One big beautiful mess | Elektra Anastasi

We speak to actress Elektra Anastasi about her role in Elizabeth Coleman’s play Secret Bridesmaid’s Business, staged at St James Cavalier over three weekends – May 10-12; 17-19 and 24-26 – by MADC and under the direction of Chiara Hyzler.

Elektra Anastasi.
Elektra Anastasi.

You're the 'bad guy' (or girl) of this particular play. Did the role seem interesting to your from the outset? What did you hope to bring to it?

Indeed, it's always fun playing the bad girl because you get to break the rules and get away with it. It is also a good change for me as I am always drawn to tragedies rather than comedies so since I need to lighten up a little I guess this was perfect. What attracted me to Naomi's character is that she represents so many different mixed emotions that we all experience in relationships. She really makes you question your moral boundaries and what is right or wrong and how one would react if they were in that given situation. She has a tendency of having a few bimbotic moments but I guess that's what also makes her so fun to play! She is just one big beautiful mess.

You've acted in both TV and film. Which have been some of the highlights of your career. Would you say you prefer one over the other?

The highlight for me so far is definitely having worked with Director Lee Tamahori in The Devil's Double. It was my first time on a professional film set working with a very professional team and I learnt a lot about the industry. The fact that I had to portray a 14-year old Iraqi school girl was very challenging too seeing as I am in my 20s and had to ensure my performance was believable from all angles. It was far from playing a glamorous role, as I was also thrown into a little action sequence on the day that was not in the script and the director decided he wanted it in the scene last minute, which although was a lot of fun and a great experience.

I would have to say that both theatre and film, although very different, hold a very special place in my heart. They both fulfil me in very different ways. Theatre allows you to think quickly on your feet and improvise at the spur of the moment if things go wrong. There are no double takes, no hiding behind scripts like in film. That's what makes it so raw and real.

With film I think things are always taken down a notch because unlike theatre, it is easier to captivate an audience because there are more factors that help the actor express him/herself without having to project ones voice across a room or over do things. I adore film because a performance becomes more personal and intense as the fact that the camera can get so close to an actor really helps take a performance to another level.

Elektra Anastasi Secret Bridesmaids' Business

David Ellul, Elektra Anastasi and Cathy Lawlor.

What kind of dynamic did you develop with your cast mates... especially given the plot of the play itself?

As a cast we all play such different characters, the play itself goes through quite a transition. The first act is an introduction to the characters and what they are about and since it takes place in one room it is almost as if they are all under a lens. They are about to crack at any point which makes it very entertaining to watch, by the second act the whole play climaxes and all the secrets begin to unfold and that is where the audience can begin to formulate their own opinions on how the play ends.

I think as a group we worked out really well together and had a lot of fun in the process of this production. Considering that we are an all women cast except David Ellul who plays the groom we all played nice. No sharpening of claws was needed because there were no cat fights! We are obviously very different from the characters we play so I would like to think that the girls don't really hate me like they hate my character Naomi.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, I have just finished a role on a short film called 'The Maltese Fighter' a few weeks ago, produced by Joshua Cassar Gaspar from Maltafilm and Carlo Trulli from Spy Films. The project is being directed by a very talented Canadian director called Arev Manoukian who is best known around the world for his short film 'Nuit Blanche'. I can't give anything away as yet I am afraid but when the film is completed I'm pretty sure Malta and the rest of the world are going to  know all about it. I am looking forward to anything new and exciting to come my way again in the coming months.

What drives you to keep acting?

For me acting is like a drug, a good drug and it is legal, so that is always a plus. It keeps me sane in a very insane world. It is also a form of escapism to me which also enables me to discover new sides of myself that I didn't even know exist. I get bored very easily as a character so I need something to keep me interested or I just start day dreaming. Nothing in my life compares to it. Although I have to say that I am quite selective in the projects I choose to take on, so if I see that a part doesn't quite fit with me or move me in some way I would decline. It would be my dream to make acting my full time job because nothing else so far has given me the same fulfilling feeling.

The play will begin at 20:00. It is rated 16. Tickets are at €15 and €10. Bookings: 21 223200,
[email protected] or through the St James Cavalier website.