NEW YORK – The talented actor Anthony Skordi was born in London, England, to Greek-Cypriot parents. He attended Drama Centre in London, was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990-2, and a member of Vanessa Redgrave’s Moving Theatre Company. He has voiced many video games, promos, and trailers and has appeared as series regular on several TV series in Europe, including in the UK and Greece, and continues working both in the U.S. and Europe. Among his television roles as series regular, Skordi played Silas Manatos in Prime Suspect 1973, and in the U.S. he featured in episodes of popular series such as Scorpion, The Blacklist, and The Last Ship. Skordi wrote Onassis the Play and performed it at the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles in 2011-12 and is now bringing the play to New York.
He spoke with The National Herald about his work, his Greek-Cypriot heritage, and bringing his play about the iconic Greek shipping tycoon to New York.
TNH: Did you always want to go into the theatre?
Anthony Skordi: My training is in theatre and I have worked extensively in theatre in the distant past. I always wanted to be an actor, whether that is in TV, film or theatre didn’t matter as much as being able to bring characters to life and to tell stories… No, it’s also voiceovers on animated movies such as The Queen’s Corgi and motion capture as Admiral Versio in Star Wars Battlefront 2.
TNH: How long did the play Onassis take from idea to production?
AS: It took approximately 11 months from inspection to writing to rewriting it and a 6 week run at the Stella Adler theatre in Los Angeles. This was 2011-2012.
TNH: How does your heritage influence your work, if at all?
AS: Specifically to Onassis, the play, my Greek-Greek Cypriot roots, heritage, upbringing have been immensely helpful in feeding the mentality, the thought process, the Greek Orthodox ethos coupled with the tradition of the gods of Mount Olympus where we still say ”It’s fate, destiny” which is Onassis’ uncle Alexandros’ take on life, that the Myrai controlled it all and he had no choice, coupled with Yiayia Gethsemeni telling Ari to pray and be good and at the end to repent for his sins and he shall be saved.
TNH: What has been the most rewarding aspect of working on the show?
AS: To see people connect with a man they thought they had nothing in common with. An opportunity to play a character that would never be written for us Greek actors. To be able to weave in Greek myths into the play…
TNH: Are the restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus affecting the production?
AS: I think the restrictions have touched everybody worldwide in every area of our lives. Theatres are now dark in Manhattan and London. It’s a wise choice to do this, to halt the spread of the virus, but Dikran Tulaine (the play’s director) and I are continuing to rehearse so we will be ready to go into performance within a week of theatres reopening whenever that might be.
The main issue we are facing is raising funds for the initial run. The Greek community has been very helpful in the past supporting the arts and artists and am sure they will this time. I am referring to the Indiegogo fundraising site which has been stagnant for a week or so or should I say since the coronavirus problem. We gave theatre to the World, so we know its value…
TNH: We wish you all the best and break a leg!
More information about the fundraising campaign for Onassis the Play is available online: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/an-evening-with-aristotle-onassis#/