After a career in finance failed to allow him meet his dreams, one Cypriot turned to modelling and acting. NIKI CHARALAMBOUS meets him

Many see Andreas Chrysanthou’s career as a fashion model as all travel, exciting photo shoots, brightly lit runways, dressing fabulously, and glitzy events. Having been featured in TV shows, magazines, catalogues, music videos and short films, Andreas is a fashion celebrity in his own right. But this sought-after fashion model, who a few years ago made the transition to acting, did not always have the fashion world in his sights.

Andreas began his career in finance, becoming the audit manager of an internationally renowned audit firm in his native Limassol.

“I always knew that a career in finance would be a transitory one, putting aside a nest egg to support my goals of being a fashion model and actor,” he said. “When the time was right, I left my career in finance and gave modelling and acting my full attention. The results were immediate as I directed all my energy towards my actual passions.”

fashion2Born and raised in Limassol, Andreas wanted to become an actor ever since he could remember. Although his parents supported his dream, they also voiced their worries about the financial instability that comes with it. They gave him the choice of pursuing finance or law. He was forced to accede to their request; his aspirations of becoming an actor would have to wait.

“Although I still believe my parents intended the best for me, a career in finance would only serve their interests and not mine,” Andreas told Living. “I was working a job that did not make me happy, but my desire to be an actor was becoming stronger by the day.”

To quench his thirst for acting, he joined a performance group while studying finance at Lancaster University, performing in theatrical productions in Cyprus over the summer holidays, and even accepted acting parts in short films that were featured in festivals all over Europe.

“I believe everyone has the freedom to choose a profession that would bring out the best in them,” he added.

As is the case with most things in life, things did not go according to plan. Andreas had only ever considered acting, but a chance encounter with a casting director would somewhat change his course and bring him to an audition for a TV commercial. Three days later, Andreas was cast, which led to various job offers and his signing with a reputable modelling agency.

“At the time, I never considered being a model, but I quickly realised that acting and modelling are inextricably linked, and I saw it as a steppingstone that would take me to my acting dream.”

When Andreas reflects on his modelling career over the last decade, which has seen his face appear in publications and fashion sites in Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Russia, he realises what a crucial role modelling has played in shaping him both personally and professionally. “Models have both a creative and a technical role. They can inspire and provide feedback to fashion designers on the look and feel of their creations in addition to promoting and selling their work.”

fashion3According to Andreas, by displaying a variety of products, models can illustrate how society’s attitudes, decisions and tastes continually shift. “Any social movement can gain relevance through a model. Whether we like to admit it or not, fashion permeates every aspect of our lives.”

Andreas describes modelling in Cyprus, like the acting industry as “highly competitive but not as aggressive as people make it out to be.” He respects and learns from other models and actors and maintains a friendly relationship with them. “The downside is that many of them will go to castings or auditions, and only one or two will be hired,” he said. “I would say both of my careers have helped me understand how to deal with success and failure.”

But he is clear where he sees modelling and acting taking him. “I hope to continue modelling both locally and internationally, participate in theatrical productions, and ultimately act in a full-length feature film.”

His style can be characterised as a modern fusion of street, casual and formal wear. He is also a powerful influencer who uses his platforms to encourage others to follow their aspirations and interests while staying grounded and centred in life.