c. 1960, Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
|Behind the scenes|
Steve Evets, born Steven Murphy (c. 1960) is an English actor and musician, who found fame in the leading role in the 2009 film Looking for Eric. He was also seen in Robin Hood, Brighton Rock and Ken Loach's Looking for Eric, for which he received a nomination for Best Actor at the 2009 European Film Awards. His numerous television appearances in the U.K. included Heartbeat, Gifted, Buried, Blood Strangers, Shameless, No Angels, The Eleventh Hour, See No Evil, Life on Mars, The Royal Today, The Street and The Rev, among many others. Steve Evets portrayed Purser in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Born in Salford, Lancashire, Evets joined the Merchant Navy after leaving school, but was kicked out after three years, after jumping ship twice in Japan and spending his eighteenth birthday in a Bombay brothel He then briefly worked delivering pipes before starting his acting career, initially by forming a street theatre company with two friends. As there was already a Steve Murphy on the books of Equity, he decided on the stage name Steve Evets: "The first thing that popped into my head was 'Steve' backwards, so I put that on the form." In 1987, Evets was stabbed through the liver, lung and diaphragm, glassed in the face and had his throat cut in a pub fight. He spent time on a life support machine.
Steve Evets moved into theatre work, and had small roles in several television series such as See No Evil: The Moors Murders, The Cops, Casualty, Life on Mars, Shameless, and Emmerdale. In between acting roles, he worked under the name Adolph Chip-pan, performing political comedy poetry in Manchester. He also worked as a musician, and was introduced to Mark E. Smith of the Fall in the mid-1990s, leading to Evets performing his poetry at some Fall gigs. When Smith found that Evets could play bass guitar, he was drafted into the band in Turkey after previous bassist Jim Watts had been sacked. He played in The Fall between 2000 and 2002, before leaving to front his own band, Dr Freak's Padded Cell, which he described as "electronic dance music with sort of very political overtones", even getting Smith to provide guest vocals on one track; Evets made a video for the track and posted it on YouTube, much to the dislike of Smith, ending their friendship.
His first major film role came in 2008, playing a terminally-ill alcoholic who uses a wheelchair, alongside Robert Carlyle, in Kenneth Glenaan's award-winning Summer. He followed this with the lead role in Ken Loach's 2009 film Looking for Eric, starring alongside Eric Cantona. This role saw him tipped for the Best Actor award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2010 he appeared as the hard-drinking Colin in the acclaimed TV series Rev. Evets was also set to play the role of Morty in Vertigo Films' Guinea Pigs, a micro-budget horror film about volunteers fighting for their lives after a drug trial goes wrong. The film also stars Aneurin Barnard, Alex Reid, Chris Larkin, Oliver Coleman, Nia Roberts, Skye Lourie, Jack Doolan and Amit Shah and is scheduled for release in 2012 in the UK.