In “The Raven,” when a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s darkest works, young Baltimore detective. Emmett Fields (Evans) joins forces with Poe (Cusack) in aquest to get inside the killer’s mind in order to stop him from making every one of Poe’s brutal stories a blood chilling reality. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, which escalates when Poe’s love (Alice Eve) becomes the next target.
Evans talks about “The Raven” in the following interview:
Question: When you’re playing in the world of Edgar Allan Poe, did you feel the need to do a lot of research and learning about the period?
Luke Evans: Well what’s great about when you do something that has an essence of history or factual evidence or anything like that, which this movie does, even though it’s a fictionalized story of the last five days of his life, they are talking about a real person. There is so much information and fantastic biographies out there on Poe, and obviously his work. So I had plenty of reference.
Q: Talk a little bit about working with John Cusack. Did you guys develop a rapport off set? Were you able to enjoy hanging out?
Evans: John’s such a versatile actor, he’s worked on everything. He does comedy, drama, thrillers; he can turn his hand to any sort of genre. When he took on the role of Poe, you can see from his performance in the film that he really did his work and he did a huge amount of research on the character of Poe and his personality and in the way he spoke and all the idiosyncracies that made up Edgar Allen Poe. And as an actor—I still think of myself as new to this film business, it’s only been like 3 and a half years, maybe 4 years—to be able to work opposite somebody like John is a gift. It’s just a gift. It’s like sitting in a Master class and watching how slight nuances in their performance can change the whole scene. So for me it was a real pleasure to work with him. The guy is great on and off the screen. We had great dinners when we weren’t working, good chats. He’s a real great guy. I hope we get to work together again one day.
Q: One of the things I admire about the film is there is some blood and guts, especially with the fact the Poe wrote a lot of pulp, he was a blood and guts guy. Are you happy that the rating is an R and that they are not shying away from blood in the film?
Evans: I think it’s absolutely essential, out of respect for Poe’s work, that this fictionalized story of those murders were told in the graphic portrayal that they have been. I think that it would have been such a—it would have been dishonorable if we had done anything but make it an R and allow people to squirm in their seats.
Q: Can you talk about, with your character, how much changed, if anything, from when you first got involved to what audiences are going to be able to see on screen?
Evans: Not a huge amount changed. I think the only thing that might have changed slightly during was just the emotional journey that my character took and where we took him. Myself and the director, James McTeigue, talked an awful lot about how his character is juxtapositioned against the Poe character, and how one is still a straight man and who’s trying to keep the crazed, incensed Poe character on the straight and narrow, trying to keep him from losing it and not being able to be an asset to finding this killer. After that, I don’t think the script changed a huge amount while we were working on it. Obviously as the film goes on your character develops and sometimes things need to be tweaked and certain lines don’t really benefit the character anymore, so yeah they will sort of edit as we were going along, but nothing crazy.
Q: In the last few years your career has taken a huge trajectory upwards, being in a lot of high profile projects, can you talk a little about what it’s been like for you?
Evans: Yeah, you could say that, because it was never really part of my plan to be in films, it was really sort of a dream. When it happened and the ball dropped and started rolling very fast, it took a few jobs before I took a breather and sort of put everything into perspective. It has been an incredible last few years of my life. My friends back at home are still in shock as to where I am and what I’m doing and that it actually is happening to me and not somebody else. But, no, it’s brilliant, it is like winning the lottery, and I’m having the best time. I mean who wouldn’t? This is the best job on the planet.