Mikhail Basmadjian | I believe in a higher power that has no colour, race, history or language

He had a role in the infamous banned play ‘Stitching’, played Barabas in Marlowe’s ‘Jew of Malta’, and is now getting ready for ‘Macbeth’. Schooled at the Manoel Theatre Academy for Dramatic Arts and with 30 years of acting under his belt, Mikhail Basmadjian speaks of his love for food, scuba-diving and underwater photography ahead of the upcoming play ‘Closer’

Mikhail Basmadjian is getting ready for his role in ‘Macbeth’
Mikhail Basmadjian is getting ready for his role in ‘Macbeth’

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Coffee mixed with cocoa.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Try to listen more than you talk.

What do you never leave the house without?

My mobile.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Adventurous – philosophical – somewhat reserved.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

There is no such thing.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Banoffee pie.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

A house.

Who’s your inspiration?

My parents… the strength and positivity they have is mind-blowing.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Getting more involved in social activities.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing?

I am not only an actor – I am a graphic designer, marketer and psychologist.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in a higher power that has no colour, race, history or language and am very spiritual.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

Charles Bronson or James Coburn – I love their movies.

What’s your worst habit?

Procrastination.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I don’t drink…

Who would you have play you in a film?

Davide Tucci… just joking.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Talking before listening…

What music would you have played at your funeral?

I am going to live forever… but just in case, some good jazz – I love Pat Metheney.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My laptop.

What is your earliest memory?

Watching my grandma pick mushrooms from the roadside…

When did you last cry?

Yesterday in Act 2, Scene 1 of the play ‘Closer’… and my line is ‘she won’t even see me’…

Who would you most like to meet?

The film director Joss Whedon – to beg him to continue the series Firefly, which was stopped after just one season many years ago.

What’s your favourite food?

Octopus in garlic.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Next question…

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Back to my time I guess – I already came from the 25th century so I am just visiting…

What book are you reading right now?

Macbeth by the bard – have a play coming up in March at the Manoel Theatre and am playing the Scot himself…

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To know which words or actions could hurt people and avoid saying or doing them…

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Dive in the Marianna trench.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Sonny Rollins – tenor saxophone.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I usually go over lines I might be saying in a play or study lines I might have for filming.

Tell us...

Tell us a bit about your upcoming play Closer

Closer is a brilliant script by Patrick Marber – an intense psychological exploration of people’s motivations in their search for truth with a focus on how, very often, one rationalises the same truth to suit his or her state of mind and/or needs at the time. It’s a brilliant script, so what attracted me was the script itself and furthermore there was a famous movie made of the same script with incredible actors. Also I’ll be working with Masquerade under the direction of Anthony Bezzina, which I’m really enjoying.

I performed at the Blue Box Theatre during En Folkefiende, and after a couple of rehearsals grew to love it! It’s a very moving show, with a brilliant script, fantastic interaction and an exploration of human nature applicable across all ages and cultures. With very heavy focus on the question ‘What is truth?’. I think people should expect to be psychologically provoked, especially since the play progresses over a number of years and the scenes move forward, consequently we see changes in the characters themselves and in the relationships with each other.

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