By Nick Christophers
It really comes as no surprise that actress/comedian/writer Despina Mirou found a way to keep relevant during this tragic time. Her track record in the film business is too long to list she has worked with such talents from Peter Bogdanovich “The Cat’s Meow “ to Michael Musto “Japanese Bortch”, she has had the pleasure of working with such talents like Laine Kazan and Renee Taylor in “Tango Shalom” and Faye Dunaway, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen “In the “American Connection” both due out in 2021. There are many more films on her plate that she will be working on soon. Her drive and obvious amazing talent have enabled her to not only grace the screen but the red carpet at Cannes, Berlin, and the Venice Festival! Whether she is acting or doing stand-up comedy she leaves a lasting memory for anyone lucky enough to catch her in action.
Only recently, she has completed two British films, where she played the most iconic Hollywood actress’ Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren. She took the part of Elizabeth Taylor, for the film “Affairs in Carpi” when she did a stand-up comedy show in London in December 2020, and the director discovered her there, and asked her to do the Liz Taylor impersonation. She was already doing an impersonation of Liz in comedy clubs in LA, where she changed her voice and her facial expressions which is what attracted the director.
This project is a biography film about Liz and her love affair with Richard Burton. The Welsh actor Ed Ward plays the character of Richard Burton. The film was produced by Excalibur Productions, and Dark Star Productions, from London. Director of Photography was James Lyndon. When Despina was called to play the iconic actress Sophia Loren, she sent her tape to London’s Pinewood Studio, and the casting director Suzanne Kendal wrote her back, “You have gone above and beyond! And your talent and ability to play Sophia Loren shines through brightly.”
The director for the Sophia Loren film was Paul Wiffen, and the script writer Gabriel Murray. The title of the film is “So Long Marianne” which derives from a Leonard Cohen song. The British actor Joe Vetch plays the character of Leonard Cohen. They shot the film on the island of Hydra, and the film takes place in the 60s when Sophia Loren made the film “The Boy and the Dolphin” and her friendship with Leonard Cohen. Despina even sang the famous song that Sophia performed “What is this that They called Love”. The film’s cast include such British notables like Catherine O ‘Reilly and Tim Churchill. Julita Deka is the Director of Photography the producers are Robbie Moffat of the Pinewoods Studios in London, Olympic Films, the Scottish Palm Tree Entertainment, and Rachael Sutherland.
Besides the acting she has managed to maintain her Stand-up comedy career via zoom in LA on a weekly basis. Despina prides herself in her impersonations of famous people like Lucille Ball, Marylin Monroe, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Depp, Liz Taylor, David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, Jack Sparrow, Elton John, Ivana Trump, Melania Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Joan Crawford, Sofia Vergara, Judge Judy, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Arianna Huffington, Penelope Cruz etc. So far impersonated 30 famous people and has completed over 200 shows through the lockdown!
From her teenage years she won two awards for writing from the New Literary Association,1st Nobel Prize and second for poetry awards. It was then that she knew her destination was in the entertainment business. Her talents were soon recognized on a global scale. One of her most honorable awards is the one she received in 2012 for “Excellence in Innovation” at the White House. She would soon revisit Washington, DC again in 2019 being rewarded “The Women Shaping the World Award”, along with Kathleen Kennedy (Robert Kennedy’s daughter). In 2018 she received the “Audience Favorite Stand Up Comedy Actress Award” in Los Angeles, and in 2019 the “Best Stand-Up Comedy Actress Award “in Hollywood. There are many more that she managed to attain over the years.
Even though many were unable to spread their acting wings during the pandemic, Despina found a way. During the lockdown she took part in a few films that became winners in certain festivals like the Sweden film Festival for the project “The Light Touch” which won “Best Comedy Film” and then official selection for best film at the Chicago film festival, in Chicago.
Virus or no virus Despina has seen it through and managed to entertain the world the best way she knows how with love and laughter.