In just four short years, Luke Evans has risen through the acting ranks in rapid succession, going from smaller roles in Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood to much bigger parts in The Three Musketeers, Immortals and The Raven. Following roles in No One Lives and Fast & Furious 6, the actor capped off a stellar 2013 by playing Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which arrives on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD April 8. I recently had the chance to speak with this talented actor about taking on this coveted role, the archery training he had to go through to play Bard the Bowman, working with director Peter Jackson, while giving us updates on upcoming projects such as Dracula Untold and The Crow. Take a look at what he had to say in our exclusive interview below.

First off, did you read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings books when you were growing up in Wales?

Luke Evans: No, I didn't read The Lord of the Rings books. They were too big for me, I'm a slow reader, but I watched the films and I thought they were fantastic. I was in theater when the first one came out, and I remember going to a midnight show of the film. They've always been some of my favorite films ever, and I watched them again just recently, and they do stand the test of time. A lot of films from that time don't. They've aged very quickly, but The Lord of the Rings hasn't. It's quite interesting, which is a testament to the story and the filmmaker and the performances. The Hobbit, I did read when I was a teenager, much smaller, you see, not so scary to pick up and read. I read it again when I got the job.

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Can you talk about the archery training you went through to play Bard when you signed on?

Luke Evans: Yeah, I did a lot of training and I went to New Zealand with the amazing stunt team from The Lord of the Rings, so it was a big sort of reunion for a lot of them. It was great. It was a long bow as well, which is a hard bow to shoot an arrow from, but yeah, it was all a big learning curve.

I read this was the first film you've done where you got to use your natural Welsh accent. Was that something you anticipated happening when you first signed on?

Luke Evans: By the time I signed on, yes, that had already been sorted out. It was actually asked of me, when I went to my second audition, my final audition, to use my Welsh accent on a tape and on an interview online, and they quite liked it and thought it might be a potential accent for Bard and his family. That's why I did the audition tape in a Welsh accent, which was quite weird because I hadn't used in it forever, really, at least on film anyway. They liked it and that's now Bard's accent's and his kids' accents and any descendants from Dale who live in Laketown, they all have Welsh accents as well.

You're obviously no stranger to these types of action films after Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers and Immortals. Was there anything in particular about Peter Jackson's set that really struck a chord with you?

Luke Evans: Just the expanse of it. For starters, it's a humongous set. Also, Peter and the team there are very warm people. The New Zealander's are a great bunch. They work very well as a team, they're very warm when you arrive and they provide quite a nice atmosphere on set. There's never any sort of aggression or animosity. They won't stand for any of that. Everyone is a team player, from the top to the bottom. It was a very warm and enjoyable experience going to work.

This Blu-ray set has quite a massive making-of documentary. Were there always these behind-the-scenes guys on the set when you were shooting?

Luke Evans: Yeah, and when we weren't shooting as well. They were constantly there. I think you could watch all of that footage and it would take a year of your life, they shot so much.

Can you talk about the way Peter handles himself or the way he works on the set that is different from anyone else you've worked with?

Luke Evans: I think Peter is the happiest when he's on set. He's a director who seems to be completely comfortable when he's in his tent and he's got his microphones and we're on the side of a mountain or next to a river. He is just having a lot of fun and he enjoys what he does. It's quite contagious, as a director, the captain of the ship, enjoying the job. You enjoy the job as much as he does. It's a lovely thing and really enjoyable to watch. And, why shouldn't he enjoy it? He's creating from a piece of literary history and bringing it to life. I'm just lucky and excited to be doing it with him.

I believe the second and the third movie (The Hobbit: There and Back Again) were essentially shot back-to-back. Did you go straight from working on the second to the third, or were they all mixed in together?

Luke Evans: We would often jump from one to the other, but we didn't really know where they were going to make the cut, so we just treated it as one long story, to be honest with you. The cuts were decided upon way after the actors had left New Zealand, and that was done by Peter and the team there. As with all films I've done, and it's just part of the job, the challenge is to jump from one moment right back to the beginning. There's a scene where they're in Rivendell, and apparently, that set was at the beginning of the first film, and it was right at the end of the final one. They had to do the beginning of the first ever Lord of the Rings and do the final scene of the final third installment, after they did that whole journey. Can you imagine what that must have been like? (Laughs) That set had to be taken down, dismantled, and something else would often be built in its place. That was often the case on The Hobbit as well. There was so much going on, and there are certain things we had to shoot out of sequence, but that's part of the job.

Is there anything you can say about Dracula Untold? I've been told this version is much different that previous iterations. Do you know when we might see the first trailer?

Luke Evans: You're going to see the first trailer on the back of Godzilla. I maybe should not have told you that, I don't know. I think that's the plan. Don't hold me to that, but I think that's the plan. It's coming together very, very well. It's a huge film. It's a big, sweeping story line, you know. It's got everything you'd expect from a historical re-telling of the most famous vampire that ever lived, but what it does to distinguish itself from all the other stories about Dracula, is this is the origin story, so we focus quite heavily on the historical figure, which is Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Tepes, as I like to call him. When you call him Vlad the Impaler, everybody just assumes that's all he did every day, to impale loads of people in the forest on spikes. Yes, he did do that, but this man was also known in the history books as a very successful leader and a man who ruled over a very peaceful nation for a very long time. He was also a family man. He raised his child and loved his wife dearly and people loved him dearly too. We're bringing that element of the historical figure to light, and we want people to understand more of the human story. Then, when we get the human story up and running, that's when you realize there are things he has to sacrifice and decisions he makes, which allows us to merge the fictional story that Bram Stoker created, into the historical figure that is Vlad the Impaler. It's a really interesting story, and it's full of action. He was a warrior and there are some incredible fight sequences. As you can imagine, the special effects are off the scale. It's very exciting. I'm very, very excited about seeing it.

Is there anything you can say about The Crow? Do you start shooting that soon?

Luke Evans: Yeah, we're just finalizing everything at the moment. It's a big movie so, again, these things take a while to get up and running, but yeah, it's all in the books. We plan to start shooting that soon, actually, yeah.

I've been reading that this version will be more faithful to the comic book. Are there specific aspects that you want to bring to light in this new film?

Luke Evans: I can't really talk too much about what we're bringing to the film, that wasn't done in the first one. All I want to say is that it will be incredibly loyal to the graphic novel. If anybody knows the graphic novel, you'll know there was a lot that wasn't in the original film, so that's what they're trying to bring back, as respectfully as we can, so we don't tread on anybody's feet and disrespect the original film.

Is there anything you'd like to say to someone who didn't get to see {FI3d5444mzo253|+|The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in theaters about why they should check it out on Blu-ray and DVD?

Luke Evans: Well, it's a fantastic story. It's the middle of a very brilliant story and, with the DVD and the Blu-ray has all the special extras that were put on that, you can really get a feel for the experience that we had. It was just an epic moment in my life, and if you haven't seen the film, I'd go and see it, because it will make you want to see the third one in the cinema, absolutely, without a doubt.

That's my time. Thanks so much, Luke. It was a pleasure.

Luke Evans: No worries. Bye bye.

Check out Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug debuts on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD April 8.