The Greek actor, director and screenwriter adds: ‘Many times my relationship with my pen was erotic’

The creator of the hit television series “Maestro”, Christopher Papakaliatis, spoke to Tassos Tryfonos and Cyprus-based Alpha channel’s ‘Tête-à-tête’ program two days after its world premier on Netflix, touching on his relationship with screenwriting, and revealing, among others, that he now wants to focus on cinema.

Maestro, set in the picturesque northern Ionian island of Paxos, was created for and first aired on the Athens-based Mega Channel.

As he explained, he wasn’t planning to return to television, although he changed his mind during the pandemic when other plans were delayed.

“The thought of returning to television had ended. This changed due to Covid because I was preparing a film I was going to make, and while everything was ready, the pandemic broke out, cinema shut down and waited for all of this to pass before we could again start… I had Maestro, and due to the delay, and I thought of making it into miniseries, because they were asking me to do something in Greece,” he explains.

The noted 47-year-old Greek creator added: “One of the reasons I included (the isle of) Paxos (in location shooting) was to be more protected vis-a-vis the pandemic. In writing the scenario I saw how interesting these heroes are in terms of the script. I was right on the mark, and the actors really elevated their roles greatly.”

‘After the movies…’

Asked about his collaboration with noted Greek performer Haroula (Haris) Alexiou, he said that “…I was writing the second episode and I had seen an interview with Haris Alexiou. I decided to give it a try; I did some research on my own on how she spoke. I called her one day and told her that I was writing a television series, and if she wanted to read it. I sent the script to her, and to tell you the truth, I wrote the third episode based on Haris, and sent it to her. After two days, she calls me up and says, ‘my lad, we don’t even know each other – but that’s me!’ We were just coming out of the lockdown and she wanted to do things.

“When Maestro ends, I won’t do television again. I can’t do it. With Maestro I discovered that I’ve also changed. Especially after film-making the way I handle things isn’t really the ‘television way’, it’s the ‘movie way’. This is terribly time-consuming, costly and soul-searching,» he stressed.

Asked about his relationship with screenwriting, he underlined: «Many times my relationship with the pen is erotic. The relationship I have with the script is like having a relationship with another person. Growing up, I’m very much in favor of relationships, and people maturing through relationships; we evolve and you understand things about yourself – particularly for myself; you grow and you understand things about yourself.”

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