Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey, Jr. and Kristos Andrews. Perhaps this interview is only with one of these great actors; this time around, it’s my friend Kristos, but the young superstar deserves to be in the category with the previously named thespians, who also much like Andrews, embody leading man good looks, innate talent in acting, possess the unique and rare qualities behind the scenes, that equal what they share on screen. Kristos Andrews may be the lesser known of these great Hollywood leading men, but not for long. The handsome star of “The Bay,” which also stars Mary Beth Evans, Matthew Ashford, Lane Davies, Camden Toy and legends of daytime soaps and beyond, has taken Hollywood and New York by storm. Andrews’s quest for stardom is filled with hard work and dedication to his crafts; yes, crafts, acting, writing, directing and producing. All done with aplomb.
I spoke with Kristos on Saturday, and here’s his exclusive and most in depth interview in his budding career.
A-“It’s an original script, set in modern day, inspired by stories from ‘The Book of Luke.’ Written by Gregori J. Martin (director/writer/producer) who’s also my business partner and good friend. As far as the story- my character, Jeremy, and the character of Luke are on opposite sides of the spectrum as the most driving forces which push the story’s purpose along. This movie has a lot to do with the concept of good and evil, and for the first time I’m diving right into a role which isn’t so (good).
Q-How can such a nice guy find such a dark place to be in, in this?
A-“Thanks Tommy, cool of you to say. One thing I’ve always found fascinating about acting is the fact that there are no limits, psychologically speaking. You can become anyone- potentially any character at all, if you can just wrap your mind around it. I definitely anticipate a challenge with this role. I’m no saint of course, but I also know I’m not one to have bad intentions. With that said I also believe that if someone does enough searching inside, discoveries can be made. Everyone has a good side of course, but everybody has a bad side too. I believe one’s usual integrity level more or less depends on which side they choose to (or can’t help but to) operate from more often. The character of Jeremy is conflicted- he deals with trying to hold on to a withering good that he still has left while continuously slipping into the dark, set off by a short fuse. His issue began as a case of Conduct Disorder when he was a child, and developed into a mesh of character where the bad is now on the verge of taking over altogether. So, I’ll be doing some searching within, on my ‘bad side’ to see what can be pulled out. It would be for the worse in any other case, but it’s obviously what I’ll need for this role. Whatever I find, I plan to ditch come post production of course.”
Q-Are you excited about the wide range of roles you’ve had over the past few years?
A-“Yeah, very! As far as my motivation for the role of Jeremy, this question hits the nail on the head. If you’re just gonna stay one person all the time, or continually play yourself for that matter- there’s nothing wrong with it, but there also isn’t all that much to it. That’s not where all the creativity is, or where the limits are pushed. Other roles that I’m fond of include ‘amnesiac-rebel’ Peter Garrett in The Bay, and of course Robert Areizaga Jr. in The Southside.”
Q-“The Southside” is your next project due for release. Who do you play in it?
A-“ Robert Areizaga Jr. The film is a tribute to him, made by his cousin- Gregori J. Martin. It’s based on a true story and follows him through the final few months of his life. He was heinously murdered at the age of 19.”
Q-Was it hard to play a murder victim, in that you felt you owed it to the
real person to make sure the character you portrayed was as close to the
truth as possible?
A-“Yes. The combination of playing a real life victim, while portraying him in an essentially true story.. isn’t something I could have ever expected. Shooting started very shortly after the actual tragedy happened. The project was more or less a split decision- a reaction, in itself, that Gregori had. Here’s where I came into the picture- for Robert and his family, Gregori didn’t want to just go ahead with the standard casting process and end up with an actor that he barely knows play the part. He said he just couldn’t do that. We’re talking about him doing a movie that he and his family will always hold very close to the core. So, there needed to be a direct line of communication, and more importantly, the professional sense couldn’t outweigh the real and personal sense. He needed someone close to him to do the job. Long story short, we’d become close friends by this point, and he asked me to do it. I knew that meant, of course, to transform myself into Robert to the best of my ability. In fact, it was a complete transformation for me. As a kid who grew up on the west coast of LA in a very certain environment my entire life… being relocated to Yonkers- a place I had never lived, let alone visited… not to mention I’d never been to New York state before… to become a 100% Yonkers raised, pure Puerto Rican-Dominican urban youth, who acts nothing like me, was a switch-up to say the least. Furthermore, I never met Robert.. and there was no documented footage of him that could be found or provided, so there was no way to get a make a direct observation of how he was. All we had was a video of him dancing on a car with girls. I knew the odds were against me, but I also understood how much going the distance with this would mean. So, I began wrapping my mind around the role with the help of Gregori and his family. One thing that helped was the fact that the best friends and cousins of Robert- ‘Jay’ and ‘Slime,’ aside from exact storyline, played themselves. Between Gregori’s directing and Robert’s cousins being around enough to hint me here and there and answer any questions I had, things just worked out. Alternative to that, I worked off Robert’s photos to get a feel for how he carried himself, spending time with his family- namely his father, actually reading his Facebook statuses and comments to get a feel for how he conducted himself.. the list goes on. All in all, I did my very best, and nothing less. I lived to give this role justice.
“With all of this said, I owe Gregori a big thanks for casting me, and as the director, helping guide me through the role. I’d also like to give a huge thanks to his family for giving me their orienting guidance too. I know it’s not easy to accept someone new who’s mission is to emulate a dear loved one who was just lost. If it weren’t for the sense of acceptance I felt from the family, I obviously wouldn’t have felt right about doing the role. When it’s all said and done, I can easily say it was a major honor and duty. It’s not often that an actor get’s to say they did something directly for the ‘greater good’ with a role they were cast in. Reason being- this was more than just a role. More than just a movie. Here we have a truly great person, who’s life was taken, who’s family and close ones suffer.. and his story deserves to be told. In this case, the form of a feature film. To be honest I can’t imagine myself ever playing a role that I’d consider more meaningful.”
Q-You continued producing and acting in “The Bay” Your character (Peter) really had
a lot of turmoil this year. How does a laid back guy like you find it within
yourself to be in the middle of the drama on screen?
A-“I’d say most people, laid back or not, have been through a given amount of drama in their life regardless. It’s hard to avoid because it just happens. Someone can be calm in general, but still have no choice but to deal with a dramatic situation when it arises. In any case, unwillingly or not, I would deal with what I had to deal with by reacting to exactly what was going on… while doing my best to remain calm and keep my thoughts together. To talk character.. if I were to take Peter Garrett’s mind and break it down- this may be confusing… but imagine an inner angst made up of disappointment and frustration due to the facts about your past.. while being unable to recall most of your upbringing- so your overall mental footing is pretty slippery.. then do your best to numb yourself to all that and find a sense of happiness and peace in the moment and small things. Now take that frame of mind and put it in the middle of all the drama that goes on in Bay City.. and there we have it- Peter in The Bay.
“As far as my thoughts on the producing- in a nutshell, it’s been a huge way for me to gain a lot more knowledge about how this industry works, and specifically how a project is put together. I know a lot more now than I would’ve had I never been given the opportunity to come aboard as a producer. The process, though it might not be quite as enjoyable for me as playing a role, is a lot of fun in the sense that it satisfies the ‘problem solving’ part of my mind that I, along with many I’m sure, love to build and satisfy- especially when it’s in a field you love. I’m thankful for that.”
Q-When can we expect to see The Garretts back in action?
A-“We’re scheduled to pick up with ‘The Bay’ again this Spring when hiatus is over with. And yes, the Garretts will be very much back in action. We just premiered our mid-season finale for Season 2, which is a click away at www.thebaytheseries.com. The current storylines definitely seem to be turning heads, so anyone reading, feel free to check out what I’m talking about!”
Indeed! Highlight Hollywood not only loves, but we suggest you take a look at Gregori Martin’s “The Bay.” Martin is multi-talented, and filled with energy and vigor, which is helping to revive, reinvent and support the soap genre, as well as proving he and business partner Kristos Andrews have the RIGHT STUFF to do Internet series, TV and films for the big screen.
You’d better pay attention to who Kristos Andrews is, because it will be no time at all before he’s the hottest leading man in Hollywood. And a nice guy as well!
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Lany Films
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd