Kristos Andrews is without doubt a multi-faceted individual: a multi-Emmy Award-winning actor and producer, as well as a former champion in extreme sports. Andrews chatted with this Greek-American journalist about his hit digital drama series “The Bay,” which is shown on Amazon Prime.
Andrews’ mantel currently holds seven Daytime Emmy awards for his work on “The Bay.” “The feeling’s surreal, but what outweighs everything is the thankfulness to have the respect from my peers in this business, and the encouragement to continue pursuing what I love,” he said.
Andrews portrays the complex and versatile character of Pete Garrett in the show. When asked what he liked and didn’t like about Pete, the actor said “to be honest, one thing that’s hard for me to appreciate about Pete is the fact that he hasn’t really had to work so hard for all of the wealth… Personally, the people I find most inspiring are those who’ve put in the efforts to make things happen and build what they have.”
“With this said, Pete comes from a tough, challenging past, which I feel grounds him,” Andrews continued. “He’s got a humble understanding of what it meant to have nothing, and therefore a deeper perspective about honor, in the position of power he is today.”
“I like that he has a good heart, and keeps it real,” the actor added. “I like that he has compassion and honors those he cares about,” Andrews explains.
When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy, the actor and producer responded, “My methods vary as the material does, but there’s a certain process with learning new material that I enjoy.”
“Before locking the words down, I’ll build the feelings. Not only is this more gratifying for me as an actor, but I feel it makes for a more genuine performance, centered in the heart. The scene’s energy is brought to life before the technical mind can unconsciously stiffen things by placing too much focus on exact wording before we truly know the heart of … what it is we’re saying in the first place,” he says.
Andrews continued, “To be blunt, with most human beings, everything we do or say originates from a feeling which came before it… Ultimately, I feel a scene is an exchange of energy,” he added.
He noted that once an actor knows their character well, the task becomes easier. “Luckily for me, I work with great people who make this process easier for me. Special nod to Gregori J. Martin, he’s a great writer, as well as Wendy (Riche), who I adore, and the team of “The Bay” as well as the other works I’m involved in, truly. I am thankful.”
“The material has been solid and fulfilling,” he said. “Even when the feelings are painful, and even when you need to reference the toughest moments in life or imagine the unimaginable… the experience of letting these feelings live genuinely, process and do their thing, is ultimately a deep experience,” he explains.
“It all results in building our understanding towards life, building our empathy, bridging the difference between the variations of people we’re surrounded by and strengthening our life force in general. In many ways, acting is ‘the art of being human.’ If one genuinely connects, it expedites their growth rate of understanding and wisdom gained through life experience,” he says.
Andrews tackles both dramatic and subtle acting on The Bay with equal ease, thus showcasing his wide range as an entertainer and making him one of the most intriguing actors on the contemporary entertainment scene.
His work is inspired by his family, as well as his executive producer Gregori J. Martin. “Gregori’s motivation as a brother and business partner inspires my motivation. Also, generally speaking, I’m motivated by the fact that life becomes greater with every day,” he said.
“Our general knowledge grows, wisdom grows, relationships grow, and so does our understanding and appreciation toward life itself. Of course, there are good days and bad, but overall I feel a little more fulfilled each day, exciting or not, good or bad. After all, it’s growth and progress,” he muses.
Andrews added, “Life’s a gift. I’m grateful for who I have in it, grateful for the journey it is, and my privilege to step back into it each day.”
The actor and producer noted that rejection and negativity are all part of the process for aspiring actors, especially in the beginning. “Their doubts are only to test and strengthen your own faith. There’s a process for any path… but especially this one, so be prepared,” he warned.
“Establish pre-conceived forgiveness for all those who aren’t going to be kind to you throughout the journey,” he said. “Understand that it’s just their own problem and not yours, it’s their own journey and process… do your best to continue being the kind person you know you can be, the best version of yourself you can be,” he adds.
“Be in full acknowledgment of any help or kindness you get, as any form of it is already beyond what was an obligation for most people. It’s so important to set a good standard for anyone who may end up looking up to anything you may achieve, so be that version of yourself… and be genuine about it,” he elaborated.
Andrews shared that it is essential to keep gratitude alive every step of the way. “Remember it’s a gift in itself just to be on a path chosen out of the passion of your heart, something many people can’t say they’ve even had a chance at.
“You’ve got to be strong, and I don’t mean in an aggressive way, but rather, in a calm and centered way. Strengthen your nature to hold steady to what excites you, and tread forward with patience and peace, despite all the testing energies that surround you,” he said.
“The most important thing of all is to make sure your passion actually lives within the craft, the art form, itself,” he said. “The love for the art has to outweigh any anticipation of fame, fortune, what have you, surface reasons… You must be willing to focus diligently, give the craft the respect it deserves, and build a deeper understanding and appreciation for it. This will establish a solid center of gravity for everything.”
He expressed that he is fortunate enough to be part of a good team who essentially is family to him, and they support each other. “Keep in mind, no connection is a ‘how can you help me,’ connection. Rather, it’s a ‘how can we help each other’ connection, and if it feels right… The essence of teamwork and building relationships, is just how things work, especially in today’s landscape.” he said.
Andrews praised his co-star Karrueche Tran, who plays his wife on The Bay. “Our connection as co-stars is special, people mention it a lot, and I appreciate her as a person very much. Beyond that, each co-star I’ve been paired with, I’m genuinely thankful for. They’ve each been talented and kind. All a pleasure. And whoever I end up playing opposite, I’m sure is meant to be. That’s my perspective,” he said.
In the little spare time that Andrews has, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, working out, watching a movie or show, and skateboarding.
For those who don’t know, Andrews is also an X Games Champion and two-time Guinness World Record holder in skateboarding. “That was trained for, but wasn’t expected. Skateboarding was the sport I grew up with, and I’ll love it forever and it’ll always be a part of me,” he said.
“Skateboarding helped me establish a sense of identity, and also helped my faith in life where it helped bridge the gap between fear and possibility,” he says.
On the origin of his name and ethnic background, the actor said with a laugh, “First thought many have is, why am I not full-on Greek, with the name Kristos. I’m only a small percentage Greek but I’m proud of it. Greece has a legendary history and it’s an honor to have a Greek name.”
Andrews deflects the question somewhat, saying that he feels that “any attention on the fact that my name doesn’t directly apply to which culture or group of people I’m from, only serves to reduce overall differences and separation between people in general, which is so important in today’s world. We’re all human beings and ideally, we get to a point where one’s race or culture can’t be determined or judged just by what their name is on paper,” he said.
“The vast majority of my family lives in England, on my mom’s side, where they date back many generations,” he said. “My dad’s side is a few generations American but dates back to Austria and Poland. I’m proud of the combination I am.”
He elaborated on how he received the name Kristos, saying that his mother “made the decision to pray for it. My mom was a great artist, and she was always very in touch with the spiritual side of life and existence, (including) angels and realms beyond most of our comprehension, which I grow to appreciate more about her more every day.
“She said that before I was born, she was in mid-prayer for it, and finally, there it came to her, clear as day. She said it came to her like the sunrise. Well, that was that. It was the name for me,” he said.
On his definition of success, Andrews explains, “Success, to me, no more means the attainment of a goal or dream, than it does the attainment of inner peace, happiness, and growth of wisdom and understanding.
He concludes, “If we really think about it, it’s probably the main purpose we’re here for. No labels nor anything material follow us after this lifetime, so it must come down to what’s deeper, or what we could simply call spiritual development.”