Nick Giannopoulos on ‘coming full circle’ with release of new film Wog Boys Forever

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“I knew the day would come when people would need to laugh again,” actor and comedian, Nick Giannopoulos, says when I ask him why he decided to write, produce and release a third film in The Wog Boys franchise.

Wog Boys Forever will see the original ‘wog boys’ Nick and Vince Colosimo return to our screens this year when the new film premieres at the Melbourne Palais Theatre on September 22, and later at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on September 29. The national premiere will be on October 6.

This time around, Nick, who plays Steve ‘The Wog Boy’ Karamitsis, and Vince, who plays Nick’s long-time buddy Frank, are in their mid-life years navigating love, friendship and work.

Vince (left) and Nick. Picture: Ben King.

Nick tells me that out of all three The Wog Boys films – including The Wog Boy in 2000 and Wog Boy 2: The Kings Of Mykonos in 2010 – the upcoming Wog Boys Forever is his favourite.

“It’s all about ‘the wog boy’ has lost his mojo and he realises he has to find a way to get his mojo back. In all honesty, it’s my favourite because there’s a lot of laughs in it and it’s got an enormous amount of heart,” Nick says.

“My dad sadly passed away last year just before we started shooting the film so there’s a lot of him in this film. There’s a lot of our parents in this film and what they sacrificed and gave us by coming to this country.”

Nick with Sooshi Mango. Picture: Ray Messner.

The other thing that will also feature prominently in Wog Boys Forever is new, young acting talent.

Nick has not only recruited emerging Australian actress, Sarah Roberts, to play his ex-girlfriend Cleo, but he’s also nabbed popular Australian comedy troupe, Sooshi Mango, to play the eccentric Italian neighbours Vince, Guiseppina and Pino, in the film.

“One of the most pleasurable parts of the process for me was finding these fantastic young actors – some of them I think will go on to become really big stars. So it was wonderful to be able to give people like that an opportunity to shine,” Nick explains.

Sooshi Mango. Picture: Narelle Portanier.

Having the last laugh:

This passion for creating opportunities for other actors stems from when Nick first became involved in Australia’s film and TV industry in the late 1980s and he had to fight hard against racism to be accepted.

“It was a very different Australia back then,” the actor says.

“In my first year of professional life as an actor, I was increasingly frustrated by the lack of opportunities that existed for people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

“So it started to dawn on me that even though I was born in Australia, I was an Australian… the reality was that the way the industry saw all of us back then was very different. They marginalised us.”

Nick Giannopoulos. Picture: Jackson Finter.

Despite this, Nick went on to become one of Australia’s most-loved and successful comedians with an extensive film and TV repertoire including his first show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 1987, Wogs Out of Work; the TV sitcom, Acropolis Now; and now The Wog Boys franchise.

He says this success still surprises him to this day.

“Looking back on my life, I feel so lucky to have lived out my dreams,” Nick says.

But with that said, I just had to ask – what’s next for Nick? Can we expect a Wog Boys 4?

Nick with Sarah Roberts. Picture: Ray Messner.

“It’s always been up to the fans. As long as the fans still want me around, I love doing what I do. Having said that, what comes next? I don’t know because right now we’re all getting ready for the opening of this film.

“I’m really excited to be at the Enmore Theatre as well… Did you know Enmore used to show Greek movies in the 60s and 70s? So to go back and turn it into a cinema again, that’s really special to me. It’s kind of like coming full circle.

“I mean at the end of the day, the film is going to be my legacy. I want it to live on beyond me and to be there for future generations to show them a slice of our history that was entirely unique.”

Find out more details about the upcoming film at wogboys.com.

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