Mimi Denise, a captivating actress whose talent shines brightly on both stage and screen, has left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With a passion for the arts that ignited during her college years, Mimi's journey into acting was serendipitous, marked by a remarkable blend of dedication and natural flair. Her diverse academic pursuits, including a major in History and Literature, seamlessly complemented her theatrical training, making her a multifaceted storyteller.
Mimi's career has been characterised by a rich tapestry of experiences, from her early days on the stage to her forays into directing and translating acclaimed works. Her impressive portfolio includes a wide range of international productions, each selected with a keen eye for messages that resonate with her soul.
As the founder of the Drama School "Central Stage," Mimi Denise continues to nurture young talent and explore new horizons in the world of drama. Her dedication to her craft and the unwavering support of her family, especially her daughter, form the bedrock of her illustrious journey. Mimi Denise, a luminary in the world of performing arts, remains an inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere.
How did your involvement in the art of acting begin, and what led you to choose this path?
I've always had a tendency toward art, even back in college. I used to write, direct, and act. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the lead actress by Vasilis Georgiadis in "Ungermann” TV series. That's how everything started. Life shows us the way.
Could you tell us a bit about your studies at the American College in Agia Paraskevi and your admission to the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens? Was it your own decision, or were you influenced by your circle?
The American College was my school, just as it had been my mother's and then my daughter's. Beyond the exceptional teachers, it's a very democratic school that encourages kids to follow their dreams and talents. During my school years, I decided to enroll in the School of Philosophy as I had a love for History and Literature. Simultaneously studying theater, I felt like I was in my natural environment.
How did you combine your undergraduate education with your training in acting at Giorgos Theodosiadis' Drama School?
Easily! These go hand in hand - Arts and Literature. And I've used them all in my career.
Which theatrical pieces have you translated and adapted, and which ones have conveyed messages that you kept throughout your professional and personal life?
If I were to list them all, it would take many pages. There are over 50! My favourite international works include "Amadeus," "Dangerous Liaisons," "Bent," "Rose," "Anna Karenina," "The King and I," and comedies by Feydeau and Labiche. The theatrical pieces you choose always carry messages that represent you.
Could you tell us a bit about the theatrical plays you've written, such as "Theodora," "Me, Laskarina," "Penelope Delta Meets Magas Dog," and "Smyrna My Beloved"? What was the audience's response to these works?
Also, "From Smyrna to Thessaloniki," which will be performed at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, tells the story of refugees and Jews in Constantinople from 1923 to 1940. All of them were beloved by the audience and became great successes in the Greek theatre. Among the highlights are "Smyrna My Beloved" and "From Smyrna to Thessaloniki." People really love Greek themes. And because I have a major in history from my studies, I enjoy engaging with these subjects and bringing out their unknown aspects. I see the audience's enthusiasm for such subjects.
What is your experience in the field of directing, and who has the more challenging role, the actor or the director?
I have directed many works. Since 2003, I have been directing every year. The role of the director requires a more holistic approach. The actor focuses on their own role. However, the actor gets to experience the love of the audience, and that is wonderful.
How did the idea behind founding the Drama School "Central Stage" come about, and what experiences and collaborations emerged from the establishment of the school?
It stemmed from my need to help young children and to encounter new ideas myself. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to performances and the significant film “Smyrna My Beloved”, I haven't been able to devote time to the Drama School. In the past, I invited notable international artists such as Olympia Dukakis, the lead actor Peter Brook, and others to teach.
Could you tell us a few words about the successful movie and mini-series on Antenna that you created based on your work "Smyrna My Beloved" and the message you wanted to convey through it?
It's a film that we were fortunate enough to make into an international success. We had great contributors and actors, and that's how we achieved it with the production company Tanweer, D. Samiotis, G. Karantinakis, Fotini Dimou, and Martin Sherman. I wanted to globally highlight the forgotten subject of the Catastrophe (referring to the Great Fire of Smyrna), and we succeeded.
With which significant artists have you collaborated in your career, and what have you gained from these collaborations?
From all the collaborations, you gain something, and there are many. Voutsinas, Volanakis, Margaritis, Dimos, Georgiadis, Andreou, Michaelidis, and many other foreign and Greek artists equally great.
What is the next challenge you would like to face in your career?
To adapt my theatrical play "From Smyrna to Thessaloniki" into a TV series.
Does family, and especially your daughter, play an important role in the decisions you make?
The most important role. Family, for me, comes above all. It is the foundation of my life. My daughter is a kind girl with good judgment and is always by my side, providing support and forming an opinion. She is the treasure of my life.