Interview with John Kapelos – September, 2019 at Luma, Bell Lightbox, Toronto – 加拿大演員約翰・凱勒斯(早餐俱樂部)專訪

(By Sally Warburton)

Interview with Canadian actor John Kapelos – September, 2019 at Luma, Bell Lightbox, Toronto
Canadian actor John Kapelos

John Kapelos is a Canadian actor born in London, Ontario. He started his acting career at the Second City in Toronto by chance after he and a friend saw the location on Lombard Street at the old fire hall and decided to go in. It was the free Improv night, so they said: “Let’s go in.” That’s where it all started! They signed up for workshops. The first evening at SCTV they enrolled in a Masters Class with Canadian comedian John Candy. He was a great mentor who inspired John. The experience in Toronto got John the audition to Second City in Chicago. So he took the train there and spent three years with the leading company and then five years on the road with them. 

Since that he’s been the janitor in The Breakfast Club, starred in films such as Sixteen CandlesRoxanneThe Boost and Internal Affairs.  The Breakfast Club became a cult film which was adored by teenagers. He had a small part in Tootsie with Director Sydney Pollack and enjoyed working with Dustin HoffmanJohn expressed how good it was to work with people, i.e. Directors, who know precisely their goals and who are focused on getting results. 

Not wanting to limit himself to comedy, John also does drama. His objective is to be a working actor so being able to do comedy and drama and then both working-class and white-collar are his skills. He’s known as a very versatile actor in the business. 

John’s been a guest star in sitcoms Seinfeld and Modern Family as well as CSI: NY and Criminal Minds. As a writer, John won a Chicago Emmy for comedy writing the PBS show VT: The Video Tape for WTTW CHICAGO and several Clio Awards for writing and producing over 1000 AMOCO gasoline radio spots in Chicago for JWT and DMB&B. He’s written and directed for television and is currently writing a screenplay set to direct this fall.  

He had a small part in the award-winning 2018 film The Shape of Water and his experience working with Guillermo del Toro was an inspiring one.  

John’s Currently in Toronto shooting The Umbrella Academy‘s 3rd season; this is his first time acting in the show.  Fashion Ecstasy managed to catch him while in Toronto before returning to Los Angeles. He’ll be back in mid-October to work more on The Umbrella Academy which finishes shooting in November. 

The process is what’s important to John and improving. Sometimes you’re not an actor until you’ve done a variety of acting works

Always been interested in working with good filmmakers, interacting with people who know what they’re doing like Guillermo and Sydney Pollack 

Humorous Jazz – Too Hip for the Room album. His new album is coming out in October, which he recorded songs all himself. To promote the album, there was a sold-out live show opening at Los Angeles at Vitello’s, which is now renamed the Michael Feinstein Lounge

John is a producer with his own company Carpuzi Films. He’s produced two films Commentary which premiered at Sundance and well-received critically. The second film is Homage to Robert Murphy about one of the first American parachutists in World War 2. 

John has always loved music. He took piano lessons as a kid but chose to be an actor, where his real passion was. He had friends who were musicians. Songs on the jazz album include Song Unfriend Me. I wish I was married to your wife. School House Rock writer also wrote funny jazz songs… John feels that sometimes the jazz world takes itself too seriously. So this album brings He said he sings but that he’s not a singer…I bring a character to it….It can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify. And Vinyl coming up this Xmas. I have 5000 albums in a storage space… which he’s trying to bring into the house…

He was in the film Legally Blond…so many producers and directors. He finds the smaller films more interesting. He’s interested in doing a smaller budget film – fewer moving parts so can achieve more.

John Kapelos’ Current Projects

Concentrating on directing his own film next year… getting my projects off the ground and supporting others…developing scripts with other writers. Lower budgets. Netflix. Video on demand. It’s about getting things done and getting them out there….as well as the process. The film business is so Block Buster so its difficult to sell certain ideas for films… 

John’s 17 year old nephew was diagnosed at birth with Myotonic Dystrophy. The disease includes muscle issues, problems breathing, speaking and mobility. He thrives with the love of his parents and Canadian health care system. “If I have any ability to raise awareness of this disease, I will.” said John. John’s family doesn’t view his nephew William as having special needs. John considers William “his little hero”. He’s a 17 year old Canadian boy loves hockey as much as others do. John is at the planning stages of a fundraiser for Myotonic Dystrophy with actors who are also musicians with their own bands. It would be a wonderful night of music.

Not one to keep still, John has parts in Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. He’ll be starring in the upcoming popular series’ Crossword Mysteries on October 13th and 20th, 2019.

When discussing his family John remembers them lovingly and with emotion. He had older parents of Greek heritage and lived at the same house from age 5 until he moved out to act. The childhood years provided stability compared to his nomadic type lifestyle as an adult actor. John’s father came to Canada as a teenager and fought in WW2 with Royal Canadian Air Force. Although his father rarely spoke about his WW2 experiences, he did tell about landing in Holland and being greeted by Dutch kids who gave them cigarettes and chocolate. In return the kids received chocolate from them and surprisingly the kids had never had chocolate before because they’d grown up in the war. John’s very proud of his family – his brother is a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, his sister has own business The Ivy Group in Virginia and his cousin is the very respected Vassy Kapelos at the CBC in Toronto.   

It was an honour and pleasure to meet actor John Kapelos for an interview for Fashion Ecstasy. It was uplifting to spend time with someone who loves his career with its challenges and variety and who shares this enthusiasm. We’re looking forward to following John’s many projects of music and film and the upcoming season of The Umbrella Academy