Actor Rupert Evans talks about the latest series of Charmed.
When interviewing an actor from overseas it is often a good idea to find a New Zealand connection.
Maybe they have been to our shores or have family here or perhaps they are working alongside a famous Kiwi.
In the case of Charmed actor Rupert Evans, I thought I’d found the perfect New Zealand link when I asked him about one of his castmates, Craig Parker, a former Shortland Street star who appeared in The Lord Of The Rings and US series Reign.
“You should probably be talking to him not me,” deadpans Evans when I asked him about Parker. “Sorry to let you down. What can I say?”
In the rebooted version of fantasy drama series Charmed, Evans plays Professor Harry Greenwood who is a whitelighter, a sort of guardian angel who looks out for the show’s three main witch characters.
Parker has a guest role as evil businessman Alastair Cane. At the time I spoke to Evans, Charmed was still in production and he and Parker had not filmed any scenes together.
“I haven’t yet worked with him but I hear he’s a delight to work with,” says Evans of Parker.
“He wears snappy suits and looks very dashing.”
The current season of Charmed is a remake of a show about three sisters who are also witches.
Actors from the original series include Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano, who have both been advocates for the #MeToo movement. Another well-known face in the production was Shannen Doherty of Beverly Hills, 90210.
Charmed’s reboot is set in a fictional college town and is filmed in Vancouver where Evans is currently based.
“There are about 50 shows being filmed here at the moment,” Evans says.
“I’ve spent many years here on
different shows for some reason. It’s just the way it is. It has everything we need. It doubles for America.
“It has great outdoor scenery, very much like New Zealand. I wish we were in New Zealand. I’d love to go to New Zealand.
“I’ve been to Australia but I just haven’t quite got to New Zealand. I’m a huge cricket fan and a great admirer of the New Zealand cricket team. And I hope one day to come (to New Zealand) to watch England play. That’s my great hope.”
Evans belongs to a cricket club in the UK but admits he doesn’t play as much as he would like.
“Sadly, I’m getting too old and I’m just too busy really,” he says.
It is a valid point. These days his free time is limited.
“I have children so I don’t really have a life,” jokes Evans, who is a father of two little ones.
“I have a 10-week-old baby so I don’t really sleep or do anything at the moment.
“But when I do have time I like to keep fit so I do a lot of running. That keeps me more mentally sane more than anything else. But at the moment it’s just learning my lines and working really.”
Evans, who was born and raised in Britain, enjoyed acting as a hobby when he was younger but didn’t really consider it as a career option until he was at university.
“I was (studying) English or business or something like that,” he says. “But I ended up at university doing more theatre than I’d ever done before. I thought I would grow out of it but I ended up doing more and more.
“My passion for theatre really grew at university and then I thought, ‘Maybe I should think about doing this as a job’.
“Then I went to drama school for a number of years after that. I was an eternal student for many years before I got my act together.”
Evans’ first paid on-screen acting gig was a tiny role in the British sitcom My Family where he played the boyfriend of Janey Harper (Daniela Denby-Ashe).
“I only had two words and that was, ‘I’m Tom’,” he remembers. “I was terrified.”
More television work followed. His acting CV includes British dramas such as The Village, World Without End and Fleming. For the past few years, Evans has had a starring role in the US sci-fi thriller The Man In The High Castle. With seemingly more British actors like Evans landing parts on US programmes, you wonder if it is now becoming easier to secure work across the Atlantic.
“I don’t know if it’s easier but I think that the industry is open to us but you have to work really hard to get a gig in America,” says Evans. “We get about, us Brits. I don’t know why. I think we’re just cheap to be