SOCIETY
Interview with ‘Patriots Day’ star Georgian Themo Melikidze
23 July, 2019
Georgian Journal offers its readers an interview with a Georgian actor Themo Melikidze. He gained popularity for starring in Mark Wahlberg's highly anticipated film Patriots Day.

How did your acting career begin and how did you get a role in a Hollywood movie?


In 2012, I was accepted with a scholarship at the New York Film Academy. After my first year, during one of my performances, I was noticed by an off-broadway director, he offered me three different shows to
star in at the award-winning company; “The Livein Theater”. This was the beginning of my career. It was incredible because getting a 3 different show contract in NYC is very hard especially as a foreign actor and the experience I gained was immeasurable.

In 2016, I flew out to LA to raise my career to the next level and immediately I was faced with the reality of how hard the industry really can be. But I think choosing a path like this only comes with obstacles that are inevitable and you have to endure each and every one of them. I was contacted by a talent coordinator after viewing one of my action short films that I did in NYC. Soon after arriving in LA I was signed with PNA agency. To me this was a huge achievement, finding an agent is one task in LA but finding a good one is very hard. This person believed in me and that is something I’ll never forget. Soon after, the casting call came in for Patriots Day and I managed to send a self-tape for the part of the main antagonist. I had to find loop ways to get noticed by the casting director and went as far as sending my driver’s license photo together with the real person’s mugshot in order to get a chance to audition. In this industry you have to be smart and think outside the box, don’t be afraid to break the rules and knock on peoples doors! After a stressful casting process, I got the call from my agent, telling me I got the part. A moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life...
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When working abroad do you like to share with your colleagues the fact that you are from Georgia?

Of course, being a Georgian is something I’m very proud of. It gives me unbelievable motivation, there not too many of us so whatever I do, I do it in the name of my country.

What exactly you like to tell first about Georgia if they show interest in your country?

Our food and nature (nothing can beat a good khachapuri and khinkali on top of our mountain peaks, followed by some Georgian wine), that would be the first thing. But also our traditions and our hospitality, the way we treat our guests and the lovely music we have, that can touch everyone’s heart.

Up until this day, if you recall your career what was the most interesting project for you or personally the most important? Do you have some exciting projects coming up?

I'd say the most interesting project I've done so far, personally, is one of my off-broadway show called "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza". I had the chance to connect with the crowd in such a personal way that is incomparable with anything else I've done. It taught me a great deal of how people are still haunted by their memories and how we as actors can soften that memory by taking them on a fictive journey through emotion and passion.

The most important project has to be "Patriots Day" not only was that my big breakthrough on the Hollywood scene, but also it showed me how much you have to work for something you want to achieve in life. Sharing a film set with Mark Wahlberg, JK Simmons, Kevin Bacon, etc.. taught me for who they are as artists but also as individuals that have gone through their own difficulties pursuing their dreams.

We heard you have an ongoing project related to Georgia, can you share the information about it?

Yes, that is correct. At this time I can't share too much information about the project, but I can tell you it's going to be very epic. We will be telling the story of our Georgian hero David The Builder set in the 11th century. Pre-production is on the way now but soon we will start with the principal photography and more information will follow. Aside from that, I have a Shakespeare project waiting for me in NYC. We will be shooting a production of "Hamlet", which I'm very excited about.

I hope I answered your questions in an elaborate way. I want to thank the GeorgianJournal for reaching out to me and conducting this interview, I enjoyed it very much.
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With this, I'd like to close and share something that was key to my success in Hollywood and generally in life. I want to thank all my close friends, my childhood brothers that were there from the beginning, believing in my dream and supported me throughout everything. The reason I stood so strong on my own is that I felt their motivation and love, I felt their presence with me when I had to push through difficult times, with people like that behind my back I felt unstoppable and that is key to every single success story. If you're in the same spot right now, where you have a dream or goal you want to achieve, the first thing to do is to surround yourself with people you love and trust. People that believe in you the same way you believe in them. It's a priceless thing that everyone can have, but not everyone is willing to do.

So thank you, my brothers.

Join my adventure in Hollywood;

INSTAGRAM: @Themojn

FACEBOOK: Themo Melikidze

First photo courtesy: John Sciulli/Getty Images North America

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