Just eight months into her acting studies, Anthoula Katsimatides landed a role with Oscar-winning director Ang Lee in “Taking Woodstock.” “I was like, well, this isn’t that hard. I was only doing this for eight months, and I got a job. What are people complaining about?” she laughs. Katsimatides quickly realized it was beginner’s luck, largely due to her Greek heritage – she’d met a Jewish casting director and they bonded over the similarities between their cultures. The woman had just cast a Greek-American, Demetri Martin, to play a Jewish character. “She said, ‘You could play his sister! I don’t know if you have any talent, but here are the sides, come back in a week and let me see what you do.’ It was crazy. It was a total New York moment.”
Michelle Pfeiffer, De Niro, Fonda
There have been more pinch-me moments in the ten years since, working on projects with directors like Barry Levinson and Luc Besson, and actors Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jane Fonda and Rose Byrne. “It’s hard for me to even acknowledge that. “Katsimatides says. “Maybe it’s the Greek in me pushing myself too much, but, I have been blessed, and I am grateful.”
TV roles on HBO, CBS & NBC
A writer, producer and voice-over artist as well as an actor, she’s recently had roles on HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies,” CBS’ “FBI” and NBC’s “Manifest,” and “Blacklist” and will also be appearing in an upcoming Marvel series on Netflix in 2019. She knows that being an actor is not easy; competition is fierce, the work is not steady, but Katsimatides is not afraid of a challenge.
Teacher, NY civil servant, tragedy
A New York native, Katsimatides started out as a high-school teacher and took some time off after her brother’s suicide. She then entered politics, as an aide to Governor Pataki of NY State. “It was fascinating because I got to meet all these different kinds of people. It was a great job.”
Katsimatides lost another brother in the 9/11 terror attacks, and was appointed to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, working with other grieving families. “It was a very, very tumultuous time, and I suffered my own loss.” As a favor, she agreed to appear in a friend’s Greek-language community theater play in Astoria. She loved it and started taking acting classes.
United Solo Theatre Festival
Anthoula developed a solo show titled “Warrior Without a Cause” in which she portrays 10 different characters. “In astrology, my Dharma type is a warrior, and nothing is more fitting than that. I’m totally a freaking warrior,” Katsimatides says. With sold out performances at various solo theatre festivals and an award for best autobiographical script by the United Solo Theatre Festival, she plans to tour with it, and is exploring venues in L.A. and in Greece.
Olympia Dukakis documentary
Katsimatides is a producer on “Olympia,” a documentary about the Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis from director Harry Mavromichalis. “Over the course of six years, I’ve sort of been the cheerleader for this production. It’s something I feel passionate about. Olympia is a force to be reckoned with.” At a premiere at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival, the audience gave the doc a standing ovation.
Katsimatides will be hosting the first annual Hunter Mountain Film Festival (HMFF) Gala Awards, at the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in Hunter, New York on May 18th. HMFF, in partnership with Doctorow Center for the Arts and Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center, will provide a one of a kind film celebration through an interactive mountain adventure in beautiful Upstate New York from Thursday, May 16, through Saturday, May 18. The weekend will also include film screenings, Q&A sessions, mixers as well as industry panels featuring directors, producers, casting directors, talent agents and actors discussing current trends and various topics in today’s film market. anthoula.com