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 News Stories

Yesterday, 18:29

All housing projects requiring external cladding have been “paused” by Hackney Council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Yesterday, 16:06

A man who kidnapped his ex-wife, tied her up and raped her in a dungeon has been jailed for 13 years.

Yesterday, 15:32

Plans to sell booze to artists and designers at a London Fields workspace face an uphill battle – because police say its launch party turned into a rowdy nightclub.

Yesterday, 12:07

A man has been charged following the Finsbury Park terrorist attack.

Yesterday, 11:44

Left-wingers loyal to Jeremy Corbyn swept the board at last night’s Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party AGM, clearing aside the centrists who have dominated the party’s local top table in recent years.

Yesterday, 10:25

A new Guinness World Record has been set for the most people on trampolines in one location by a group of hardy souls in Haggerston Park.

Yesterday, 09:21

Hackney Police is appealing for witnesses after a series of “frightening” night-time burglaries in the past week.

Star reporter Emma Youle has scooped her second top national award in weeks for the Gazette’s Hidden Homeless series, which dragged Hackney’s housing crisis into the spotlight.

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

Competitions

Now in its 11th year, Field Day is bringing together an exceptional mix of artists and genres once more to an east London park.