CULTURE

Greek actor has two good reasons to feel very lucky

During the public screenings of the two Greek films that took part in the international competition of the 43rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival («Hard Goodbyes: My Father» by Penny Panayiotopoulou and «Think it Over» by Katerina Evangelakou) Greek actor Christos Stergioglou made an impression on the audience. And despite the fact that his roles in both films were secondary, the international jury voted him Best Actor among 16 entries. Stergioglou was unable to be in Thessaloniki in time to receive his award in person. He arrived late on Sunday night, after the awards ceremony, having been tied up at the European Theater Festival in Lyons, France, where he appeared in Bulgakov’s «Flight.» Finding a moment between non-stop telephone calls and congratulations from his friends, he spoke to Kathimerini about his joy at receiving the award. «It was a great honor, made even greater because it was from the international competition. It is a very big deal to be judged by that panel. What does it mean to me? That I can slow down a bit, though you never really finish once you’re on this road. Failure and success are things you learn along the way. You can never say, ‘Now I know.’ You don’t know anything. The point is to be receptive to everything that comes your way.» Were the roles he portrayed two different aspects of the same basic character? «Nothing is ever different in what we do. I was the one in these roles and I try to put myself in their shoes. If I can react naturally, then the character surfaces.» In the middle of the interview, he was approached by 10-year-old Giorgos Karayiannis, who starred in «Hard Goodbyes;» with each holding his own award – Karayiannis in Locarno and Stergioglou in Thessaloniki – they embraced. «This kid really helped me relax,» said Stergioglou. «It is impossible not to get along with him.» The actor admitted to liking both films very much. «The award, however, was a result of very good partnerships. I owe it to Katerina (Evangelakou) and Penny (Panayiotopoulou), who created the circumstances. I have been feeling very lucky the past few years because, either by chance or because I provoke them, these kinds of good partnerships have been coming my way frequently.»