A Marvel superhero is living in Las Salinas beneath the false identity of Ray Stevenson. So don’t be deceived by all his past, present and future disguises: Blackbeard in ‘Black Sails’, Titus Pullo in ‘Rome’, Volstagg in ‘Thor’, a member of the Ukrainian mafia in ‘Dexter’, Marcus in ‘Divergent’. Born in Lisburn (Northern Ireland) in 1964, Stevenson began his working life working for a firm of architects in London until he decided to transform his life into one of continuous rebirth. Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter… not bad for a debut. Can you talk about it? „What a great and weird experience that was for me. My humble role in ‘Theory of Flight’ was as a gigolo hired to service Ms. Carter´s character, when in walks Mr Branagh wielding a shotgun and a balaclava.“ I scarper bare assed and my crazy career is born. His latest reincarnation is the one-year-old Ludovic, his third son and the first to be born on the island where he moved to live seven years ago.
It appears that you have been very busy lately.
Well yes, the truth is that this year alone I have three movies hitting the screens worldwide. ‘INSURGENT,’ the second instalment of ‘DIVERGENT’, ‘BIG GAME’ with Samuel Jackson (that has just been released) and the new ‘TRANSPORTER’ movie (that is coming out in September). I have also just returned from Cape Town, South Africa, where I was filming the series BLACK SAILS for the STARZ network. I joined in the show for seasons 3 and 4, playing Blackbeard. As you know, there’s lots of swashbuckling and the typical band of villainous pirates! And I’m about to head off to Atlanta to film ‘ALLEGIANT,’ the third part of ‘DIVERGENT’.
How did it occur to you to come to live in Ibiza?
I have to admit that I had never visited Ibiza until I met my partner Elisabetta. Up until that moment everything I knew about it was a couple of documentaries showing the point of view of out-of-control partying on the island that was causing lots of problems and wasn’t remotely appealing. It was Betta (Elisabetta) who insisted on dragging me here and she opened my eyes and my heart to this magical island. That was when we decided to move here about seven years ago and the truth is that right now I can´t imagine living anywhere else in the world. Now we’ve got the house in Las Salinas; it’s a really beautiful, natural and completely enchanting spot. I love going to the mediaeval fair in Dalt Villa, or having a drink at KM5 where I get on very well with Josch and everyone that works there. Then there’s el Chiringuito at Es Cavalet and Guarana in Salinas; they are places I tend to go with the family. I could go on and on….because this island gives you so much and it´s so diverse.
Listen, what do you do when you’re not saving the world?
You mean at work? Um, well when I’m not saving the world it seems like I’m hell bent on destroying it! But if I’m not doing either of those two things, I’m probably at home with the family and our friends.
On top of that, living with three young boys (Sebastian, Leonard and now Ludovic) must be a bit like ‘the dark world’ of Thor.
It can be quite a challenge!! They’re not quite as malevolent as the ‘dark elves’ although their destructive capabilities are huge! My main job as dad is to keep them alive long enough that they can look after themselves.
Wine and women, why not be Titus Pullo (your character in Rome) for the rest of your life?
Titus Pullo came into my life like a hurricane and he has never left. What´s more, I learned so much about myself through playing him, and he has had a profound effect on almost every aspect of my life ever since.
Would you choose to be another one of your characters that wasn´t Pullo for the rest of your life?
No, no, Pullo is the quintessential everyman. I couldn’t possibly choose anyone else I´ve played.
With a wife who is an anthropologist, I imagine she has got something to say about ‘yet another man who always leaves the toilet seat up’?
My partner, Betta, holds a PhD in Anthropology. Her work was not related to the show ‘Rome’, if that’s what you meant. Now she is working on an amazing project called ‘The Human Web’, which is a great challenge. What would she say about me from her point of view? Well, above all that due to the nature of my work we currently have to live in many places for a month or two rather than visit them for a few days.
Do you think Ibiza needs a Marvel hero? Perhaps to put an end to the “balconing” of your compatriots?
Well, I think the last thing Ibiza needs is a Marvel hero, as you put it. I love and appreciate the island too much to irritate it with the characters I’ve played. My work is my work wherever it takes me. But here on the island I’m Ray, I’m a dad, and it allows me to be myself. It’s a tough island because it will spit people out who think they can own or lord it over it. The fact is you have to earn the privilege of living on this blessed rock but it showers you with abundance if you do.
Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite form the classes into which the world of Divergent is divided. In which one should Ray Stevenson be and why?
Obviously, having thought a great deal about this, I’d have to go for ‘Divergent’. It’s much more attuned with my psyche.
Do you think this division is correct? Would you like to try your own division for the real world?
That is a strange but very interesting question, to tell the truth. I believe that there are people who are born and raised and that try to develop in completely the wrong environments. For example, I think there are people who live and work in cities where they are clearly in the wrong place. Some are farmers, fishermen, explorers or designers but others are born in rural environments and they would definitely flourish more in the big cities. Could you call that a division? I don’t know.
What would be a dream project for you?
My dream project would likely be a downright, unashamed, balls out comedy! I’d just love to be part of a movie which cracked people up so much they didn’t know whether to fart or piss first.
“I would have to go for ‘Divergent’: it’s more attuned with my psyche.”
“I scarper bare assed and my crazy career is born…”