Your upcoming movie Shadow Boxer - in a few words, what is it
Boxer is about a man's struggle to find validation and acceptance from
his father. In the film we see Mason, played by myself, fighting his former stable
buddy, played by pro boxer Humzah Awan, for the world title. The film
opens in the middle of the 9th round. The plot twist here is that
Mason's father, who is an ex-boxing world champion and legend, played by
James Cosmo, is in his opponentsí corner.
Well youíll have to watch it to find out.
Being a former professional boxer yourself, is
any of Shadow Boxer based on personal experiences? And other
sources of inspiration when writing your movie?
massively, Shadow Boxer was inspired entirely from my life and career.
Without giving too much of the story away, Shadow Boxer deals with
issues such as depression, anxiety, expectations and the mental
wellbeing of a young man and his struggle dealing with these life
issues. The film is based on true events that I experienced as a boxer,
where I myself had to deal with such struggles. Iím hoping this film
will speak to young men and women everywhere and help them in some way.
This was the drive behind writing Shadow Boxer. Ross McGowan and Craig
McDonald-Kelly were on the same wave length when helping develop and
write the script.
years, a great many films about boxing have been produced - so what do you
think sets yours apart from the crowd?
reasons why this film is different to what everyone has seen before in a
boxing movie is that the fighting is done by two professional boxers,
this gives the fighting authenticity. Also, we filmed the fight scene in
front of a live boxing audience, where we only had 30 minutes from start
to finish. After
seeing the rough version of the film, I can hand on heart say that we
really have delivered a great film with amazing fighting, fantastic
acting and a unique storyline with a message that will speak to people
everywhere: 'Validation is from within.'
According to my
information, Shadow Boxer is the first film you also stepped behind
the camera - so what made you choose exactly this movie to branch out for
the first time?
all honesty, as an actor, writer, director and producer I wanted to
produce something that I know about. I know boxing, I know the emotions
a boxer feels in the ring, I know family issues, I knew how to put this
all together. With the help of Deadline Films UK we managed to produce a
film that has been in my head for 5 years.
What were the challenges of bringing Shadow
Boxer to the screen from a producer's point of view?
We had a huge amount of challenges with this project. To name but a few, we
needed a live boxing event to film in front of, and the first promotion
fell through, so then I had to find another event to film on. Thatís
when I spoke to Ring King Events who allowed us to film on their show.
Being a low budget production we also faced some issues with actors/crew
commitment - we had a few members pull out of the months - but this
didnít stop us and I can honestly say I wouldnít change the cast and
crew that we had on the night, they were all amazing. Most
challenges we had were due to the one shot movie sequence. Overcoming
this was down to the sheer brilliance and vision of director Ross
McGowan. When you see the film you will wonder how we did it.
also play the lead in Shadow Boxer - so what did you draw upon to
bring your character to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind
from the get-go?
was always going to be played by/based on me and my experiences. As a
pro boxer there was an immense amount of stories and moments in my life
and career that I could have written about. I went with this particular
story because It was based on the biggest turning point in my life and
What can you tell us about the look and
feel of your movie?
took inspiration from Raging Bull and Creed - when you see our film,
youíll get what I mean and feel great nostalgia!
Do talk about your co-director Ross
McGowan, and what was your collaboration like?
met Ross on the set of a feature film at the end of 2018, he was crew
and I was part of the cast. We remained friends, and at the wrap party
we discussed collaborating in the future - I took the opportunity to
present my idea of Shadow Boxer, which he then helped to develop over a
Nandos. Ross with his great industry experience and wealth of ideas - it
was a no brainer to ask him to be the lead director of Shadow Boxer,
while I directed the boxing scenes to ensure they were authentic.
movie without some action - so do talk about the boxing scenes in Shadow
Boxer for a bit, and how were they achieved?
pet peeve of mine in fighting films is when the storyline is great, but
the action looks staged. I always wondered why they hadnít used
real fighters, so I took it upon myself to ensure the boxing scene was
realistic - having the 2 boxers of professional standard, and to the
point that I actually took some punches.
can you tell us about Shadow Boxer's key cast, and why exactly
already explained some background with regards to the boxers, however
the role of Eddie Royce had to be played by someone of great stature and
authority. Who better than film veteran James Cosmo - I was absolutely
thrilled when he accepted to join the key cast. My cornermen in the
film, David and Craig also work together as part of Deadline Films
so were able to demonstrate their chemistry in the film too.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the
24 cast and crew got on so well, rehearsals every week, we became like a
family. Everyone gave it their all, I couldnít have been happier with
who worked on Shadow Boxer.
The $64 question of course, when and
where will your movie be released?
are happy to announce that Shadow Boxer will be having a private
screening and released on Sunday 3rd November 2019.
You'll also appear in
Guy Ritchie's upcoming The Gentlemen - so what's that about, what
can you tell us about your character, what was it like to work with Mr.
Ritchie, and how did you get involved with that project in the first
Guy Ritchie is one of my all time favourite directors - especially his
work in Rocknroller and Snatch. My agent Mandy Perryment got me the
casting (I was over the moon) and a week later I discovered Iíd got
the part! As Iíve signed an NDA I canít disclose much about the
film, however I will say that itís a throwback to his classic English
gangster movies and I canít wait to see it - I had some of the best
weeks on that set.
Other future projects you'd like to talk about?
now itís all about promoting Shadow Boxer and taking it to film
festivals globally, as well as getting myself ready for the upcoming
pilot season in LA. I will be going to LA in October to set everything
up for January.
mentioned above, you're a former professional boxer - so do talk about
that aspect of your career for a bit, and what made you switch to acting
eventually? And did you receive any training as an actor, and to what
extent has your being a boxer prepared for your career as a thespian?
a nutshell, I had an amazing professional boxing career - 6 amateur
international gold medals, national ABA title, and the professional
international welterweight title, to name a few of my accolades.
However due to a hand injury, I was advised by my surgeon to withdraw
from boxing for a substantial amount of time, so I went back to my first
love - acting. Iíve acted since I was young whether it be
events/college/theatre... In recent years Iíve gone to the Actors Centre in Leicester Square every month or so to continuously grow my
acting skills. One thing I can definitely say is the discipline needed
to be a successful boxer has certainly helped me in the acting world. I
always give castings 100%, and when I go into the room I remind myself
that I once fought in Wembley Arena in front of 10,000 people.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Shadow Boxer?
into the acting world can always be a bit of a slow burner, but with a
few credits under your belt, momentum builds up. Iím fortunate enough
to say that over the last 2 years Iíve been a part of some high
profile company commercials, such as Samsung and Heineken, as well as 2
feature films - one of which I play the lead.
would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
go about my acting career the same way I carry myself in general life -
being kind to everyone I come across. A major difference between boxing
and acting is that as an actor itís of upmost importance to be
vulnerable (to the story) - the complete opposite to boxing in fact. As
an actor all I care about is portraying the character as truthfully as
possible - taking the background, emotion and flaws into account, not
just that moment/scene.
Actors (and indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
me, Tom Hardy is the actor Iíve always aspired to be like. As of late,
Iíve seen a lot more of Matthew McConaughey's work - his acting
ability and natural talent really impress me.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your favourite movies?
Matrix, 300, Rocknroller and Braveheart.
and of course, films you really deplore?
300 Part 2, Matrix 2 and 3... Some films are just better left at 1!
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Facebook: Chris Flash Evangelou
for the interview!