New Greek TV's featured Greek of the Week is Greek-American actor Pantelis Kodogiannis.
Kodogiannis, whose family originates from Chios, stars in the upcoming film Promakhos, that centers on two lawyer's quest to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. The highly anticipated film is set to debut in Greece on November 27th, followed by its American release.
In our interview below, the thespian who grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York, discusses his acting career, what project he is most proud of, the mission of Promakhos, and more. The movie's trailer can be seen at the very bottom of this page.
Maria Athens: Did you always want to be an actor? What was your path to Hollywood?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: Yes, it was always something that interested me. I moved to Los Angeles several years ago and I enrolled in an acting school called the Beverly Hills Playhouse, then led by Milton Katselas.
Maria Athens: Do you prefer being in front of or behind the camera?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: Both are rewarding, although each requires a different skill set. Many people (including myself) believe that you have to have experience in both to be successful in the film industry.
Maria Athens: Have you primarily worked on domestic productions or have you acted and produced in Hellenic films as well?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: I have primarily worked on American productions. My first lead role in a full-length feature film, entitled Promakhos, was primarily shot in Greece in 2013-2104 with a joint Greek and American production crew. In Promakhos, Greek and American professionals worked together very well.
Maria Athens: Who taught you such good Greek?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: My parents insisted that we speak Greek in our home; I attended Greek school and traveled to Greece very often.
Maria Athens: What project are you most proud of?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: To date, I am most proud of being cast as the lead in Promakhos. It was an experience of a lifetime as it is one of a handful of films that has been allowed to shoot on the Acropolis and the only film that has been allowed to shoot in the Acropolis Museum. Both were oneiric and simply unforgettable.
Maria Athens: What was the inspiration and mission behind Promakhos?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: Promakhos was written by Coerte and John Voorhees. They wanted to make a film on the Parthenon Sculptures and their return to Greece. The film's mission is to educate viewers as to how the Parthenon Sculptures were taken and how they ended up in the British Museum. The greater message, of course, is to advocate for their return to Greece, where they rightfully belong.
Maria Athens: Can you tell us how this film came about? Has it already gained attention from Parthenon Marble advocacy groups prior to its debut?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: Preproduction on the film began in 2011 and principal photography started in late fall of 2013. Yes, various Parthenon Marble advocacy groups have been very supportive of Promakhos and have been wonderful in getting the word out about the film.
Maria Athens: How has your Greek-American ethnicity influenced your identity and career?
Pantelis Kodogiannis: My Greek-American ethnicity has had a profound influence on my identity and career; I cannot think of any part of me that has not been influenced by it.
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