NEW YORK – Greek-Canadian actress/model/entrepreneur Xen Sams spoke with The National Herald about her Greek heritage and her latest projects, including her radio talk show, Moment of Xen.
TNH: Were you always interested in becoming an actress/model/entrepreneur?
Xen Sams: I was extremely artistic growing up, I loved the theater and loved being in front of the camera. I was always driven by music, I would spend hours writing poetry. By the time I was a teenager, I was working as model and by the time I was a young adult, I went on to sign with the late Monique Pillard at NYC's Elite New York models.
The entrepreneur in me always ran parallel to my artistry. I was always able to turn art into a business.
My feature in Forbes this past year was definitely a career highlight. The article centered around the digital process, how brands are now existing virtually and what must be done to appeal and expand to new customers. Understanding this requires a lot of entrepreneurial skills but turning it into something “brand-able” requires artistry. This is something that I pride myself on.
TNH: Where in Greece is the family from originally?
XS: My father, Theodoros who often went by the name Laki - God bless his soul and may he continue to rest in peace - was born in Patras, Greece. My mother Vicky currently lives in Montreal. She was born in Ioannina, Greece. Their families emigrated from Greece to Montreal when they were both very young, where they serendipitously met and got married - shortly after that, my sister, Anastasia, and I were born. My full name is PolyXenia or "Xenaki" as my daddy used to call me.
TNH: How does your Greek heritage influence your work?
XS: I speak fluent Greek, but I love languages, I find it helps me connect with people. I also speak fluent French and Italian. My Greek heritage is a huge part of my work, specifically my work ethic, and my love for people and great conversations.
Growing up “Greek” meant Sunday church followed by Sunday lunch. The table was always full of food and wine, with no less than 10 to 15 people at a time. I remember sitting on my grandfather's lap and listening to the adults converse about politics, the world, life, etc... I started getting involved in these intellectual conversations at a very young age. Although my modeling and my acting career requires a much more artistic approach, having my own show on talk radio, is very fitting. I love people. I love speaking to them and hearing about their life; more importantly sharing their great stories.
TNH: How has your family reacted to your success?
XS: My family, extended family, friends and peers are so supportive. I'm blessed to be loved by such amazing people. My 5 year old daughter, Alexa, is my biggest cheerleader and my husband, Brad Feinstein, is my rock.
TNH: What was it like working on The Banker?
XS: Working on the film set of the banker, (I play the role of Judith White) was an honor. We filmed in Atlanta two years ago - the experience was surreal. Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, and Nia Long were amongst the incredible cast members I got to see and work with. It was a humbling experience. One I will never forget. The Banker, produced by Romulus Entertainment, went on to get nominated and win and NAACP image award.
TNH: How did the radio show come about?
XS: I shall start from the beginning- The Protocol was a short film which I starred in, amongst Hollywood A-listers, and executive produced.
The Protocol focuses and addresses the ongoing mental health disorder in America and the battle society is facing. In 2019, I was promoting the film on various radio platforms, talk shows, TV stations and major news outlets. In November of 2019, I was invited on a show called “Liquid Lunch” on Newsmax to discuss The Protocol. After the segment aired, and appealing to their audience, I was asked to return for an additional segment the following week. This resulted in me being the main female contributor on Wednesdays for a segment called #WomenWednesdays. I would anchor down segments on Wednesday and at times Friday, bringing the viewers everything film, fashion, pop culture, entertainment, and politics from the millennial mom's perspective. In addition, I continued contributing remotely during COVID over many other platforms, such as BizTV, Oregon Money talk radio, WABC, Joe Piscopo on 970 AM The Answer, and Eyes on New Jersey, to name a few, and one thing led to another. Having my own show seemed to be the direction I was being pulled in. I have been a media contributor since 2019, and the pandemic truly paved the way for me.
TNH: What are you working on next?
XS: I'm currently working on my show “MoMent of Xen,” a weekly one-hour show that airs every Saturday night from 7-8 PM on 710 WOR the Voice of New York, iHeartRadio. The show then gets converted to a digital podcast that is accessible directly on the WOR website /Moment of Xen landing page.
Additionally, we convert it to a full TV show that we upload on WOR and YouTube after it's aired on the radio. In May, we move to 9-10 PM live.
More information is available online: https://710wor.iheart.com/a-moment-of-xen/ and
IG / Twitter / FB @Xen Sams