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I first met Antonios at one of the Westside Shorts film nights. In fact, it was there that I first saw him on the big screen too. This is a man whose acting credits go back to 1979 and include such iconic works such as the series “Prisoner” and the feature film “Malcolm.”

DB – Thanks for taking the time to chat to me today Antonios. You’ve been in both the mainstream and the indie film industry. I’d like to start off with one of your mainstream roles, “Malcolm”. That was way back in 1986 and had a budget of $1,000,000 at the time, which was pretty big in Aussie terms. Can you tell us a bit about your experience on that set?

AB –I auditioned for a part in “Malcolm” with the director Nadia Tass. Since it was a feature film I felt very excited, I had already established myself as an actor at that time having worked with Paul Cox on ‘Kostas’ in 1979 and I had a good agent in Mary Murphy. I had high regards for Nadia and her husband David Parker as a cinematographer. All night filming in a Collins street bank was exciting as was working with Colin Friels, John Hargreaves and Lindy Davies.

One of the great memories I remember from that night filming in Collins St, at 2 am, I was having a break by myself to have something to eat and John Hargreaves walked to my table and sat and talked with me to try and make me feel comfortable. I found this very humbling because to me he was a big star of Australian cinema.

After that Nadia gave me another part in the 1993 TV series “Stark” with Ben Elton. In my scene, I was punching Ben Elton in the face, during the break Ben came to me, put his arm around my shoulder and said “I never had anybody punch me in the face so nicely”. Those are the great behind the scenes moments the film business can give you! I am not sure but somebody told me that scene was edited out but it was a nice memory.

DB – I have to ask you about Prisoner. I was such a big fan of the show. Unfortunately, I often missed Tuesday night’s episode due to working at Safeway, St Kilda, but every Saturday, Sheila Florance did her shopping there and would update me while I pushed her trolley. You played the role of Spiros Stathopoulos. Tell us a bit more about that.

AB – Oooh “Prisoner” yes I had a call from my agent who said I had a part in Prisoner and I did not have to audition which is an actors dream but I will say it was one of my worst acting experiences. I was playing the father of the Greek girl (actress - Kristina Totos) that ran away from home and my character was trying to bring her back with false heart attack and a blackmail.

I asked for some time for rehearsal but the director said to just go and do it and the result was very bad acting, I overacted. Simply because I was a theatre actor and inexperienced on film. The difference between film and theatre is that you have to contain yourself on film where on stage you have to be more expressive. I found this happening in a lot of series then, all done in a hurry at the cost of a good production. Never the less it was very exciting to have a part in one of the most popular series, my advice to young actors is try to get a rehearsal if you can though.

DB – Moving into the new millennium, you started to get busier on films. I’m told that digital film didn’t really become common until after 2013, so let’s treat 2002 – 2013 as a separate era. You have so many credits that I have to break it down somehow. During this time, are there one or two particular films you were in that stand out to you?

AB – Probably the biggest highlight early on in that timeline was a Greek television series that was filmed partly in Melbourne called “Eisai to Tairi Mou” which was the highest rating TV series in Greece at that time. I worked with some of the biggest names in Greece like Katerina Lehou and Vasilis Xaralampopoulous.

Otherwise I had to focus on other things as you well know very few actors make a living from acting, so to earn some money I became a freelance photojournalist for magazines and newspapers and I had a photographic studio in city. This was my focus during those years and I was able to photograph political figures, such as George Bush Senior, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

I never really left the art of acting though as that is what I know best but I channelled that passion into a number of theatrical productions which I’m very proud of including ‘One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest’ at Chapel off Chapel and ‘Salonika Bound’ at La Mama. Doing film work was quite difficult on a part time basis with my photojournalism commitments at that time.

DB – From 2014 on, you were on heaps of projects. Once again, there are so many that
 I’ll leave it to you to either choose one to discuss, or just give us an overview.

AB – My agent died and I never got a replacement, I am still a member of the actors equity. I have done over 75 short and feature films and over 40 theatrical plays and music videos but some of my biggest highlights have come recently! I was one of the main characters in the ‘Tones and I’ video clip ‘Dance Monkey’ which has now accumulated over 1.7 billion views on YouTube which is really quite incredible. I also got to go and perform with ‘Tones and I’ on stage at the Aria’s in Sydney.

DB – You’ve certainly accomplished a lot with your acting Antonios. What are your future plans?

AB – I have a number of projects in the pipeline that I’m waiting to film and I get work from people that know me and through word of mouth recommendations. I am always available and always on time and respect my profession, maybe that has something to do with the fact that at 76 I’m still getting a lot of work.

DB – Where can our readers follow your career

AB - IMDB, Instagram , and F.B a lot of work is not registered on IMDB , like overseas work and independent work people never bothered to put it on!



Instagram: @antoniosbaxevanidis_actor https://www.instagram.com/antoniosbaxevanidis_actor/?fbclid=IwAR0uTgNxRHubA7GsT1kFJOiOciWgTAlKJBi1SW5Tvdw73_yylQU3QjBpXKQ

Starnow: https://www.starnow.com.au/antoniosbaxevanidis


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