Simon Kassianides, actor, writer, producer, and businessman went from discussing movies with BAFTA award winning producer Piers Vellacott in his family coffee shop to assisting him becoming the man he is today.
Receiving his Masters at the University of Edinburgh where he studied business (finance) and Spanish. After assisting Piers Vellacott, he was discovered and decided to attend London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. After his first gig a role in Tennessee Williams play, Night of the Iguana, playing Pedro, his career began to flourish opening doors to TV and film work both in the UK and US.
Simon, starring in the Warner Brothers film, “Unforgettable,” drama, thriller next to Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson. Simon plays the role of Michael Vargas, an insidious man from Rosario’s character past.
As Simon career continues to blossom, he took some time to discuss his new role, new projects and how kindness has found a new meaning in his career.
1. For those who haven’t heard tell us about the film “Unforgettable.”
In ‘Unforgettable’, Katherine Heigl plays a woman who sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband’s new wife, played by Rosario Dawson.
2. Tell us more about your character Michael Vargas in the film.
I play a man from Rosario’s past, brought back into her life as part of the havoc being wreaked upon her by Katherine.
3. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
4. What are some of the things you do to get into character? Any particular rituals?
Research for me is the cornerstone. From that point the character, story and tone dictate the approach. There are some roles that require a far more immersed approach than others. As mine have been so varied of late (sociopath, lover, journalist) there’s no set ritual. I call my mum and ask how the weather is in London!
5. As an artist overall, how do you define beauty?
Kindness has grown to mean more to me. There’s a powerful quiet and pure beauty in kindness that impacts me wherever I see it. As an artist specifically that exists in listening, a lack of ego around the work and as an actor acknowledging the collective impact of what we are creating.
6. What other roles would you want to dive into and how would this help stray away from your comfort zone?
Two films telling the exact same story of the same historical characters can vary vastly according to so much; the tone, approach and the story itself. I’m mostly interested in great stories and the roles that create them. As long as I believe in the story being told and think it’s great I’m grateful to dive in.
7. When did you first perform?
I was on stage in a Christmas play handing out gifts from Santa’s sack. I couldn’t find the right boxes for the right characters and was paralyzed with fear. I cried. I was 6.
8. Are you currently working on any new projects?
I wrote, directed and produced a short action film which is garnering very welcome attention. It’s called Trust No One and I am expanding it in to a feature film which looks set to go into production next year. I absolutely love it, even if I do say so myself!
9. Geezas, a film you shot in record time and within your budget tell us more about your experience directing, producing and starring in it.
The experience gained lead to the short film I just mentioned above. I think it was a wonderful learning experience. I feel like with Trust No One I’ve made something exciting and couldn’t have done that without this earlier project. Taking on all those different positions requires immense planning, which I’m proud to say I love doing. That’s the only way it’s at all possible.
By Nyasia Elie