“A Day in the Life” with Writer and Creator Vasilios Filippakis

“I don’t want to wait for someone to cast me, cause it might not happen. So, I’m going to make my own show. A series. About me. And I’m terrified. But it’s happening.”

Do you know how many times a fellow actor has told me they needed or wanted to make their own film? Yes, MANY times. Do you know how many times I’ve seen one of those actors follow through? Three. Three times. Vasilios Filippakis was the first.

I met my dear friend, roommate, and colleague nearly four years ago in Suzanne Bastien’s acting class. My memory fails to recover the fine details of our first interaction, but I remember immediately feeling the warmth and charisma that is characteristically “Billy”. Our friendship grew over late-night, post-class burgers at Fran’s. We talked about our dreams, our failing relationships and of course, who was messaging on Grindr. Cut to four years later and our conversations are eerily similar. Except instead of taking about dreams of being cast in, well, anything, Vas vents about how nervous he is for his interview on ETALK and asks for my advice when it comes to pitching season two of his series to Netflix; is it too much to bring up shooting in Greece now? I remind him that nothing is too much when it comes to FAK YAASS – his incredible show – as it is very much about how okay it is to be a little extra in your family and in this world.

We found our Toronto dream pad last fall in Cabbagetown and made the very brave decision to split the top floor into a giant bedroom space for both of us. That’s right, we are two single twenty-something professionals sharing a bedroom. And we fakking love it. I hear his alarm go off at 4:45am and it doesn’t bother me. It’s been six months and I still get stuck with a little pride hearing him go off into his always ambitious days. The thing is, the reason there’s only three actors who followed through, is because the other 96% percent aren’t willing to do the work. The reason Vasilios Filippakis and I share the second floor, is because he’s only in it from 1030pm-445am. The rest of the time he’s auditioning, taping more auditions, in acting class, teaching an F45 class, in a production meeting, in a pitch meeting, in a wardrobe fitting, at his night job, flying to Newfoundland to shoot a an episode of Hudson & Rex, or somehow finding a way to move it all around to help a friend with their audition tape. Because thats the kind of guy he is. Never too busy for a loved one. Never too broke to give his “friend” on the street the $10 in his pocket. Never too tired to push just that little bit harder.

When Vasilios sat me down two years ago to tell me he was going to make his show, he told me he’d give me a part. Another thing actors tell each other but rarely actually deliver on come casting day. But, you’ll probably guess by now that Billy’s not the ordinary actor. I don’t think ordinary was ever on his vocabulary tests. I play his sister-in-law on-screen, and while I cherish the role, what I cherish far more is having a friend who feels like a brother, that wakes up everyday and shows me exactly how much is possible when just say “FAK YAASS!!”.

-by Vasilios Filippakis’ roommate Helen Hayden

Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
1) I had just wrapped on set for “Hudson & Rex”, my student double was so kind to drive me around Newfoundland and give me the ultimate tour – icebergs included.
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
2) This was the night of my birthday days before we will filmed for “FAK YAASS”. These lovely ladies, Kayla and Kristen, have been in my life since grade school and high school. Although I work hard, I also got to let loose once in a while!
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
3) This was the first day on set for FAK YAASS. Two years in the making all led up to this amazing experience!
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
4) A Selfie with the FAK YAASS Team. We finally had a private screening for the cast and crew of FAK YAASS. Here we have my roommate, and ever so talented Helen Hayden, the writer of FAK YAASS Anthony Filangeri, director Matthew McLaughlin and co-star/producer bad ass b***h Leanne Noelle Smith. This was the “let’s be sexy” look. We tried.
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
5) On set for FAK YAASS with my best friend Shadrack Jackman. The role of Anton was written about him and nobody else could fill those shoes. Being on set with ALL your best friends is the greatest thing in the world.
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
6) My work wife and I. Leanne and I are stuck to the hip and you can find us making people really sweaty at F45 Yorkville – you’ll also hear a lot of “YAASS”!!!
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
7) The love of my life! Bailey – she is the sweetest little girl in the world and the ultimate cuddle and travel partner. We ventured off to Toronto Island to get some sun!
Writer Creator Vasilios Filippakis
8) My Big Greek Family! This was when we all got together for a family wedding. It’s rare to get us all in one place but when you do, man is it loud!

***

What ‘hood are you in?

I live in Cabbagetown! It is so lovely, full of families and dogs. It melts my heart how close the community is here.

What do you do?

I am an actor, writer, creator, and personal trainer at F45 Yorkville!

What are you currently working on?

I had just wrapped a role on the season finale of “Hudson & Rex” and I am currently anticipating the release of my new TV mini-series “FAK YAASS”

Where can we find your work?

“FAK YAASS” will air on OUTtv June 17th 9:30pm ET and “Hudson & Rex” airs on CityTV!

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1669 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography