The Greek actress who “won” Netflix
There is a music composition with the name The era of Melissanthi, composed by Manos Hatzidakis, sharing his thoughts about freedom after WW2. Melissanthi Mahout has her own era too, she is a young girl who has managed to gain fans from all over the world. First with her acting talent participating at the Netflix movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” but also impersonating Cassandra in the famous game Assassin’s Creed.
The talented actress was born in Canada from a Greek mother and a Canadian father so she’s capable to speak both languages fluently. She spent her childhood in Argos city in the Peloponnese, where she attended schools in the area and began her first artistic pursuits. “When I was a kid we went to Canada every summer, Christmas and Easter, so my childhood is inextricably linked to Canada. “Then I studied at the National Greek Theatre for three years and then in England for another three years at the School of Theater in London,” she said in a recent interview. Acting wasn’t actually in her mind, although her family seemed to have been waiting for this. This was probably evidenced by her obsession with cinema. “I may have watched 3 or 4 movies a day. The fiction was very intense, maybe that’s why I could not concentrate in school. “I was traveling elsewhere,” she said.
After passing through the National Theater and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and armed with her bilingual skills, Melissanthi began her journey into the world of theater and cinema. Her first stop was at the short films and performances in England, but also at the Vault Theater in Athens, with Dimitris Karatzias. Although she was a bit of anxious because of her young age, she won the impressions of the audience. Greek cinema followed (“Art Therapy”, “South”) and then came the global video game industry (Cassandra’s role in the famous Ubisoft video game earned her two nominations for the American and British “Oscars” of the genre). A little later came her collaboration with the director Sotiris Tsafoulias of the TV series “Eteros ego”. Her most recent appearance was in the ERT series “Postcard”.
Melissanthi has a special way to perform the roles given to her, she’s a natural talent and the immediacy of her interpretation convey to the viewer a sense of reality.
One of her loves, apart from acting, is teaching. From a young age she was working at the family English School. “I may have gone to class very tired, after rehearsals. Every time I went I may have been a corpse, but in class I was gaining some unthinkable energy. I was another person leaving. You learn from the children, from their immediacy and honesty, from the brake they do not put. I said I want more, it was not tiring for me. At some point I was trying to figure out if my parents did it on purpose that made me do the lessons from a young age to understand the side of the teachers and I get together too. “In any case, I am grateful and lucky that I had this opportunity,” she said in an interview.
The transformation into Cassandra
The years of her studies in England combined with the naturalness and comfort she has in the language brought her a little easier close to the big productions. It was then at the beginning of her career that she met her first manager and they were looking for new opportunities together.looking for actors of Greek descent to incorporate them into the then-new Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was. its production company, Ubisoft, is considered one of the most important in the world with an annual turnover of up to $ 2 billion per year).
The demands are huge and auditions even more until she takes on the role of Cassandra. After he finally got the role and had passed through Canada and England, he also met the co-star of Greek origin, Michael Antonakos. Their daily routine during the shooting of the game included a mocap suit that recorded their movements and basically played the same character, just with a different gender.
The game begins with the start of the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC, which finds Athens and Sparta face to face. Great attention was paid to the depiction of Ancient Athens as the player is given the opportunity to tour neighborhoods, such as that of potters – that is, Kerameikos -, marblers or weavers and to see sculptors working, orators to speak in Pnyx, a tragedy Theater of Dionysus and of course one of the focal points of the game is the majestic Acropolis.
Apart from Ancient Athens, it can also go to the Oracle of Delphi, the Peloponnese or sail to Greek islands, such as Crete, Chios, and Lesvos and go up to Macedonia.
The game is probably the longest in the history of the company. “Think that the average feature film has a script of about 180 pages and we had a script of 250-300 pages a week!” has stated Melissanthi.
The research for the game lasted about three years and in this part several historians worked with a master’s degree in Greek history.
The era of Netflix
After her great success in the video game, Melissanthi climbed an even higher step in her career, that of her collaboration with Netflix. The film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was screened on the well-known platform and there the audience – worldwide – had the opportunity, apart from Mahut’s voice, to get to know her entire artistic entity through the role of Mita Xenakis. There he also met the successful actor and protagonist of the film Will Ferrell, from whom, as he has stated, he learned several things.
“Mita’s role was not to have this size,” she explained in an interview. “Text began to be written during and after the audition. I did not know Dan Stevens before, we met at the first meeting we had with the director to discuss the relationship between our characters. A very nice friendship emerged from all this. He is a wonderful creature, very smart, very good at his job, a great professional, very funny. We wanted to make sure we were all on the same wavelength and make a decision about why these two little foxes are doing what they do. So we had met several times to explore it and develop it so that it would be something that the public would like and it would make sense “.
In the friendship they finally imagined, the Russian Alexander would feel comfortable enough with his Greek colleague to reveal his sexuality to her. She in turn would suggest to her gay friend to come with her to our country to live more freely. “I think that steady steps are being taken towards a more humane direction in Greece and fortunately there are too many awareness groups that we are struggling to establish,” she continued.
Today Melissanthi lives between Canada, London and Greece, carefully choosing her next artistic steps. Her original talent in acting brings her every day closer to achieving her goals but also to discovering possible new aspects of herself.
In the Purification cycle of the Other I will return exactly as we learned it, combative and determined.