It’s a good thing that Konstantinos Lachanas doesn’t define himself by the acceptance of others that he is the characters he portrays in different productions. When casting director Alexi Stavrou saw Lachanas on television shows like The Disappearance and others and felt that the actor was ideal to portray the dark hearted Dr. Martinez in the Sci-Fi/Thriller Panacea, it could have been interpreted as a character judgement. Of course, successful actors like Konstantinos build their careers on being convincing as both a protagonist and an antagonist. The most talented of these like Konstantinos are able to delve deep into the human psyche and craft a character who is multifaceted; able to elicit differing reactions from varied audiences. The Greek born Lachanas, alongside costars such as Louis Mandylor (of Oscar Nominated My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) and Ravi Naidu (of Golden Globe Nominated film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and HBO series Homeland-winner of five Golden Globes), is part of an exceptional and culturally diverse cast which attracts an international audience to this riveting production.
Though already written and filmed prior to the current pandemic, no subject matter could be more appropriate in feeding into the global public’s paranoia than Panacea. As Earth waits for a cure-all to Covid-19,Panacea depicts what might be happening in the secret medical world in pursuit of a different all-encompassing antidote. When Sharyn (portrayed by Ashlynn Yennie) awakens panicked in an emergency room, Dr. Martinez is the first person she meets. While he attempts to calm her and confirm that she is fine and will make a full recovery, an unsettling suspicion tells Sharyn that something is familiar. As the story unfolds, we see that Sharyn is in a secret medical research facility which inflicts a hellish cycle of experimentation that kills and then resurrects its patients in hopes of finding a panacea. A realistic scenario like this is far more frightening than any occult theme because the leap to imagining this becoming reality is not that far. As a doctor and the de facto villain of the film, Dr. Martinez has one foot steeped in a higher calling and the other in a rejection of his Hippocratic oath.
Discovering the ethical dilemma which led to the darker nature of Dr. Martinez was paramount for Konstantinos. His portrayal is frightening and the lynch pin that holds the tension of Sharyn’s journey in jeopardy. Lachanas describes, “We’ve all lost someone important to us at some point. It’s an incredibly painful part of life that we have no control over. The fatal flaw of Dr. Martinez is that he feels he can actually change this. Following the death of his wife, the medical experiments he is conducting offers a chance of reclaiming the love and life that once fulfilled him. He is willing to do nearly anything to achieve that, regardless of the atrocities he must commit to attain this goal. This doctor isn’t fueled by hubris but rather the same longing that we all have to be with those we love.” There is an arc for Dr. Martinez in the film but the ability of Konstantinos to not give too much away culminates in an inability by the patients, or the audience for that matter, to define his true intentions. This serves to even further establish the disorientation that Sharyn and her fellow patients feel.
Lachanas placed the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic front and center in a film he produced, directed, and starred in titled Reborn. Konstantinos stars in the film as a young man who has lost his job during the pandemic as so many others have. The story follows his journey from depression and anxiety to growth and positivity in hopes of communicating that it is how we interpret our situation rather than the events that occur which defines us. The actor declares, “This was a personal point of view about the pandemic situation and it was a way to express my feelings and how spiritual growth could be helpful for this situation. For me, this film was a chance to be productive financially, mentally, and socially in a situation that has seen many people take the opposite approach. I truly feel that we decide what our life looks like.”
writer -Elliott Capo