I had the opportunity to chat with Toronto based actor/creator Vasilios Filippakis about his new series FAK YAASS. With a focus on family, this series follows Nico and his big Greek family on their journey of acceptance. You can check out the series June 17th on OUTtv, but right now you can find out more from my email based interview with Filippakis.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hello fabulous readers. I am Vasilios, a Toronto based actor/creator, an F45 trainer and avid peanut butter addict.
How would you describe your series FAK YAASS?
“FAK YAASS” is a mix between the authenticity of family and tradition in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the raw love shown in Queer as Folk depicting “love is love, no matter what”, and the realistic comedy and coarse language of Girls. This series has the heart of family, love and understanding, but the coming of age reality of the clash between old and new views.
What inspired the series?
My family was the major inspiration about the series. I found myself living these situations that I just thought were so funny and relatable. There were specific situations that always stayed in the back of my mind – whether comedic or emotionally challenging – that I had this desire to share with the world.
Without spoilers, can you share some of the on screen moments you’re excited for people to see?
Oh my. So many great moments. A fun dance scene. A scene with me on the toilet, etc etc! Overall, I think the relationship between Torri (Leanne Noelle Smith) and Nico (who I play) is a friendship that so many people can relate to. We have this one scene in a car that is really one of my favourites. It’s grounded, it’s real and really depicts where these two characters are in their story. Leanne is such an amazing scene partner and we have always had such a great connection. In episode two, we have a huge family dinner scene! It was epic to film. The character of Trish (Helen Hayden), the sister in law, has some really great moments. Helen’s comedic timing is impeccable and she really brought so much to that scene.
What were some of your favorite on set moments?
When Leanne and I had to film the car scene (that i talked about earlier), you’ll see our characters smoking a joint. Now, it was the real deal…good stuff too. We had to do a few takes and let me tell you…Leanne and I were having the time of our lives! I don’t think anyone really knew but after we filmed that scene we couldn’t stop laughing. My real family also got to be part of the series. My parents own a restaurant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada called Etta’s Greeklish Eatery, and my mom came to set for three days to help feed everyone! My mom, brother, sister-in-law, first cousin and little sister all got their cameos. Acting has been something I’ve done on my own, in another city, where my family doesn’t really know what it entails. I was so grateful to have them see the process and take part. I love them all so much.
What do you hope viewers take away from FAK YAASS?
I want viewers to acknowledge that there is still a major clash when it comes to the older generation and the new. But, that we all can learn something from each other still. I want people to think about their families, their values and what they may have an ignorance to in their own lives. There is space for all of us to see things in a different light, however, all it takes is the willingness to be open and listen. I also just want viewers to enjoy the show and want more!!!
Where can viewers keep up with you and FAK YAASS online?
To keep up with me, you can find me on instagram @vasiliosf For FAK YAASS follow us on instagram/facebook/twitter @fakyaass.