Interview: Luke Evans laughs at the darkest moments in ‘No One Lives’
In the horror film “No One Lives,” the Welsh actor Luke Evans stars as Driver, a man who reveals himself to be a psychopath of epic proportions when he encounters a gang of thugs. Evans will soon be seen among the cast of “Fast & Furious 6,” which adds to a CV that already includes “Clash of the Titans,” “Immortals” and smaller films like “Tamara Drewe.”
How did you identify with a psychopath like Driver?
I guess I saw him as a tortured soul. He’s a psychopath, and sometimes psychopaths are aware of their condition but can’t do anything about it. The man is basically in love. It’s a twisted love story — one of love and ownership — two emotions that I can relate to as a non-psychopathic human being.
You get to do some pretty amazing and grisly, bloody stuff in the film, such as the unforgettable moment of Driver emerging from the “emptied” corpse of an oversized man. Did you like being covered so thoroughly in blood?
They are so grotesque and unbelievably brutal that I hope people find them entertaining as well as shocking. This is a quintessential popcorn slasher film by a director who utilizes every element of the genre to the extreme.
Should viewers be rooting for your character?
That element is what drew me to the script, because this character essentially becomes an antihero. He might be gratuitously murdering people left, right and center, but all of the people he chooses to murder aren’t the nicest of people. The director and I wanted to challenge the audience’s moral and ethical compass to see if they would start liking him.
What’s the appeal of headlining a small horror film like this?
I was intrigued to find out if making a horror film would be scary or not. I found out that it made me laugh continuously. The darker the scene, the harder I laughed. I’m not sure what that says about me.
‘No One Lives’ introduces Stockholm syndrome in Driver’s relationship with one of his captives. Can you discuss that aspect of the film?
The Stockholm syndrome fascinated me. The thing about psychopaths is that they can’t distinguish between primal emotions like fear vs. happiness, passion vs. violence. So as much as I understand these different emotions, I had to play the psychopath in him, which meant that he could be incredibly terrifying, but switch to being passionate. He is in love with the women in the film and has ownership over them. He is actually quite charismatic and these women fall for him. In doing so, they suspend belief in who this man really is.
Your character is somewhat vulnerable during an early sex scene, but more menacing walking nude to the house where his victims are holed up. Can you talk about how sex/nudity and violence are presented vis-a-vis Driver?
The nudity that my character displays [walking] in the film as opposed to the nudity you see in the sex scene are juxtaposed and represent the two different people that he is — which is a very common trait in a psychopath. Skin and the body both play important roles in this film, and I think Ryûhei [Kitamura, the director] uses them brilliantly. Standing naked covered head to toe in synthetic blood in a forest in Louisiana at 2 a.m. was a very liberating experience.