Makis Delaportas - An Artist Who Compiles the Biographies Of Great Greek Artists


Makis Delaportas was born in Piraeus, Greece and studied at the Athens Drama School. He graduated in 1982 and since then he has participated as an actor in many films, plays and television serials. His love for Greek cinema led him in 1989 to immerse himself in discography and edit more than 300 records, saving and recording important soundtracks of great Greek composers. 

In 1998, Delaportas also started to compile the biographies of great Greek actors. He has authored 50 books, albums and collector's monographs about the leading artists of cinema and theatre. Since 2010, he has been staging his own theatre shows with great success.


Did you have a strong artistic focus during your childhood years? Were your eyes set on an artistic horizon with different art forms?

I think everything in life is meant to be, it’s karma I could say. How coincidental it was that a child from a very young age who loved the cinema, there would find a cinema built next to his house. That defined everything in my life. It was definitely something that gave me an artistic focus. I watched Greek cinema because it was what I liked and especially the musicals of Dalianidis. I was traveling in the dream through the magical scenes and faces the musicals portrayed. So yes, that was the first taste for the artistic world.

What are the elements and skills that an actor should have?

First of all, talent. It is innate. You can't identify it and you can't separate it. Talent is shown on stage and on the screen. But having an innate talent in your supplies bag, I would say that that makes you more responsible to work more and make sacrifices in life. The theatre is magic and it's a very different job if we would call it a job. So, it definitely requires knowledge to dedicate your life to this job so that it can pay you off.

What intrigued you to deal with the biographies of all the great Greek stars?

First of all, my love for them. And secondly, Aliki Vougiouklaki saw something in me that I could do this well. Until the moment Aliki told me that she wanted me to write and sign her biography - something I had never thought about before. She believed that I could do it. As a kid, I remember myself collecting materials and researching the lives of the actors. I was collecting photos and magazine interviews. Aliki Vougiouklaki appreciated this very much, so it was then she signed up with a big publishing house to do her biography written by me. When your fairy godmother touches you with her magic wand, I think something good will happen in your life. So, my fairy godmother touched me with her wand and so from the one book that was Vougiouklaki's life, I have reached a total of 51 books with biographies of other Greek actors. 

BAL 4741 ΚΑΛΗ 

Which collaborations are the ones you remember most vividly and enjoyed the most?

I would say my first collaboration. The first one was with Aliki Vougiouklaki on “Cabaret”. The second one was with Rena Vlachopoulou who was really a mentor to me. It was like going to university and learning things from scratch again. Also, I played with very important actors in the cinema, such as Mimis Fotopoulos, Dinos Iliopoulos, Nikos Rizos and Vassilis Tsivilikas, it was a period for me to really learn through these great actors. I will single out Giannis Dalianidis, my television teacher and later became my heartfelt friend. I have only nice moments to remember with Giannis. Also, the younger musicians of the musical theatre are some of the nice moments to reminisce, since I do my own performances. And there will be many more collaborations in the years to follow.

What have you gained from your interaction with all these great Greek artists?

First of all, I feel blessed to have been on their path by embracing me as they saw that beyond my talent, I had respect and ethos from my first years in this profession. These two elements were very important to these great and demanding people to put my name next to theirs. I have only reaped important principles and of course, when I started biograph-ing most of them, I traveled in their space-time which was magical. This was my dowry after all and I will always carry it with me.

Is it easy for an actor to balance the role and his real life?

It's not very easy, it's nerve-wracking and many times you don't succeed it. On the other hand, it's redemption. For me as an actor when I get on stage it is the ultimate psychotherapy as long as the play lasts. And because I've been writing for 20 years alongside acting, I could say that writing requires loneliness, so the stage comes along and sharing emotions with the audience starts to exist and that's how it starts to balance me.

What is it that you have loved the most - theatre, cinema or television?

I have never accepted this separation in acting. I do not feel exclusively special as either an actor or a director or a writer or a biographer. I am an artist, I was born an artist who through this path and the path I have built and created in this profession, it is the profession itself, I love the most. I could not do anything else but live in it as I might have been a person who would not have been complete as a personality. I feel fulfilled through the theatre. Lots of sacrifices are to be made.

Let's talk about the #metoo movement. Should artists denounce anything they consider to be against their beliefs and their professional ethics?

When one starts this job and respects the older generation of actors that have already existed; one may admire them and may have them as role models. When these standards are shattered in a very bad way, behaviour can become sexual harassment, taking you a while to realise what is happening and to know how to tackle it. I am glad that the victims of all these complaints that we have heard over the years, albeit belatedly, they have found the strength to come out and denounce these attitudes. Any parasite must be uprooted. These incidents are the minority. The foundation of the theatre and our work is magical. It's time to clear up some issues and awful behaviours and move forward on a clearer path and become better humans. Those who accept any form of bad behaviour should stop it.

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You are a low-profile person. What is it that makes you not want to share personal moments with the public that loves you?

When you are an artist, the first thing that counts is your profession. The purpose is sacred, your work is special and you have to focus on that. I don't think I need to share personal moments. And the audience has to learn about your work and not about your personal life. There is no need for the public to look through a peephole. There is no need for the audience to know if Makis Delaportas has fallen in love, if he lives this way or that way. My professional career should interest the public and not my private life. 

What is your new book about?

The book “The Backstages of Greek Cinema” was born during the time of the pandemic. I've had handwritten notes from the previous years about some backstage events recited to me by the protagonists themselves on our nights out and other gatherings at home. I was always jotting down all this information so I would never forget all these stories behind the camera. The book is very interesting because it has a special behind the scenes story behind the story that the viewers see on the screen. We're talking about love, arguments, sad and humorous stories. This is my 51st book and it is of great interest; I think I am starting a new cycle of books.

What are your future dreams and what are those dreams that you have not yet realised?

I don't want to make long-term plans for life and this particular job no matter how hard I worked, I am one of the people who put an effort to achieve what I have achieved, with no support from either the state or the producers or anyone else. I am self-made.

One of my next plans is to create the Greek Cinema Museum in the Municipality of Elliniko. All this material I've gathered all these years must be displayed somewhere so as the future generations of Greeks could access and see it and learn more about Greek cinema. I think that's one of my ultimate goals in the future.





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