AfterElton.com does not out actors, celebrities or anyone else. But nor do we "in" them or help their management to do the same.
I can't say for certain that is exactly what is going on with British actor Luke Evans, soon to be seen in the The Three Musketeers, The Immortals, and later next year The Hobbit. But that certainly seems to be the case.
We most recently wrote about Evans when he appeared at Comic-Con to promote The Immortals. Shortly thereafter we received an email from a reader pointing us to this blog which noted that back in September 2002, while starring in Boy George's Taboo, Evans gave The Advocate an interview which noted that not only was Luke out, but that he didn't have much use for the closet.
Said Evans at the time:
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 it. I knew I was going to have to do interviews with gay magazines, so I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to have to be open’. It’s who I am. And if people don’t like it, then I don’t want their jobs. I've never been a very good liar, which is another thing...
With Evans' career clearly on the ascendancy, it was looking like we might have our first high profile movie star out from the start of his career — and in action movies to boot.
However, the same blogpost that pointed us to The Advocate interview also noted that last year a report had Evans dating a woman named Holly Goodchild who told a Welsh outlet at the premiere of Tamara Drewe that she and Evans were an item. Said Goodchild, “Luke’s lovely – we’re really old friends and it just sort of happened. We are nowhere near engaged but things are really good.”
So Evans was bisexual? Many people have a sexuality that is fluid or realize their sexuality might not be just what it was when they were younger. Still, all and good. An out bisexual actor is every bit as great as a gay one.
But since Luke himself never actually mentioned he was dating Goodchild, I did more research and couldn't find anything else. Indeed, his Wikipedia page listed him as gay and cited The Advocate interview.
Wanting to be a responsible journalist, I reached out to Evan's management to try and clarify the situation. Was Luke gay? Bisexual? Maybe even straight?
During my attempts to get a comment, I noticed Evan's Wiki page had abruptly changed to this:
It's not clear who updated Evans' wikipedia page, but none of what it claims about Evans making "it clear in the past that press and private life are very seperate [sic] and should never be mixed" is sourced. Nor is it proven by Luke's past comments to the press, and not just to The Advocate.
After many attempts to get an official comment (and even an interview with Luke) we were finally given this statement from his management:
I do not comment on my client's personal lives in the media. As for Luke, he did so once, a long time ago when he was an inexperienced, young actor and now with maturity and hindsight, he has learned not to engage the press in his personal life again.
We all know how often managers, agents and publicists do in fact comment on their client's private lives. They do so every time they set up a photo shoot of an actor's family, announce a client's engagement, or have a star appear on the red carpet with their current girlfriend or boyfriend.
Not commenting on a client's personal life only seems to hold true when the said actor is gay. It should also be noted that none of this has definitively come from Evans himself. He's currently shooting The Hobbit in New Zealand, and more than one publicist in the past has acted without a client's knowledge.
Evans as Zeus in The Immortals
AfterElton.com is not insensitive to the issues involved here. It's why we don't out actors or even speculate on their sexuality. But there is also nothing wrong with asking the question which is something we have done respectfully in the past. And it's why this time we again tried to reach out to Evan's management before writing anything about this. Hollywood can still be a shockingly homophobic place at times and we understand the risk to an actor's career.
We spent a great deal of time discussing how to handle this story, and even whether we should write it. After all, if an actor wants to go back in the closet, shouldn't they be allowed to do just that? For me, it ultimately came down to two things: Evans himself had previously and clearly spoken on the topic not once, but at least twice. And his management would neither let me speak to Evans, nor provide a quote attributable to him.
I clearly understand it's the job of a publicist to worry about protecting her client. It's our job to report the truth accurately, which is what we've tried to do here.
Actors Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz and Henry Cavill at Comic-Con
Editor's Note: As of 4:29pm today, Luke Evans' Wikipedia entry has been locked down, and the section addressing his personal life has been completely removed.