Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 06 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 JULY 2019 13 FILMS Marco Kyris has enjoyed the perks of a Hollywood movie star’s career but not for himself, and not as himself ‘Jiu Jitsu’ is ‘make or break’ for Cyprus Academy award winning actor Nicolas Cage, right, and actor Jony Jaa pose to the media at a news conference for his new film Jiu Jitsu being filmed on the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, PHOTO: AP PHOTO/PETROS KARADJIAS A Nicolas and Marco. Same hair colour, same skin tones, same everything. Marco Kyris and Nicolas Cage, like twins. You get driven around in limousines like a superstar and drink and party like one, only, you are not! “ took the permanent stand-in role more for learning the film biz through Cage. It was only after he was perked up on a heavy travel package that the money was worth the toll. Meanwhile, Cage and Kyris' working relationship was becoming more friendly, but still not personal. "He was my boss, as he was to the rest of our entourage. So, we all understood our place in the working aspect of it. He is a very private man and does not open up about his personal world. Though we knew a lot about him, it was what he allowed us to know. "I never asked any personal questions, as it was not my place to do so. But, we were all friendly for that decade we worked together. And wined and dined often too, while on location outside of LA." Kyris had a secret talent, too. Investment property. He started acquiring and renovating houses in Toronto between standing-in for Cage and by the end of his stint he owned 12 properties. Cage himself had at one point reached owning 15 homes, but wasn't as savvy as his stand-in. "He didn't rent out his places – he just lived in them all, landing in debt," says Kyris who now lives comfortably off his investment-properties. Property investment is not Kyris' only interest who aspires to turn his documentary into a feature film. However, his life has been non film-esque. Once it was over at the end of 2004, Kyris was burnt out. What kept him going was his real estate in Toronto and Fort Lauderdale. "I invested in a restaurant too, but never really worked another job again," he stresses. My goal was to finally retire by 50 after all those years on film sets. And it happened. Now I do the projects I want to do like this film and a book, and chill out at home and travel. Feels so right!" "This is my story of what it was like, being the man in the shadows under an A-list actor in Hollywood from 1994 to 2004. We worked together on 20 films in total. "There's so many more stories to tell and not all of them are fun. Long hours… gruelling locations, a million setbacks and lots of drama…" Kyris admits he quit his role due to exhaustion as the long hours and constant travelling took a toll on personal life, relationships and physical health. "The main challenges for me were the very long hours and obscure locations. The hours of morning, then split shifts, then overnight shoots, time zones, dusty towns to work in with no amenities. I was so not into that at all. I am Gappy [Greek for Jappy]. I like comfort kai to kafedaki mou." "But the film biz is a grind, and ridiculous amount of work, lots of it quite tedious; so it really challenged my natural agitated state of being. The best parts were that I became more disciplined. Kind of like in the military. Regiment and routine became the norm, and I learned how to be patient on a job site, and to learn how to work with hundreds of people daily in different departments. Things I never understood before. A great learning challenge for an unschooled blot like me." However, it was always about a compromise when working for an A-list Hollywood actor. Same hair colour, same skin tones, same everything. "I could not go to the beach to tan if he wasn't. I could not grow my hair or dye it black again while working. I had to lose or gain some weight for films," he says. "I had to keep a professional profile outside of the set, too. Not to be seen as a wild man drunk in bars, or driving crazy. I had to have a clean record on all accounts. And I did, the entire time, without fail!" Does he miss it? "No, I do not miss the stand-in gig at all," he replies. "I am done and doner with it all from the last Cage film. I do not regret being gone from it at all!" Before Kyris takes on the demanding project of turning his decade as a stand-in into a feature film, he reveals that there is also an upcoming book project about his life. "This short documentary is like a teaser. Now I'm the man who's coming out of the shadows. Because I feel like I am worthy and I am good enough, like anybody else." cademy-Award winning actor Nicolas Cage is in Cyprus for the filming of 'Jiu Jitsu', a science fiction/martial arts film. He met with the press at Hilton Park in Nicosia for a press conference over the weekend. While guests shared their love of Cypriot culture and cuisine, Cage highlighted that it was the combination of the sci-fi and action genres that drew him to the movie. "I'm eclectic," he said. "And I like to do all kinds of movies and express myself in all sorts of ways and this was interesting for me." Cage said that Cyprus exuded a positive spirit for him, something he seeks out in locations where he films. "I've been feeling some good energy on the set," he said, referring to the shooting taking place at the village of Mammari that is on the buffer zone. The village is best known for its bat community that live in caves that form the backdrop of the movie. Since shooting there have been trailers set up in the village and the film is the talk of the town. LAUNCHING A FILM INDUSTRY There are hopes that the movie, also featuring Frank Grillo and Tony Jaa, could just be the start of more to come thanks to the country's new financial incentive scheme that includes rebates and tax credits of up to 35 per cent as well as a sales tax exemption. It is the first film taking advantage of the incentives of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency launched last year to attract filmmakers, under the moniker 'Olivewood'. Producer Martin Barab is waiting for the Cypriot authorities to live up to their promise so that the way could be paved for more film productions on the island. "This motion picture is a test case," Barab said, speaking to journalists, adding that there are six more movies behind this one that will star actors of the calibre of Gerard Butler, Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves. "These are $50 million movies," he said, adding that it was the cashrebate programme and other tax incentives that drew the production of Jiu Jitsu to Cyprus. Chris Economides warned that Hollywood producers are taking note. "People are watching us to see how this is going to fly," he said. The production of Jiu Jitsu is expected to come to $US24.6 million and involves 160 crew members. Apart from the Cage film being shot on the island by Greek-American director and producer Dimitri Logothetis, another Cypriot production, 'SOS - Survive or Sacrifice', starring William Baldwin, started shooting on 10 June and is also benefiting from the Cyprus rebates while offering jobs to 80 Cypriots out of a total cast of 140 people. MORE TO COME Two new films have been approved and discussions are underway for three more films, a TV series, a reality show and a specialised studio according to Phileleftheros newspaper quoting Invest Cyprus chairman Michalis Michael. According to Invest Cyprus, one of the approved projects is budgeted at nearly 50 million euros and will star an Academy Award winning actor.
29 June 2019
13 July 2019