Actor Luke Evans discusses his career to date at An Audience with event in Cardiff
Luke pledges support for BAFTA’s charitable work to reach diverse audiences to promote roles in the film, games and television industry
We have today announced that actor Luke Evans has become the charity’s ambassador and will support BAFTA to reach out to individuals from all backgrounds throughout Wales to encourage them to consider roles in the film, games and television industry.
The new role was announced at a special event for 300 public and industry guests at the National Museum of Wales, where Luke spoke about his career path and the importance of his Welsh roots with fellow actor Celyn Jones.
The event, supported by Wales Screen, offered young people from Welsh Universities and Into Film Cymru the chance to hear about Luke’s early years training in Cardiff and his swift trajectory to feature films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Girl on the Train and High Rise and television series The Alienist.
BAFTA Cymru exists to celebrate, inspire and inform those interested in working in the creative media industry by hosting the annual British Academy Cymru Awards, now in its 27th year, and 100 varied events each year.
These events offer access to those working at the height of their profession, many of whom are BAFTA nominees and winners. In 2018 alone, these events will have engaged with 7,500 individuals and have resulted in employment, personal network development and signposting of career starters to additional support. BAFTA Cymru also opens its network of members to student and career starter members, offering them access to advice and events to help them develop their pathway into the industry.
Luke, who is originally from Aberbargoed, said: “Acting isn’t about class, but passion. If it’s in your blood and it’s your passion, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you’ll make it. My dad is a builder and my mum was a cleaner. So if I can make it, anybody can. I’m looking forward to helping BAFTA reach out to communities across Wales and encourage everyone to find out more about this charity and investigate their potential future in this growing Welsh industry.”
Luke Evans was born in Pontypool and grew up in Aberbargoed, in South Wales. He moved to Cardiff at the age 17. He then won a scholarship to the London Studio Centre, and graduated in 2000.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “We’re very proud of Luke and his achievements, and delighted that he’s been the star of our recent tourism marketing adverts. As well as being a fantastic ambassador for Wales and a passionate Welshman, he’ll be an excellent Ambassador for BAFTA Cymru. Increasing diversity within the industry is something I am passionate about and, we recently hosted a large film and TV Diversity event in Cardiff, aimed at introducing under-represented creative people to routes of entry into careers in production. It’s wonderful to hear that Luke is also helping to promote roles in the film, games and television industry to a much more diverse audience, and I wish him well in his role."
Hannah Raybould, Director BAFTA Cymru, said:
“BAFTA Cymru has celebrated creative media talent through our annual Awards for 27 years and we are engaging with a sector that is growing in scope, reach, size and success. As one of Wales’ leading charities, we need to play out part in encouraging new talent, from all backgrounds and from across the country, to consider a career in the industry and then support them to make their first connections.
As a membership organisation, we can offer a support structure and network which includes international filmmakers, network television producers, game producers and more and we want to make it clear that we are open to all – members and the public.”
“The ideal scenario would be for a filmmakers to join when at college or University and that we can help them find the information and contacts needed to develop their career and in a few years time, they are standing on stage at our Awards making an acceptance speech. And then we get them to offer a masterclass and the cycle starts again!”