The ‘Once Upon A Time – Cover Story’ is one of our online ISSUE segments, head to ‘THE ONCE UPON A TIME ISSUE‘ for the complete experience and set of images.
LOAD is pleased to have as the main character of our ONCE UPON A TIME ISSUE tale, the breakout actor Konstantinos Georgopoulos from the hit Greek series ‘Milky Way’. We fully emerge into the fairytale fantasy as we envision a classical painting-like aesthetic. Dragons, nights, princes and many more take life in this LOAD Winter fairytale. The Milky Way star was photographed with post production edits by the amazing Contantinos Lepouris, creatively directed by Filippos Vogdanis and Konstantinos Tsagkaris. Makeup by Lilly Dick and on the epic styling Demi Bouki.
Konstantinos gave an exclusive interview to LOAD Magazine, found below.
Everybody has a story
Traveling back in time, as children it was astonishing to see how what was often considered ‘childish literalism’ often is what made us understand and keep protected from the world around us. But there is a magical way. A way that children can escape reality. Jumping on a cloud of magic and imagination, immersing themselves in the fairytale world.
One of the main qualities of fairytales is their ability to influence the young of our community, how they view the world, adopt values and acquire a moral compass. Children’s initiative is frequently put to the test in such stories. Not only is it crucial for the youngster to read the story, but visualizing the scenes and characters allow for creative thinking and an exploration to who they really are or want to become.
Every child connects with a different character depending, as each has different concerns they face and coping mechanisms. A tale as old as time could change form completely reimagined by a child of yesterday, today or tomorrow. Our editorial envisions our main character with some classic, some bold and some new elements.
The styling of this ISSUE’s cover story travels us to tales of the medieval times. Passionately theatrical yet subtly modernised they push to reimagine the hero of a modern-day medieval fairytale. In a knight role Konstantinos embodies the essence of classic childhood stories. From the knight in shining armour or the bold warrior in the purple fur coat to softer styles like the red dress with the chainmail. The clothes reflect that even though fairytales are constant in our lives they evolve as society reimagines what a hero in such stories can truly look like. At the end of the day, imagination cannot and should not be caged. Listening to the stories parents and grandparents read before bed always worked as a stepping stone to make our own image in our head of what the characters would look like. Therefore, we might all know the same story but we have all gotten to know each character a little differently.
We already know that you’re an artistic soul, how would you describe your perception of “performance” in general?
Basically, I am an actor but I used to make a living as a dancer in clubs, which is something I still do at times. When there is an audience to be entertained there is a performance -execution of an action. Even if it’s a dancing show or a scene to play, it’s the same thing; Setting goals through your art that have a result which pleases the audience. Ever since I remember myself, I used to do performances just to entertain myself with my imaginary audience. I am so lucky that the audience is now real and I can communicate my art.
Do you find it important that you are featured as a queer character and actor on Greek TV for visibility?
I’m a queer gay guy both in real life and in this T.V series.In my opinion this is very important to be said. Ever since I received exposure from the series,I have been open about my sexuality. Otherwise what’s the point; another straight guy or hidden sexual actor that plays a queer role and can’t talk about the subject of the actual trauma at first hand. I think that the moment of visibility is now. That means to talk truth. I identify with the role that V.Kekatos had gifted me. I feel very honored to play a character that doesn’t feel sorry for being gay and he owns his body and his sexuality. He doesn’t let anybody make projections of social norms on him. That is the type of role model I need. The one who protects his freedom from the toxic social standards. The one who doesn’t give a fuck!
We’ve seen you already in both theater and television. Which one do you prefer?
I studied drama. In Greece there aren’t any schools for acting on camera. Although my studies has oriented around theater performance, I was very interested on doing cinema. That was my first dream when I was a child, to be in movies. But then I loved theater and now I love both. I can’t really say what I prefer more because it’s all about the corresponding project. It always depends on the director that you will work with, the idea, the role and the people that you will collaborate with. And of course the money. I prefer participating in projects where everybody can listen in an environment that brings out an openness.
What is the most challenging thing in being an actor?
Learning your words. For me that’s the most challenging thing. Because it’s not only about knowing them by heart as if you study history in hight school. It’s about getting prepared to say the words in every way the director will ask you to express them. “Say faster/slower/like you are flirting/ like you are dying / like you mean something else than what the words mean”. It’s also tricky when there are harsh conditions. Freezing or bursting with heat. In addition to that when you’re exhausted of the many hours on set the stress of remembering the words is bigger. On the other hand in such conditions a breakthrough can occur so it might be worthy the deal with all that.
How similar is your character in “Milky Way” to you as a person?
I would say that we have many similarities. From the first time that I got the script in my hands I felt a deep connection with his story. Our core as well as our live’s conflicts are the same. I was so lucky to make my T.V debut while playing a role that I was able to relate to so much. Joe-the name of the character- is a queer gay boy who is very ironic and cynic, sometimes harsh but at the same time he is sensitive and mature. He has this polarity of hardness on the outside and softness on the inside. I identify with that. I used to, and still have to defend myself for being queer in an environment that this identity was not embraced and at worst forbidden. Although we have similarities, Joe is extremely confident of who he is, unapologetically. He fights for his freedom, he turns down all the bullies and demands respect. Unlike him, when I was seventeen I was numb and lost ; lacking self esteem. I had to work with my self for many years so as to achieve what Joe did from a very young age: loving himself. He is the boy that I would fall in love with in my teen hood or the one who I was dreaming of becoming.
Without spoiling anything, what’s your favorite line in “Milky Way”?
“Nobody will decide about your life,only you”. I do think that this phrase is the soul and the moto of the character. It holds the meaning of what he aspires in life and he is the only role that makes this so clear and vertical. Joe knows that we should all have our own opinion about our lives and we should not be tamed by anyone.
If you could play any character from a fairytale book or movie, who would it be and why?
I would love to do any villain. I mean…they always have the most to play with, considering vocal abilities and extreme facial expressions- love the side eye and the sassy/bitchy moods. They are powerful and most of the time very captivating. They are not afraid of breaking boundaries and going to places the other characters wouldn’t dare to go. They are the whole deal. They change the story. All the Cruelas, Frolos, Ursulas or the queen of snow while and Yzma from “The Emperor’s New Groove”- love her. Non of all these fairytales would be so fun without these strong villains.
Can you dish on any of your short-term career goals or future features/steps we can expect?
I’ve just finished the shows of “Twelve Night” on Karolos Koun Theater. I am taking some time off to rest and make up my mind. What I want is to create a show and find people to work with as a team; trying other production positions besides acting. A work to be released is a movie that will perhaps come out this summer named “Kiouka”, directed by K.Haramoundanis, where I am a starring role alongside Elsa Lekakou.
Which advice would you give to a young actor that’s trying to find their way in the industry?
Like many other industries, cinema, T.V and theater actors are categorized in boxes. Unfortunately, most of the time , our work is very specific. I find it very difficult to create an organic relationship with these qualities. My advice to those who are starting now is to mainly dig in and try a variety of projects. After that, I would suggest that one can take some distance to understand what’s that thing that really brought satisfaction out of all the experience that they gained. At the end of the day the criterion of being chosen for a job is what you have worked on as previous experience in combination with who you are as an artist.
Lastly, which fairytale character do you associate with the most and why?
The little mermaid. Ariel. As long as I remember my self, I wanted to be her. She lives in a world where she can’t fit in. She wants to explore a forbidden area because she feels that there’s something there that will make her feel free and true to herself. She has spent a long time fantasizing about this area in a way that has caused her an obsession. Although I don’t agree with the unfolding of the plot- she has to lose her voice in order to meet her prince- I feel moved with the first part of the story to this day. I identify with Ariel because of my queer trauma and the rejection I experienced from my family and generally my social environment. For many years I was feeling like sinking to the bottom while dreaming of the dry.
In Frame Konstantinos Georgopoulos
Post Production Edit Contantinos Lepouris
Creative Direction Filippos Vogdanis and Konstantinos Tsagkaris
Assistant Creative Director Ilektra Avgouli
Makeup by Lilly Dick
Styling Demi Bouki