Evan Evagora is the young Australian model-turned-actor who co-stars in the eighth series in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Picard, executive-produced by Patrick Stewart no less! Before that, he was in Fiji filming the horror-film adaptation of the popular 70’s hit TV show Fantasy Island. Evan grew up in inner city Melbourne the youngest of seven siblings and was pretty focused on sport, he played AFL and was a boxing champ until he decided to give that all up and study film. With aspirations to become a director he quickly got sidetracked into modelling, and now acting, which is turning out to be a very good life decision.
SO, WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU FOUND OUT YOU’D BEEN CAST IN PICARD? I called my mum! She’s a big Star Trek Fan. It was about six in the morning I think in Fiji and we had just wrapped filming on Fantasy Island when I got the phone call.
Evan wears GUCCI
SHE MUST HAVE BEEN SO EXCITED! HAD SHE HELPED YOU WITH YOUR AUDITION? No, a friend of mine did — my roommate in Sydney. He helped me with the script and everything — I was a bit freaked out. As soon as I found out it was Star Trek I just really wanted the part. I read the character description and I was like “Oh, okay, I kind of find this character really relatable; I think I could pull this off!” But obviously after leaving the audition room I wasn’t as confident… I started to think maybe it wasn’t the best audition. Then the next day I was like “Oh, I know I didn’t get it; this is what I did wrong.” But then they called and asked me to re-audition with one of the directors, and I did that, and then all of a sudden that was it. Then I got a call the next day before I boarded the plane being like, “We’re gonna send a contract and start sorting your American visa to get you here as quickly as possible!”
Evan wears PRADA pants and stylists own singlet, socks & slides
WOW, AND HOW QUICKLY DID YOU MOVE THERE? After the end of Fantasy Island it was maybe a few weeks, I got back to Sydney, told my roommate, and then started clearing all of my stuff out and sending it back home. I went home for a couple of weeks and just waited for my visa!
IS IT TOUGH BEING BASED IN AUSTRALIA TO LAND A ROLE OVERSEAS, SINCE YOU CAN’T GO TO CASTINGS IN PERSON? OR IS AUDITIONING OVER SKYPE THE NORM?
I would say normally, but because of the streaming services in movies and the amount of content that’s been created, the companies aren’t just looking in America anymore — they’re going to New Zealand, they’re going to London, they’re coming to Australia, they’re really broadening their scope on who they want and where they’re looking for it so I actually think if I had auditioned for the role in America I actually don’t think I would have had as good a chance because they were so focused on looking in Australia, so it kind of benefitted me.
Evan wears PRADA
HOW LONG HAD YOU BEEN PURSUING ACTING BEFORE YOU WERE IN FANTASY ISLAND? I was doing modelling and then I went to film school a year out from high school, so I learned how to workshop actors from the directors side of things as opposed to the acting side of things. So as soon as I got cast in modelling I started to want to give acting a go. I love everything about film and television you know! Like writing, producing, every aspect of it. I’ve always had people say I should pursue it, but I never really thought about it until I got scouted. From then on I always saw modelling as a stepping stone to acting.
Evan wears GUCCI
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM ROLE? I do like anti-heroes a lot. People who do good things but the way in which they go about it isn’t necessarily the best. Flawed characters.
Evan wears GUCCI
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE GETTING READY FOR THE STAR TREK ROLE? I’d say the stunt fighting training. It was pretty rigorous. But I have a big boxing background so that came in handy with the auditions, but then they asked “Do you have any sword fighting experience?” I was like, “Um… I have none of that’. “Do you have any stunt fight training?”. Like no, but I was always willing to give it a go. [Laughs]
HOW WAS SWORD FIGHTING? It definitely wasn’t easy, learning the proper stances and the proper way to swing the sword. And then when you get a camera involved as well, you’ve got to learn how to block it so it looks like someone’s actually been hit, or stabbed or you’re actually being hit, you know? That was probably the biggest challenge.
DOES THE CAST ALL LEARN STUNT TRAINING TOGETHER? No. My character is meant to be an expert in hand-to-hand combat and weapons. There are a few other characters like that and they went through the stunt fight training for their fight sequences but not everyone in the cast has to do it. Patrick does his own stunts, not all but a lot of them.
SO WHAT ARE YOU UP TO NEXT? I’ve got season two to film next year and then I’ve got a few auditions that are coming up. Oh, and also New York Comic Con.
ARE YOU EXCITED TO SEE ANYONE IN PARTICULAR AT COMIC CON? Well, my cast mates because it’ll be the first time we’ve seen each other since filming. I mean, you never know who you’re going to see. I saw Andy in L.A and Terry Crews. I saw Kristen Bell from The Good Place. You just randomly see all these celebrities but that’s when you realise that they’re normal people because you’re doing it and they’re doing it.
DO YOU WANT TO GET BACK INTO DIRECTING? I’ve actually written a short film! It was kind of funny that Jo’s idea for this Doingbird shoot was a B-Grade monster movie because that’s what a few friends of mine back in L.A were talking about making — a really badly dubbed kung fu movie, a bad film noir, a really bad zombie flick. Kind of just for the fun of it!