The art of acting is a graceful form of entertainment that only few can truly master. A true actor can mesmerize his or her audience by presence alone. Once they step onto the stage/screen you are immediately wanting more. Their craft is spell bound and truly amazing to watch. Simon Kassianides is one of those actors whose presence and talents are exceptional. He is on his way to becoming a screen legend along side some of the greats. SayWhatNews had the pleasure speaking with Simon about his career and much more:
SayWhatNews: Good morning Simon. I am so honored to interview with you. Tell us who is Simon Kassianides?
Simon: Right now he is a man who has just cooked breakfast and is enjoying a huge coffee made by his new coffee machine!
SayWhatNews: Sounds yummy. Now Simon, you were born in London, England. Have you lived in the UK all your life?
Simon: Yes I grew up in London and have lived there for most of my life. I have also lived in Edinburgh and Dublin whilst at University and have traveled all over Europe. I have spent long summers in Greece and in Italy also.
SayWhatNews: I have to say, you are a very handsome man. What exactly is your ethnicity?
Simon: Thank you very much! If you were here I'd share my coffee with you for saying that! I am Greek!
SayWhatNews: Sharing a cup of coffee with you would make my day. Tell us about your childhood….. Do you have any siblings? Where did you grow up, in the city or country?
Simon: I have an older brother who was my hero growing up and in many ways still is today. My childhood was spent in London - I was a city boy through and through.
SayWhatNews: Growing up did you enjoy watching films and dream of one day becoming an actor?
Simon: My mum and I had a tradition where we would go the movie theater every Sunday together. Whenever I am back in London we still stick to that schedule. Films were an integral part of my life but it was whilst on set as a set assistant watching the actors work that I thought to myself, "I'd very much like to give that a try...'
SayWhatNews: In school did you take drama and/or star in any school plays? If so which play and what was your role?
Simon: I had a great and inspirational drama teacher at high school called Mr. Jolly that sewed the seed. I am still friends with him and he has been to see me on stage in London's West End which was great. In my first play at primary school I was Santa Claus and I had to come on stage and hand specific presents out to others on stage. I came out and due to stage fright couldn't find the right presents for the right people. I wake up in fear about it to this day!
SayWhatNews: Its funny how something’s from childhood can haunt us later on. So, what was your first break in the film industry?
Simon: I was cast as an extra in Troy next to Peter O'Toole. I was deciding whether to give acting a shot...this experience made up my mind for me.
photo: Still from Quantum of Solice ft. Simon Kassiandes as Yusef
SayWhatNews: Oh wow, Peter O’Toole is a legend. Now that’s a way to kick off your career, acting a long side one of the greats. Simon you played Yusef, James Bond’s nemesis in Quantum Solace along side another very talented actor, Daniel Craig. How did it feel when you learned you were joining the hit franchise of 007?
Simon: It was a dream come true! After a weekend celebrating I spent the couple of months before filming focusing on not thinking about it. If I allowed my excitement to get the better of me I would have turned in an awful performance.
SayWhatNews: Simon, your acting career doesn’t just feature the big screen, you have starred in some popular TV series such as Law and Order: UK, Holby City and Hustle to name a few. Tell us what’s it like working on a TV set?
Simon: I think most actors would agree that speed is the greatest force on a TV set. I make sure I spend as much time as possible preparing myself for the days' work as once you're on set things move on so quickly. There's not the luxury of rehearsal to map things out. In general you have more responsibility for your role as an actor in TV I would say.
photo: Smooch promo pic ft. Kellie Martin, Kiernan Shipka and Simon Kassianides
SayWhatNews: Your most recent TV movie for Hallmark “Smooch” which told the classic Frog Prince story was so entertaining and enjoyable to watch. You really made your character believable and loveable. What was it like working with Kellie Martin and Kiernan Shipka?
Simon: Thank you! Kiernan and Kelie are both effortless and very natural actors so my performance is balanced off of theirs. I had a wonderful time with them and with Ron Oliver our director. We laughed a lot and I learned so much from Kiernan! She was a powerhouse of talent for an 11 year old!
SayWhatNews: Are you working on any new projects?
Simon: I am 8 weeks away from directing my first feature, which I am also acting in. I am also going out on pilots so it's a very busy time for me.
SayWhatNews: Well we look forward to seeing more of you on the big and little screen. Let’s get personal……What do you like to do in your free time?
Simon: I love to read and watch movies. Having worked on both sides of the camera I am very happy to say that I've not lost the ability to get lost in a film.
SayWhatNews: Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
Simon: I can sing amazingly well in the shower!
SayWhatNews: I can too, its when I’m in another room that is sounds questionable (LOL). Whose album are you listening to right now?
Simon: Mumford and Sons
SayWhatNews: Who is your favorite author and why?
Simon: Now it's hard to specify. I like many different authors. Whilst growing up I read anything by Anne Rice as I was introduced to her Vampire chronicles by my brother.
SayWhatNews: Yes, Anne Rice is an amazing author. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Simon: Paros, Greece.
SayWhatNews: If you had front row seats to a concert who would be performing?
Simon: Led Zeppelin
SayWhatNews: What’s next for Simon Kassianides?
Simon: I have an audition! and then I have to speak to my family via Skype in Europe!
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