Thanos Samaras talks to Panagiotis Hadjistefanou…
-What is this ‘Homeland’ film about?
It’s a rather violent movie about an adoption case that leads to one boy being given a privileged upbringing and the other left to a life of lack of everything. I play the latter. The girl I’m in love with, is in love with my fortunate brother. I kidnap her, it leads to disaster. Parallel to this storyline, there are family characters living out their own drama and it’s all interwoven cleverly. I’m very proud to be part of this project. Syllas Tzoumerkas did an ingenious job.
-Many people have no idea that you are a brilliant visual artist as well. Tell us about it.
Yikes, I am quite mediocre still, but thanks. I guess we have a little mutual admiration socially going here, I am a huge fan of yours, you are my Patron Saint of Ideals, an art martyr. Anyhoo, I have always been focused on the visual side of things. Before attending at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, I studied art and design and Architecture at London Guildhall University. Loved it more than drama school. Everything in my head, in order to make sense, must first be coded in shapes and colors. I can’t process information before I color code it, or before I give it a tangible texture. For example number 8 is liquid and brown, 6 is hard and yellow, words are pieces of blond wood, sentences are rivers, food is a grid chart, the sky is cement, etc. The thing I find most confusing is that I deny myself the opportunity to marry my two, very distinct selves, the actor of sorts and the visual artist of sorts and see what that makes. For the time being, I am Thanos Samaras and I am Yatabazah, both made up characters, each doing something different. I would like to merge and consolidate. I feel tired and disjointed. I know I will be directing movies sometime soon. Only a true idiot can be contained in being a mere actor, it’s such a limited platform. Fuck that.
-You love cats. I love cats. Discuss.
Cats are the people I truly communicate with. No cat, no matter how wild or untrained, will resist me, will not succumb to my touch! I just know how to touch them, speak to them, what to say to them, at what volume. I’ve always had the deepest affection for cats and it was reciprocated. People often tell me I move and look like a cat, I don’t deny it, I do feel feline. Dogs don’t care much for me and it’s mutual.
-‘The world should have ended circa 1959’. Discuss.
Well, I twitted that the other day in protest to all things overly modernesque and overtly streamlined for the sake of looking current and relevant. There is something so satisfying and complete about the 50s. A little Bauhaus, a lot of Dada, a little somber post-war simplicity but also a definite need for luxury too. I’d totally live in a time capsule of that era and be thrilled about it. Heavy,
unsaturated and safe.
-Give our readers some tips. Suggest some films to watch, books to read. Educate the masses, now, if you please.
I dare you to find a pre-70s film that you can enjoy with the fucking sound OFF. Ok, go watch L’Annee Derniere a Marienbad, Les Yeux Sans Visage, Vertigo and Orphee. Also stop watching television, cut the fucking antenna cable. You can still stay up to date with the news, online. My point is, create your own life’s content. Customize, pick and choose the sources of your stimuli. Television can and will, kill your mind. It’s run by idiots.
-What is wrong with youngsters nowadays? Moreover, what is right about them?
Most of my friends are at least a decade younger than I. I don’t consciously chose this, however it seems to be a motif in my circle of people. I will more often than not, form friendships and relationships with people younger than myself. I suspect a form of vampirism. I can’t generalize about it, I’ve met wonderfully sensitive, talented, crafty and effective young peoples, I also have met horrid, narrow minded, dangerous, lazy young assholes. They are mostly nice though, maybe, I guess, fuck me if I know anything.
-Name and shame some of the film people, contemporary or otherwise, that have been influences on your cinematic aesthetics.
The one I most identify with and love, and is most inspired by, is Jean Cocteau. His films are poetic pornos. It’s who I want to be when I grow up. Other than him, I love Israeli actress Delphine Seyrig and American porn actress Jeanna Fine.
-How do you relax after a difficult day of giving interviews for the glossies and mingling with the likes of moi?
I love taking long, loverly, leisurely dumps. And to bathe for hours, the bathroom is my favourite place in a home. I’m always collecting exquisite, scented soaps, rare shampoos and mysterious body washes and sponges and brushes and combs and other grooming tools. My daily bathroom ritual is a daily prayer that I will exit that steamy sanctuary as someone other than who I am, better, prettier, smarter, newer. I also cook everyday, I take care of my plants, I clean the house, I take pictures of dolls, I make things. But I can’t talk about those, Yatabazah does those and he will cut me.
-Why is Jean Desses so under appreciated by his compatriots?
OMG newsflash, Greeks not supporting their talented ones. Ok, I’m in shock. But seriously, no one with any real talent will waste their precious little time in Greece. It’s a dead zone. Doomed, damned, dirty and dumb. I wish a great big awesome dick-tator upon this land, to punchfuck the Greeks into shape, discipline and having work ethic. ‘Πούτσο και ξύλο. Πούτσο και ξύλο’. Can you
tell I’m not a patriot?
-Which statue would you kiss, for free?
I made violent love to an Oscar that a friend of mine won in 1969. That thing is really heavy, let me tell you.
Interview by: Panagiotis Hadjistefanou
Photo: Marios Kalamaris