A 2002 interview actor Luke Evans gave to The Advocate, in which he spoke about being gay and his decision to live openly, has sparked debate about the Hollywood closet after details of his personal life were revised on the rising star's Wikipedia page.
The Welsh-born Evans, who was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, is on the verge of becoming a major Hollywood celebrity. In 2010 he had significant roles in the remakes of Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood. Later this year he will be seen in The Immortals, The Three Musketeers, and an adaptation of The Raven opposite Jeremy Renner. He is now in New Zealand filming Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. At the time of the interview, Evans was a novice, appearing on the London stage in Taboo, a gay-themed musical about Boy George and his relationship with outre performance artist Leigh Bowery. When he was 23-years-old Evans spoke to The Advocate about his decision to be openly gay at the outset of his career.
"Well, it was something I'd spoken to a lot of people about, including my boyfriend at the time — we've broken up now — but at the time when I just got Taboo, I knew that even though my part was a straight character everybody knew me as a gay man, and in my life in London I never tried to hide…. I knew I was going to have to do interviews with gay magazines; I knew this was going to happen. So I thought, Well, I'm going to have to be open. It's who I am."
Writers from blogs AfterElton, Gawker, and Queerty have recently commented on changes made to the actor's Wikipedia page. Under the personal life heading, readers were previously informed that "Luke Evans is openly gay." However, at some point recently the information was updated to read "Evans lives a private life and rarely speaks about his personal life." Wikipedia, which usually permits readers to update and edit biographical information about subjects, has disabled the privilege on Evans's profile. AfterElton also notes that Evans was recently linked to Holly Goodchild, a female former assistant to singer Charlotte Church, who is now working as a fashion industry marketing expert.
In a phone conversation with The Advocate, Evans's publicist acknowledged that her client gave the revealing interview in 2002, but reiterated what she told others who have contacted her for statements — that she does not comment on the personal lives of her clients. She also said that Evans wants his work to speak for itself and that he will no longer address his personal life with the media.
Paris Barclay, a respected, Emmy Award-winning television director-producer and Advocate contributor, who interviewed Evans in 2002, gave the following exclusive statement:
"I interviewed Luke Evans on July 7, 2002, via telephone. It was recorded, and I very carefully (and slowly) transcribed the interview myself. The interview took about 45 minutes, and he was as absolutely warm, winning, garrulous, and open as the snippets I used in the article would indicate. I relistened to it tonight and smiled — he's a very dry, wickedly funny young man.
"I can't help but believe those were his true feelings at the time, but for the record, I haven't spoken to him since and a lot can happen in nine years. Obviously, a lot has. Here's what I know: he's an immensely talented actor, singer, and a very capable swashbuckler. I expect we'll hear from him directly before long, and he'll deal with this situation with integrity, class, and great good humor."
Read the original interview here.