If nothing else, Luke Evans has one distinct physical attribute that makes him the perfect choice to play Dracula.

“I have my own fangs,” jokes the actor on the set of forthcoming origin actioner “Dracula Untold.” And he does – look at any photo where the “Fast & Furious 6” baddie is showing his teeth and you’ll notice his prominent canines immediately.

Fortuitous? Certainly. But of course, his pearlies aren’t what bagged him the part. Being Luke Evans did.

The Welsh actor has been such a ubiquitous big-screen presence over the last several years that it’s easy to forget that his first major Hollywood film, 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” is only four years old.  Since then he’s racked up quite an impressive resume, from Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Three Musketeers” to sword-n-sandals actioner “Immortals” to “F&F 6” to his role as the Bard in the last two entries of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy – the last of which is set premiere this December.

Except that “Untold” (formerly titled “Dracula Year Zero”) is something a bit different: Evans’ very first leading-man role in a Hollywood film. So is he feeling the pressure?

“[It’s] no more intimidating than anything else I've ever done,” says Evans, wearing a gray hoodie over his medieval costume (leather vest and pants, chainmail skirt, et al.) Then again: “It is responsibility. It's a legendary character, first portrayed in [1931] by Universal, and they're bringing it back to the screen, and my name's on the back of everybody's chair. It's like, 'woah!' It's an exciting thing.”

Luke Evans in Dracula Untold

Indeed, there’s a sense that Evans knows the stakes here – a big-budget, effects-heavy studio film with his name in pole position isn’t something to take for granted, and he certainly hasn’t. In addition to the physical preparation and maintenance required for the part – Evans’ trainer, who has traveled with the actor over the course of two films now, has held him to a punishing workout and diet regimen – Evans has worked intensively with director Gary Shore and the screenwriters on developing the script for “eight to nine months,” by his own estimation.

“[That] is quite a long time before starting a movie,” he points out. “Working with Gary on the script, and talking to him on a weekly basis from wherever we were in the world. And so there's been a lot of dialogue, and a lot of conversations about his journey, and loads of change in that time. It's been great for that reason. I feel very invested in it, even though I've been doing other projects, and finishing ‘The Hobbit,' and I did another movie...even though I was doing all of that, in my mind I was still setting pieces of the jigsaw puzzle in my head so when I arrived here it wasn't too daunting.”

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