Shadowlands is a collection of heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking short stories from well-known actor and entrepreneur Charlie David that explore the passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist, masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.
Story genres in this collection include romance, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, horror, and poetry.
The host of the TV travel series Bump!, which now airs in over 55 million households worldwide, Charlie David has played many roles in M/M film and television, including A Four Letter Word and Kiss the Bride, Bravo’s Godiva’s, Showtime’s Reefer Madness, Sundance Channel’s award-winning Terminal City, and a starring role in the gothic gay soap opera Dante’s Cove.
In 2007 he started Border2Border Entertainment Inc., a production company whose award-winning films include Mulligans, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, and Judas Kiss. Most recently he’s opened Charlie David Travel, which specializes in luxury travel to the southern hemisphere.
Hi all! I’m Charlie David and I’m happy to stop by here at Two Chicks Obsessed. I’m excited to share that my book Shadowlands was released as the Shadowlands TV miniseries on Sunday, May 27th! Whether you like to read a book and then watch a show or the other way round, I’d like to invite you into my world and explore Shadowlands.
We’re at an exciting time when it’s still rare for a book in the M/M genre to be made into a film or TV series. While Shadowlands isn’t traditional romance it does explore love in three thematically connected stories – a couple renegotiating a relationship, a narcissist grasping to comprehend love, and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss.
I had the pleasure to work with a really talented cast and crew and so today I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Vasilios Filippakis, one of the stars of the ‘Mating Season’ episode of the Shadowlands TV miniseries.
VASILIOS FILIPPAKIS is excited for the premier of the Shadowlands gay series where the world will be able to discover an array of relationship dynamics within gay culture.
Vasilios is a Toronto based actor born in Windsor Ontario. After graduating from theatre school at York University, he has trained with many coaches across Toronto ranging in technique and continues working to deepen his craft.
When Vasilios is not training or creating his own work, you may see him in a soon to be released feature film “The Lone Paddler”, or in commercials for Swiss Chalet, Gradifi, or Kit-Kat to name a few.
Tell us about your story in the new Shadowlands gay series. What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?
Vasilios Filippakis: In Shadowlands, the story I am in is called “Mating Season”, which explores the boundaries of a monogamous relationship. A gay couple takes a few days in the woods for a romantic camping trip when they meet a harmless man who has been camping for some time .
It turns out, the man isn’t exactly as he appears ( I don’t want to give anything away). This aspect is something I really considered while preparing for this role. As real as “Daniel” (the character I played) is there are many elements of mystery with him that were interesting to find spots to incorporate into the script.
Honestly, I didn’t have many fears going into filming this project, It was all excitement. The ONE thing that was difficult was trying to be sexy in that really cold water. We really tried our best.
How much of yourself goes into a character?
Vasilios Filippakis: I always try to put as much of myself into all my work and characters. I think as a human with years of life experience you can find many correlations between your real life and the one that is depicted on the script. Sure there are some stretches here, for example, playing a murderer, but even in that case a person is much more than a killer.
You still have other human qualities that make you whole, and those are things that I look to explore and pull when creating. I believe that the best performances come from things I grab from my experience. In this case it’s all about love, loss, hope, reflection and finding peace, all things that I as Vasilios can live authentically in the moment because they are things that I feel naturally.
How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character? And how much did you have to research or imagine?
Vasilios Filippakis: I could relate to my character’s experience a lot. Daniel really struggled with the idea of being loved and accepted. I think that we all have had that in our lives.
He has this monologue about a past love that was “the one” for him. Again, I think everyone has a similar story to Daniel and has or will feel love the way he did.
Each story or episode is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place. And yet there are connections between them. Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?
Vasilios Filippakis: Honestly, I wasn’t really aware of any of this until we started filming. I remember in rehearsal Charlie David was framing a shot to mimic one that is shown in the third episode. It was all a surprise until I saw the final edits and saw all three episode after each other. I think this will be fun for the audience to discover!
Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology. Many of the stories in the Shadowlands book were inspired by these ancient myths. Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?
Vasilios Filippakis: It’s important to share these stories because love is love, no matter the time, place or gender. Every story explored in the Shadowlands gay series is very relatable to present times.
This show really just shines another light on life as it is. As much as the inspiration came from Greek and Roman mythology I think the audience will see how much these stories are rooted in today.
What was the hardest scene for you to do and why?
Vasilios Filippakis: The hardest scene for me (no pun inteneded) was for sure all the water scenes. The water was SO cold. Trying to not shiver and look good is a challenge, believe me. The rest of the shoot was so fun and easy. The cast and crew made being on set a dream! I would go back to film with these people in a heartbeat.
Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?
Vasilios Filippakis: The major influence for me on my creativity is my own life. I just think that we all have a story, that is unique and nobody else can live it or write it. To me that’s inspiring. Who else can tell your story? Nobody! I know that I am a well of emotions and have so much to tell that I am constantly in a state of creation.
With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?
Vasilios Filippakis: I act for my heart. It wasn’t till recently that I explored this reason. I was in acting class with the amazing Suzanne Bastien (At The Creative Space) here in Toronto, when we were asked this question “Why do you act”?
We began exploring our hearts why on why we have chosen to be an actor. For me it’s about exploring every emotion without holding back. Acting a vessel to be free and really let
What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?
Vasilios Filippakis: I am currently working on a show I created called “FAK YAASS”. I’m the creator, writer, producer and lead actor (it’s totally about my life). The show is a mix between “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Queer as Folk”.
We have an amazing team and we’re really looking forward to putting this story out there! We have a concept trailer out now and should have some more updates soon about the project!
Follow Vasilios Filippakis
About Charlie David
Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump which shot over 100 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.
In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York. In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award. In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. His documentary and scripted films have won several jury and audience awards at festivals around the world. Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.
A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment, a production company whose film and television credits include Shadowlands, Mulligans, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity, Balls, Dating Unlocked, PolyLove and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Vice, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Discovery Networks, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Hollywood Suite, hereTV, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.
He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include travel, encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, mosaic tiling and podcasts. He resides in Toronto and Montréal, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.
You can explore Charlie’s films and TV shows on his website at https://border2border.ca or become a part of his social media network by visiting: