I first met Charlie Evans Jr when he and his partner at the time, Carroll Kemp, both saw an episode of my series (Interview) on TV as they sat in their respective homes one evening. The next morning they told each other that they'd found a new project to develop surprised that they had both watched the same show. They called and took me to dinner and we made a deal. The project was ultimately purchased by Dawn Steel and went to Warner Bros. During some of the story conferences, my young son Sean would be playing on the floor with his toys near the conference table in Charlie's office as we discussed story elements.
Charlie occasionally held 'music evenings' where he would invite friends to dinner and everyone brings three pieces of music that have been significant to them in some way. The photo seen here is from February of 2006. On the far left is Stefan Wente who studied in Paris with his friend Roman Polanski. Stefan was a partner of the Paris Opera’s prima-ballerinas Yvette Chauvire and Lycette Darsonval. He choreographed numerous ballets and a number of films such as Logan’s Run, Our Man Flint, Fantastic Voyage and Warren Beatty’s Reds.
Seated next to me in the striped shirt is Charlie. Standing behind him is Randal Kleiser who directed Grease, The Blue Lagoon, Summer Lovers, etc. These evenings were interesting and brought together a diverse collection of personalities--rather like my Elysée Wednesday gatherings. It was the sort of evening one would expect to encounter in Paris but seldom, if ever, in Los Angeles.
Charlie is an astute film producer. I was privy to a behind-the-scenes perspective on how he originated and brought The Aviator, starring Leo DiCaprio, to the screen. He is also an excellent photographer. His shots from Burning Man (looking like 70mm frames from a contemporary Fellini film were Federico around today) and a trip to Cuba among others are extraordinary. His exhibition Sex Lives of Mannequins was eerily provocative.
Charlie was producer/director on Addiction Incorporated, a documentary about the tobacco industry on which I had the pleasure of contributing my efforts as co-producer. Charlie tells the story in a way that builds suspense and anticipation through to the end.
Charlie is an immensely talented individual possessing an intelligent curiosity that makes his work worthy of study.
Watch Addiction Incorporated on Amazon Video Direct.