Erotic cinema maestro Zalman King, known for “Nine 1/2 Weeks” and “Red Shoe Diaries”, had just completed his latest film a few months before his death. In his final movie, titled Kamikaze Love, the lead actor is Christos Vassilopoulos.
Vassilopoulos came to Hollywood a few years ago from his native Greece, and had the luck to work with Zalman King but also the misfortune to lose one of the best directors he ever worked with, just a few weeks after the completion of their collaboration on the film. King was impressed with Vassilopoulos’ work and there is a high chance the two would have worked together again.
The late director had written an e-mail to Christos a few weeks before his death:
“Your performance was everything I could have wished for. You are a serious talent. I’m writing some new stuff that I think you’ll like. Can’t wait to work with you again.”
Unfortunately this had to be the first and last movie they would ever shoot, but as Vassilopoulos says in an exclusive interview with the Greek Reporter, “Zalman will always stay in my heart, as he will also stay in every person’s heart who had ever met him.”
When did you first learn about this wonderful director and how?
I never knew who Zalman King was. But I knew as a young boy the super sexual 9 1/2 weeks, Wild Orchid and many more of Zalman’s films.Everybody, even my parents were talking about all these sexual scenes and I would dare to say, that a lot of us as teenagers fantasized with Zalman’s films. In my opinion, he changed the definition of sexuality, worldwide! Especially in the era of mid 80’s.
I asked Zalman once on the set, what he wanted to create through his films. Zalman said “I want to create idols. I want to create a hero that every woman will remember forever.” Zalman taught me to perform through my own personality. He picked me up for that role because he believed that I was the role. He showed me tricks on the set that nobody else had showed me till then, as far as how erotic cinema was performed, created, and executed. His way of dealing with actors on the set was like a second skin. Nobody on the set felt embarrassed or uncomfortable, even though we shot A LOT of sexual scenes.
Zalman never showed any kind of sickness on the set. He was always super energetic, full of passion about every scene we were about to shoot. Always on time, with a great sense of humor and really willing to do the best he could. I felt that for his age, he was amazingly energetic on the set. He was the KING of the shooting!
Never! He never mentioned anything about it, never complained. He was a proud man, he was a proud KING!
Zalman treated his actors with respect, professionalism, and much love. I felt while working with him that I was a part of the family. The family he had created on the set. He always knew what he wanted on the set and he was always pushing for the best.
I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to work with him before he departed our world. I feel that I had an amazing experience, with an incredible director! He will always be in my heart cause Zalman knew how to get your attention, he knew how to transform the sexual scenes into the most atmospheric scenes your eye could devour. All together wrapped with endless sensuality! Thank you King!