Just recently, Greek City Times spoke with award winning actor and independent filmmaker George Zouvelos about his 25 wins, 3 nominations and 13 additional film and television awards between 2018-2021.
Many of his entertainment industry peers, consider film professionals as George Zouvelos as an emerging quintuple threat, as unlike most actors, Zouvelos is also a creator, writer, producer and director of television, stage, films and music videos.
Towering at nearly 6’5, George Zouvelos, (Greek: Γιώργος Ζουβελος) pronounced (Zoo’ – vel- os), is a native New Yorker, a SAG-Aftra award winning actor, producer, director, and filmmaker. George has served as Daytime Emmy Judge, for The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Zouvelos often narrates stories, and public service announcements, as well as produces advertisements, content and vignettes promoting Hellenism, Greece and Greek tourism.
He also utilises his recognisable deep speaking voice, accompanied by his copy-written slogans such as, “Visit Greece, No Filter Ever Required” ©, “Just don’t take a vacation, come home to Greece and make memories— trust me you’ll feel better”,© and “ΖΗΤΩ Ο ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΣ ΠΑΝΤΟΥ” (HAIL HELLENISM EVERYWHERE) © George Zouvelos 2021.
In his spare time, George endeavours to highlight prevailing social issues of our time, such as, Stop the Gender Pay Gap/Gender Inequality; Stop the Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing;, has advocated for the Rights of the Elderly; for the protection of Constitutional, Civil Rights and Liberties; for quality Early Childhood Education; Free City and State College undergraduate tuition; is proactive on behalf of Veterans Affairs; and, advocates against Poverty and Homelessness.
By reading and listening to his work, it is evident that Zouvelos utilises Socratic logic, and has an eye for providing well researched, neutral and commonsensical based perspectives in order to get the reader and viewer to comprehend an entire issue, and from all angles.
George says that he does the same things for his filmmaking and in his creative process, as he considers himself a modern-day storyteller with an old soul.
“Although I was born in the United States, I’m carrying-on Hellenic / Greek ancient oral storytelling tradition passed-on by my forefathers who hail from the highest mountain peaks of Sparta and Arcadia, located in the Hellenic Republic / Greece,” he says.
“What I enjoy doing is, expanding on the storytelling, by reducing stories to writing, and to the stage, television and the Hollywood screens so people of all parts of the world can enjoy.”
George graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York city, he also studied Strasberg style method acting; and, later also filmmaking and cinematography at the NYFA, New York Film Academy, in New York City. Additionally, he is also a member of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT).
Zouvelos admits, “I’m always trying to perfect my art in order to bring more brilliance and authenticity to my acting performances. Whether I’m in front of the camera as actor, or behind the camera as a writer and director, being able to effectively communicate genuine and believable human emotions, expressions and mannerisms are all crucial to be captured in the finished and published works.”
He added, “In my opinion, this is best accomplished by performing the detailed research, observations, while experiencing, and listening to every perspective possible.
“I believe that these are all crucial aspects in order to successfully infuse true and intellectually honest authenticity into a script; to be able to transfer the script to the actor for his/her acting performance; and, through the eye of the director and cinematographer, to be able to brilliantly capture same for the screen. You see in life, as in filmmaking, educating yourself is a life long process, it does not stop at any particular age, in fact it never stops. Simply, as you live you learn.”
During our interview, George explains that he is the creator and writer of a made to be presented to Netflix, Showtime, Paramount and HBO television teleplay drama, comedy and crime series pilot called ‘Spyros Yeeros ©’.
Zouvelos states that tentatively agreements have been made for the cast starring Basile the Comedian, Angelo Tsarouchas, Ellen Karis, and George Zouvelos himself.
“The teleplay, with its story arcs and scenarios, were written by me with these actors, looks and capabilities in mind,” says Zouvelos.
Spyros Yeeros SY is a television series featuring a fictitious Greek American family of six brothers and sisters. The storyline follows the trials and tribulations of these siblings who had all followed different career paths, but have now returned to run their retiring parents’ NYC diner / restaurant. They convert it into a successful gyro franchise which quickly rises to the top of New York’s gastronomical scene. SY is based during the onset of the COVID pandemic, and its franchise success is partially credited to the deployment of food trucks that have meat gyro, as well as vegan alternative cuisine that is seasoned, prepared and customised to fit each of the 24 ethnically diverse neighbourhoods the trucks are dispatched to.
Zouvelos explained that in the SY series, each brother and sister navigates their own personal modern day Greek tragedy, while bringing bad habits and other less than respectful, and nefarious behaviours into the family business.
“Simply, can six siblings run their retiring parents’ New York city diner, rise it to the top of NY’s gastronomical scene, navigate personal Greek tragedies, while trying to build the business without killing each other?”
You must stay tuned and find out in Spyros Yeeros which is copyright, created and written by George Zouvelos. ‘Where Family Is the Most Important Ingredient” © George Zouvelos 2021.
Zouvelos also noted that along with his up and coming acting talent friend George Kyriakopoulos have partnered to create, co-write, co-director and co-produce the multi film festival award winning television series Marvel Comics Avengers style spinoff fan concept called the The Next Generation, TNG.
The Next Generation series thus far is a Winner as Best Short Film, Best Television Series, Best Action and Adventure Film, Best Sci-Fi Film, Best Pilot, Best Director, and Best Actor in two dozen film festivals. TNH has also received numerous ‘Selected’, ‘Nominated’, ‘Semi Finalist’, ‘Finalist’ rankings and awards. TNG stars both George Kyriakopoulos, who plays the young hero, and George Zouvelos who plays the treacherous arch-villain.
Zouvelos has been increasingly cast and featured as a SAG Aftra principle and supporting actor roles on faith based and family friendly television films that have been sold and viewed around the world. A few of them are, ‘The Maltese Holiday’, and ‘Deck The Hearts’.
Zouvelos was an Associate Producer on feature films as ‘Heavenly Deposit’ starring actor George Vincent; and, in the worldwide released and streaming television shows as ‘Little Cupid’, and ‘Ivy and the Mistletoe’, which he was instrumental in selling to foreign markets like Hellas / Greece for distribution.
George was the executive producer, lead actor for the multi award-winning short film called ‘Definitely Soy’. DS won Best Director in Los Angeles, Best Film in Rome, Best Screenplay in London and Best Actor George Zouvelos in Bollywood. The short film is being edited and remastered to possibly appear on streaming channels like Sundance.
Zouvelos co-produced and co-starred in So Tiri’s hit ‘Fanta‘ music video that has nearly 2 million views worldwide.
George Zouvelos says that he was raised to be civic-minded, and is proud of his Hellenic heritage. Besides being able to read, write, and speak Hellenic/ Greek fluently, his bio lists that he is very involved in the community since he was a young man.
His bio for example lists that, ‘George is a member of UNESCO, Club for UNESCO Hellas Greece of Piraeus and the Islands, a private, non profit and NGO non governmental organization, aiming to foster world heritage and respect for monuments and significant cultural sites, intercultural awareness, understanding, cooperation and solidarity according to the principles and ideals of UNESCO;’ and ‘George is the New York State District Secretary of AHEPA. George has been in ΑΧΕΠΑ for nearly 30 years.
AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) is the largest an oldest Hellenic American philanthropic organisation in the world, and founded in Atlanta Georgia in 1922 to fight racism, bigotry, and discrimination against Hellenes, and all peoples.’
As an increasingly recognised and emerging award winning storyteller, George Zouvelos says, “What we need in this world is more Philotimo, and less vilification of one another by falling victim to believing false narratives and the various agendas of others simply because they were transmitted by a likeable celebrity, or seen on a favourite pop culture channel, on social media or purported news site. We must remember that at the end of the day it is our humanity that is the commonality that binds all of us.”
When Zouvelos was asked what else he has planning for his career, he stated; “If the good Lord permits I will continue plans to collaborate with other gifted and talented individuals, and up and coming talent.
“It is the up and coming talent from everywhere I want to collaborate and try to assist. It is a fact that the world we live in equally distributes gifted people everywhere, with talent and graces; but it does not equally distribute opportunities for all people everywhere.
“Also with these, I wholeheartedly desire to be given the opportunities to continue to create amazing and compelling content for stage, the silver screen and television. We will continue to create content that celebrates life, exposes the human condition, and relays comprehendible and relatable human-nature and emotions to the viewers.
“After all, we are all simply human.”
***ALL PHOTOGRAPHS are copyright George Zouvelos 2021 all rights reserved