­nium Octo Finis­simo Minute Re­peater, the world’s thinnest minute re­peater. “It’s not a watch you wear to show off, it’s a watch that’s close to the wrist. It’s very per­sonal.”

Top: Evans says that his con­nec­tion with Bul­gari has been serendip­i­tous, and it has fu­elled his pas­sion for col­lect­ing watches

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