Mary Chronopoulou: Always A Star

Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis
(IG: @vassiliosvitsilogiannis)

Mary Chronopoulou is a Greek actress. She made her stage debut in 1953 as a member of the chorus in Euripides “Hippolytus”. She was one of the most popular actresses and had a fruitful career in the 1960s. She played a wide variety of parts in comedies, musicals, melodramas and film noirs; and she starred in many films, sixteen of which were produced by Finos Film company. She is one of the main protagonists of Greek theater.

What was it that enchanted you to follow acting?

Nothing! I didn’t want to go down the road of acting at all. I wasn’t interested. Fate brought acting in my way. I didn’t want to be an actor, I haven’t studied at Drama School. Of course, this comforts me because neither Manos Katrakis, nor Elli Lampeti, nor Katina Paxinou have studied at the Drama School.

Were you one of the children who wanted to get away from the constraints of the family and lead their own path?

I was a very oppressed child and it was my greatest desire to get away from it. At the age of 28, when I started making enough money, I bought my own car, my own house, and then I became independent.

Do you consider yourself lucky?

I wasn’t lucky on all levels. I believe that God gave me a lot of luck in some things, he gave me a career, success and money. I traveled all over the world; I experienced personal joys; I had a happy personal life and then I paid my price. I believe that we all pay our price somehow. I was paralyzed for 20 years.

Do you regret for some collaborations you made and which ones do you remember fondly?

I do not regret for any collaboration. From every collaboration, you get something negative or positive, you gain experiences that you remember with love. These are the films I made with the father who abandoned me and the brother I didn’t have and that was Nikos Kourkoulos and I remember all my work with him, theatrical and cinematic. I also remember the very nice films, three black and white, that I made with Kostas Kazakos.

Were there any events in your life that made you change the way you think and your approach toward things?

You bet I did. That’s the case! Time runs fast and we know it. So, we grow up differently in our 20s, in our 30s, and in our 40s. Maturity changes our way of thinking.

How important is friendship in your life?

The most important of all, and I have said it before that in the stock market of life I have invested in the best stock which is friendship. I am flooded with friends, thank God, dear friends. I believe that our parents will leave before us inevitably, if we have children, they will grow up and leave to continue their lives, love ends at some point.  What’s left is our friends until the end of our lives.

By looking at you, someone sees a dynamic woman, to what extent have the men who loved you been able to see your doting and sensitive personality?

Some did it, others didn’t, but my image didn’t stop them from approaching me. Oh, not everyone was able to read what I was feeling. Not everyone was able to understand me.

Which of the three types of acting did you enjoy playing, cinema, theatre or television?

CINEMA! The theatre is an interesting job, but the rehearsals, the general rehearsal, which ends at six in the morning, the premiere, then the official premiere, after the 20 days of performances I start to get bored, I want to kill myself. I don’t enjoy to play the same play every night. While cinema has had so many changes of scenes and that’s why I loved it more in my life.

How do you see Greek productions today compared to those of the past?

I think the financial rewards are better today. There are people who take good care of you, such as stylists, to bring you the clothes, while in the old days we bought our clothes. Today, they get better money. Cinema has good times today, but I think there were better ones in the past. The film companies did not make cultural films that ordinary people could not understand, but cinema had a feeling in the past and that’s why classic films are loved and seen by young generations even today.

What would you wish for Mary?

I wish a happy ending, not suffering. I was jealous of a colleague Martha Karagianni who passed away abruptly, had a happy ending. I don’t want to be in the hospital and connected to the machines. Also, I don't like my friends to leave this world before me, I won’t stand it.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you and say that you are a kind person and this kindness that you possess makes the interviewer feel more comfortable. Thank you.

I want to say something about kindness. The pope had said that just two words “please” and “welcome” make human relations much better.

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