Despite winning his last four fights and positioning himself for domestic honours in 2016, Chris Evangelou had the conversation no fighter ever wants to have.
The 30 year-old was advised a hand injury suffered during his clash at the York Hall against Zoran Cvek in 2014 would now need immediate and prolonged attention.
Losing his prime years in order to mend the problem was a tough blow to take and forced ‘The Flash’ to re-evaluate his career.
As it happened, Evangelou had a passion for performance in the dramatic sense. The Enfield man decided he had to go for it from that day onwards.
Fast forward three years, and Evangelou has been lining up the acting credits ever since. Seven as an actor on the Internet Movie Database, with one further accolade more recently added as a writer and producer.
A short film entitled ‘Shadow Boxer’ is in post-production and sees Evangelou portray Mason Mendoza.
Starring alongside renowned ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ actor James Cosmo, Evangelou already has three movies in the pipeline for the coming year.
Speaking exclusively to WBN to talk about his transition from fighter to actor, Evangelou revealed how tough it was to lose one of the big loves in his life.
“When my hand surgeon told me that I needed to take a substantial amount of time out of my boxing career due to breaking my hand in a title fight, I won’t lie, I was very sad and a bit scared. Boxing was all I knew for the last 14 years,” Evangelou exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I was trying to come to terms with it, when I had an opportunity to work a 9 to 5 job with a guaranteed salary. Something I haven’t had for years. All I had to do was send my C.V. online. I was about to push send when something stopped me.
“I asked myself what would make me happy other than boxing? From that moment I decided I was going to go back to my first love, acting.
“The very next morning I started my career as an actor and have never looked back. I managed to sign with an agent, who took me under her wing and has guided me ever since.
“It’s been three years and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Beginning with a two-episode appearance in mini-series Streetfighter: Ressurection, Evangelou has steadily pushed his screen time further.
“Last year was a breakthrough for my career,” he explained. “I managed to book two international commercials for well-known brands and a huge feature film (The Gentlemen) with an all-star cast (Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell). Also, it’s made by one of my favourite directors (Guy Ritchie) and will be out in early 2020.
“Recently, I teamed up with Deadline Films UK and produced an epic short film. I’m proud to say I wrote the story for, called ‘Shadow Boxer’. I also got to play the lead role opposite the amazing actor and gentleman James Cosmo.
“We have also managed to book a private screening at the historical Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square in November. We have high hopes for ‘Shadow Boxer’ as we will be submitting it in every major film festival around the world.
“There’s a feature film I just finished shooting in August too, where I played the lead. That film is called ‘Card Dead’ and it’s an English gangster film all about revenge.”
With a lot on his plate, Evangelou concluded with a philosophical reflection on his stint as a pugilist.
“Taking that time out of my boxing career was very difficult for me and I was very down. But it is true what they say, everything does happen for a reason. I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier and I love what I’m doing with my life right now.
“The next step for me is my trip to Los Angeles in mid-October, where I have set up meetings with agents, managers and film industry executives. This is in order to get ready for the Hollywood pilot season in January 2020.
“It’s something I have always wanted to be a part of since I was a kid.”
Learn more about Chris Evangelou’s acting career at IMDB HERE
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay