An award-winning actress seeks to sidestep the traps of her trade

Seven years after her move to Athens, the actress Filareti Komninou has been measuring herself up against audiences in Thessaloniki again. Her return to the city where she first established herself, for a production of August Strindberg’s «Dance of Death,» has drawn large audiences over the past three months. Komninou recently won a Kotopouli award for Best Lead Actress in the Past Two Seasons, a prize she shared with Lydia Fotopoulou. Komninou, in an interview, described the award as «another moment of happiness in the worry beads» of her life. Being established, she said, was a «strange trap» that requires artistic vigilance. Komninou, whose role in Strindberg’s play ended last weekend, is now preparing to take on the role of a Greek woman in an English-Canadian film production. The actress said she now feels the need for greater variety in her acting – a break from her femme fatale theatrical image. What image are you seeking? I’m looking for more subversive, scruffier roles than the ones I’ve played over the years. Doesn’t the chance of failure scare you? The need to be constantly successful is confining. But art gives you the right to make mistakes. And, moreover, to test yourself against failure. Returning to the past, which of your roles have stood out for you? The cherished ones, perhaps because they let out personal secrets to the audience at the time they were being performed. Was that a personal need? We take a role and make it a part of our need, our dream. If you approach theater through imitative behavior, then that leads to a mere fabrication, a lie. What scares you most in the field? Stagnancy and boredom, which, in the field of art, are reasons for creativity. That’s when you turn elsewhere and set new objectives. When my cycle at the State Theater of Northern Greece ended, I took off for Athens. When I’d had my fill of the theater, I turned to television. Our era is providing greater attention to what we call lifestyle. Are you following the trend? Generally, I like style in life. Seeking aesthetic appeal and beauty is a type of ideology. But we’re experiencing its side effects. In other words, we’ve become observers, or sometimes players, of this race known as lifestyle, which is increasingly drawing our attention to the surface and not the substance. What annoys you about the current era? We’re experiencing the idolization of the self. People are governed by self-interest and the American Dream is their objective – that is, to become famous quickly without effort.

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