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Looking For Eric - Steve Evets interview

Steve Evets in Looking For Eric

Interview by Rob Carnevale

STEVE Evets talks about appearing in Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric, meeting Eric Cantona for the first time and how it helped him to develop a newfound appreciation for football, and how much – if any – of the script was improvised.

Q. How was sharing the screen with Eric Cantona and working with Ken Loach? Especially the first moment Eric is revealed to you?
Steve Evets: Oh, I must be the luckiest actor alive because I’m sandwiched between two living legends. I was shooting with Ken Loach and Eric Cantona and it doesn’t get any better. I didn’t know Eric was going to be in it. As you know, Ken doesn’t give you a script, he drip feeds you the scenes maybe the day before. The first time I met Eric was in that scene where I turn around and he’s there. So, as you can imagine it was quite a shock for me… a fantastic shock I’ve got to say. But that wasn’t the only shock in it, there were quite a lot of them that Ken through at us. That’s why he gave us such an in-depth medical before we started shooting.

Q. Were you much of a football fan going into this and is it true that you’ve begun following FC United?
Steve Evets: That’s right. I was never a great football lover really. I used to go to the pub with my mates but that was more of an excuse to go to the pub with my mates. I did enjoy watching the match. When I got this part and Ken gave me some DVDs of Eric, because I had to know about Eric and his goals, the more I watched, the more enthralled I got about Eric and his skill and grace on the pitch. Now, I go to FC United matches with my daughters and it’s therapy. We go there and we shout and scream and let out all this energy. It’s great if they win, and if they lose it’s bad, but at the same time it’s such a liberating, therapeutic thing. So, yeah I can’t wait for the next season to start now!

Q. How much of the script was improvised?
Steve Evets: It is scripted by Paul but you are allowed to make it your own and to change the rhythm of the words to suit as a real person would speak. It’s what gives it the natural feel. And now and again, you might throw in the odd line that might be kept in, but generally it’s Paul’s script.

Q. What’s your favourite scene?
Steve Evets: I like the scene at the end when Big Eric is coming onto the coach and he lifts the mask and says goodbye to Little Eric because we know he’s achieved… Little Eric doesn’t need him anymore because he’s found himself again. I think that’s my favourite scene.

Read our review of Looking For Eric