Search

‘Life would be a misery were it not for the arts’: Ex Eastenders actor James Alexandrou on directing his first feature film

PUBLISHED: 08:35 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:35 15 June 2017

James Alexandrou. Photo; Emma Bartholomew

James Alexandrou. Photo; Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew meets ex-EastEnders actor James Alexandrou to find out why he’s so passionate about the feature film he made on a budget in 12 days, which stars his fiancee and makes its premiere at Rich Mix tomorrow night.

James Alexandrou. Photo; Emma BartholomewJames Alexandrou. Photo; Emma Bartholomew

James Alexandrou was keen to meet up face to face rather than speak on the phone about his first ever feature film, which premieres at the East End Film Festival tomorrow (Fri).

The 32-year-old actor-turned-director, who spent a decade of his youth playing Martin Fowler in EastEnders, realised as he was waiting for me in Shoreditch Grind he’d come full circle, having written most of the script in there.

By his own admission, at that time he would have been “feeling kind of scared and depressed, probably”.

Called The Show, it’s about a famous soap opera actress – played by his fiancée Celine Abrahams – who decides to tread the boards in search of artistic fulfilment.

James, who lives in Shoreditch, wrote it as a result of his own experience deciding he wanted to leave EastEnders 10 years ago.

He has fuzzy recollection of how he was written out of the script, but says it was “probably a Friday night dramatic scene”.

“I think me and Sonia left in a cab with our baby having reconciled. You either leave in a black cab or a coffin.

“The root of the film was knowing kind of what I wanted to do, but also not knowing what I wanted to do. Part of me was obsessed with work and trying to prove myself in that ‘angry young man’ kind of way, and the other side was a bit lazy and wanting to put on the costumes and flounce around on stage and get applause.

“Those two sides of me became the main characters in the film and it was a way for me to work out some s*** in my psyche I suppose.”

But the death of two people he loved made him reevaluate his life, and made him disheartened about acting. It felt “ridiculous” to “put on costumes and run around stage and do silly voices”.

“But I realised that’s only one way to look at it. If you can do it authentically you can lend meaning to anything you do. I learned that theatre and film and all that is essential to everyone.

“Without the arts what are we doing? What a miserable life that would be.”

The film premieres at Rich Mix at 6.30pm.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 19:18

The cause of Rashan Charles’ death is not likely to be made public until next summer, to allow the police watchdog to complete its investigation.

Yesterday, 18:30

Westley, Malan and Roland-Jones to face West Indies

Yesterday, 17:00

The O’s are still actively looking for a target man, but have been frustrated in their attempts to bring one in so far

Yesterday, 15:37

Sixty-five years ago, Stoke Newington’s last tram pulled away. The Gazette spoke to readers who remember the horse-drawn – and later electric – vehicles that ran down Green Lanes and connected Hackney to the rest of north London.

Yesterday, 15:11

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to a pair whose hair products are being sold around the world.

Yesterday, 15:00

Three members of the same family talk about their revamped version of Hamlet coming to the Park Theatre

Yesterday, 15:00

Tolga Dervish likely to take charge of his new team for the first time, but Imrul Gazi’s men are also desperate for the points

Yesterday, 13:00

Local club defeated Indian Gymkhana 2-1 with captain Sam Edwards netting a late penalty on the opening day of the season

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists