Five Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will the actor Luke Evans make of our existential questions?
What is the meaning of life?
To be good and kind and content. Even one of those things is hard to attain in this world.
What is the difference between right and wrong?
I think, what would my mum and dad say? I was brought up with a good sense of what was morally right and wrong, so I ask myself whether they’d be proud of my decision.
Where is your happy place?
In the arms of my loved ones.
Nature or nurture?
I think certain things in life are given and you can’t change them. But a bit of love and attention can change the whole outlook of someone’s life.
Is it more important to be liked or respected?
Respected. To be liked is a nice feeling, but to be respected is a much deeper, more authentic thing. Someone is looking up to you.
If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?
For making people smile. And for being curious. I come from a family of curious people – I hope that I’m asking questions until the day I die.
Who or what is your greatest love?
My mum and dad. I share my whole journey in life with them.
When did you last lie?
Recently. I have a friend who has a little daughter and she asked me if LeFou from Beauty And The Beast lived in my house with me, and I said yes [Evans played Gaston in the 2017 film].
Does the supernatural exist?
No. I’ve thought about this quite deeply, and I think it’s something that’s just gestated over the millennia. A lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
Are you fatalistic?
Part of me is. I don’t think that everything is mapped out, but that the choices we make can change the course of our life dramatically.
What is your greatest fear?
Being lonely. As an only child, I think I probably spent a lot of time in my own head, which I don’t mind, but holding onto connections as I get older has become really important to me.
What talent do you yearn for?
I would love to speak another language. I’m learning Spanish, but it’s taking forever.
Do you like to be complimented?
I do! But I’m not very good at it. I get embarrassed. I don’t like talking about my work because when you’re famous that’s all people want to talk about. I like to get over that quite quickly.
Do you have a high pain threshold?
Very high. I bite the skin on my thumbs to the point that they become really painful.
What book do you recommend most to others?
To Shake The Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins [a memoir about how Jenkins cycled solo from Oregon to Patagonia]. It’s beautiful. It made me believe in humanity a bit more.
Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?
That sometimes you have to accept your mistakes. Especially if you’ve hurt someone.
What food sums up happiness?
Sticky toffee pudding and custard. I’ve even convinced people who don’t have a sugary tooth how good it is.
What have you never understood?
What satisfaction bullies get from being nasty. I can’t understand it.
What is the one thing you want to know before you die?
What it’s like to be a dad.
Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?
I don’t give death that much thought. I don’t think anything happens; I don’t believe there’s a heaven or a hell. We have this very small moment to exist on this planet – to do good and kind things.
Quinoa or Quavers?
Quinoa for the health; Quavers for the soul.
Luke’s debut album At Last is out on 22 November.