For close to two decades Greek Australian-born Louis Mandylor has worked in Hollywood. A one-time professional boxer and soccer player turned accomplished actor and filmmaker, Mandylor has starred opposite renowned talents such as Jeremy Renner, James Coburn, Burt Reynolds, Lainie Kazan, and Harvey Keitel.
Louis also played the character Nick in the comedy hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its sequel, which was released this year and remains a highly sought-after actor counting more than a dozen new feature films among his credits. Mandylor’s latest movie is One in the Chamber, an action thriller in which he stars opposite Oscar- winner Cuba Gooding Jr.
Mandylor has also starred in numerous leading television shows throughout his career including Grace Under Fire, Martial Law, the worldwide-loved Friends, and, most recently, episodes of CSI and Castle.
Lately, Louis has established a reputation as an award-winning director and independent filmmaker following the formation of his production company Krakatau Films, which has successfully produced its first three award-winning feature films.
Mandylor both starred in and directed the acclaimed psychological thriller In the Eyes of a Killer, which won top honours at the Action on Film Festival and his latest project is Elwood, a noir fantasy thriller set in a parallel world, starring Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Bruce Davison (X-Men) and Laura Harring (Mulholland Drive).
GCT recently caught up with Louis and chatted about his life in LA.
Tell us about your upbringing in Melbourne and moving to LA?
It was indeed an interesting childhood being born and raised in Melbourne, I had an array of dreams and goals. I grew up in the soccer club scene and was simultaneously involved in athletics. Amongst many of my dreams, I wanted to box professionally in the US and after boxing in my hometown I decided to visit my brother in the US and pursue a career in the ring. Well, one thing led to another and I ended up in an acting class and fell in love with the acting world.
Did you always have a close affiliation with the Greek community? What is your involvement with the Greek community now?
As far as the Greek community, I am always here for them. Supporting the community is a definitive love and now days living in LA, I am always available to be part of anything the Greek church here is behind. I was recently a part of the Korean day parade in LA, which had a Greek stand and I was there representing Greece.
When did you start acting, and what did you do before that?
I started acting as soon as I could talk but professionally in 1990, here in LA. Before that I was actually a hair dresser having studied and qualified at John Morrey school of hair in Melbourne (haha the memories). Then I played soccer professionally, boxed, worked in clubs. I believe all this made me people aware and assisted in the arts.
What are you up to now?
Now days I am as always pushing forth with my acting but for a decade now I have been directing and producing films. This last year I partnered with Carc Cebanoff in ODYSSEY MOTION PICTURES. We are a sales production company and am currently at AFM selling.
Can you tell us a bit more about Louis?
My personal life- well what’s to say? As everyone, I seek peace and some form of comfort in my existence. I attempt to express myself better and better each day and build my arts to a point where I can travel and have some freedom to really live.
What are you most passionate about?
It seems my passion is huge and without it, I personally can’t move. I love the arts and I am passionate about life and history- what greater men and women have achieved prior to my walk, and I try to excel to achieve as such.
Do you cook Greek food and if so, what is your signature dish?
I love to cook and have always been my mum’s little helper, which has turned me into quite the tasty hand. My best dishes are Avgolemono and Rizogalo.
What do you want to be most known for?
I just want to be respected for my work and I guess most known for being a really good actor and filmmaker.
How often do you visit Greece, and do you have any favorited destinations?
Yes, I am visiting Greece more and more and I love it. Sounio beach is my spot.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to reaching the place where I see the light.
Have you been known to do anything controversial?
Yes, most of the time when someone has an opinion or a voice they will be known as controversial. Most often it is a learning experience- sometimes I learn and sometimes they do.
What do you love about living in LA?
Everything! I love the weather, the life, the arts, the grunge, sometimes I find other cities are trying way too hard to be something other than themselves- that’s why I like LA.