All the time I was thinking, I cannot wait for the rest of the cast to meet this person…
When we first got told that Steve Evets was interested in playing Gordon, my first instinct was to hit the web and search for all I could find.
It didn’t take long. Looking for Eric was the first big hit of many. What a film, this nominated actor was coming into the mix, and bringing with him a wealth of talent, acting experience, and northern gruffness along with a huge slice of kindness.
So first things first, getting in contact. I was already one of Steve’s Twitter troops, and he was one of mine. I was looking for poster ideas, and I thought, why not ask him for a photo? What’s the worst that could happen? The reply came back, “Sure, you mean a sort of headshot kinda thing?”
Within minutes, they started to come through, The classic Evets headshot complete with roll-up. The ex teddy boy from yesteryear, and the.. well you can caption that one.
I thought then, The Claimants are synonymous with the mugshot. Could I ask him if he would pose for it? So I set to work, and Steve was so accommodating, up for it, and “whatever you need man” attitude.
After a phonecall, it was set. 3pm Wednesday at Steve’s house. I roped my girlfriend into ironing the backdrop, didn’t even dare to take the chance myself. (Imagine showing up with iron marks all over it!) I was meeting our director Paul at 1, so I got him to accompany me. (Nerves!)
We arrived at Casa Evets, the door swung open and we were greeted with the kindest, gruffest voice I’d heard, a huge smile and the next thing we were upstairs in the living room.
I cast my eyes over a treasure trove of knickknacks, film memorabilia (a clacker board from Looking for Eric) as I sat and listened to Steve and Paul chewing the fat – Paul had directed Steve in Death in Paradise.
Steve makes us both a brew, and we got to talking about The Claimants, the script open on Steve’s laptop, as he and Paul bounced ideas around.
It was coming up to my involvement, I’d just been there along for the ride, absorbing all these two greats were saying, listening and making mental notes in case they asked me anything.
Steve said “Right, I’ll go put some hair gel in, and I’m good to go.”
He came back with a tube and started to style his hair, no mirror, just freestyle. “There that’s it, don’t even know who’s gel this is?” Had he found it, borrowed it from a neighbour? Do you knock on next door and ask a neighbour, can I just lend some gel?
The backdrop was put up, and I set to work, placing Steve where he needed to be. A few test shots, and we went in for it. The final product…
We said our farewells and Paul asked “You’re coming tonight, you know where you’re going?”
Steve’s last words to us “Yeah I know it round there, know where I’m going, be there for 7.30.”
We got into our cars, and drove off.
It couldn’t have been more than 2 minutes, I was thinking, I cannot wait for the rest of the cast to meet this incredible person, so down to earth and naturally funny. My phone pinged; “Erm… where am I going tonight, send over the address?”
I laughed out loud. The man had just give me an acting lesson right there and then. I believed, no I was convinced he knew where he was going, he knew it like the back of his hand. Then this text..
I arrived at the rehearsal space, and thought, hope my directions were right? I’d copied them from an email. What if it took him somewhere random? My phone started ring.. “Steve Evets”…
I thought, yep I’ve sent him somewhere else, he’s now standing in a dark room thinking “where are they?” Or even worse “Chris, where have you sent me?”
Luckily enough I heard JB (Christian) say he’s seen him. I went on the hunt, I found him and brought him to the room, knocking on the door, and turned and gestured a hand for Steve to go in first.
.. Gordon had entered The Claimants.