Battle scarred

Luke Evans talks heartache and covering Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”


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Welsh actor Luke Evans is currently in the number one movie at the US box office, Midway, alongside Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore and Dennis Quaid.

After recurring roles in The Hobbit and the Fast & Furious franchise, Evans – who has a background in musical theatre in the UK – is now highlighting another side to his talent with the release of his debut album.

At Last is a collection of classic songs that Evans say mean a lot to him. These include covers of Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” and Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”, which he has stripped back to make more melancholic.

Watch a video for James’ version of “Love Is A Battlefield” below. He does indeed have a stunning voice – which some may have noticed when he sang in the 2017 Disney live-action remake of Beauty & The Beast.

Interviewed on popular cookery podcast Table Manners this week, Evans said many of the tracks on At Last deal with heartbreak: something he has plenty of experience of in his own life.

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“I’m 40 years old. I’ve had plenty of experiences of relationships, and falling in love and then it not working out. But I also think ‘Turn Back Time’ is really as much about regret. You can’t turn back time. You can only look forward.

“The song is about, ‘If I could, what would I do different?’ … It’s actually when you hear the song when Cher plays it, you get so into the chorus, you don’t listen to the lyrics as much, and when you take it all away, you listen to it, this is a really sad, beautiful, regretful song with a really powerful lyric.”

We’re guessing that means he didn’t use his time on the Midway set – about the Battle of Midway – to re-shoot Cher’s iconic battleship-set video for the track, surrounded by sailors. More’s the pity!

Other tracks covered on the album include U2’s “With Or Without You”, Maria McKee’s “Show Me Heaven”, Etta James’ “At Last” and Roberta Flack’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”.

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When Evans first began to enjoy some success in theatre in London in 2002, appearing in the musical Taboo, he told The Advocate that although his part in the Boy George-produced musical was that of a straight man “everybody knew me as a gay man, and in my life in London I never tried to hide it.” However, since then he has rarely talked about his personal life or sexuality.

Talking with Table Manners hosts Jessie Ware and her mom, Lennie, Evans, who lives in London, also discussed being raised as Jehovah’s Witness in Wales (he left the religion when he left home at 16), how he got his break in the world of theatre, and his love of cooking.

At Last is released 22 November.