Kevin Janssens • Actor
Shooting Star 2007 – Belgium
by Anne Feuillère
Twenty-seven year old Kevin Janssens graduated from the famous Antwerp drama school, Studio Herman Teirlinck, in 2003. In his graduation year at the studio, Kevin was cast by his teacher and director Guido Henderickx in the lead role of the prestigious television series King of the World. Following this, Kevin trained for two years as a boxing champion in preparation for the series’ shoot in Cuba. A film version of the series was released last year, along with Belgium’s most popular box-office title in 2006 Storm Force by Hans Herbots (see news), in which the actor also starred. In addition to film and television, the Belgian Shooting Star continues his work on stage and is about to go on tour with Pushkin’s Onegin. Enthusiastic but modest, Kevin Janssens keeps his feet on the ground, while remaining passionate about cinema and his acting career.
Cineuropa: How did you end up being an actor?
Kevin Janssens: It all began when I was quite young; I was 10 or 12 years old. My parents bought a video recorder. I had already seen movies on television but it was the first time I’d seen a tape. I remember saying to myself: "I really want to do this". The movie took me to another place. I was fascinated. It was so great to create a whole new world that at the same time felt so real, I was so much into it! I can't remember the movie (laughs), as I was so engrossed in it! My parents then said they would support me.
How did you prepare for your two first demanding roles in cinema?
If I'm playing a boxer, it is my responsibility to act like a boxer, to be a boxer. It’s important to find the techniques, how you live, how you move when you are a boxer. I trained myself a lot for that demanding role. I took boxing lessons three times a week for two years; I watched my diet and my lifestyle. I did enjoy it but it was hard! And Storm Force was hard too. We spent one week of the shoot at the Pinnacle Studio in London, where they shot The Da Vinci Code and the latest James Bond. It was very demanding, it was the toughest week of filming in my life but it was so exciting (laughs)!
You will be representing Belgium at the 2007 Shooting Stars. What do you think of your nomination and what are your expectations?
To be honest, I don't expect very much. I hope to meet wonderful people from across Europe and to talk with agents and casting directors. I'm really excited but I don't want to expect too much. It’s not like my entire career will start there. I prefer not to have too many expectations. It will also be my first time in Berlin, my first time at the Festival, so I'm really curious. But I'm only 27, I’ve only done two films. I still have to learn and to grow.
What does "European cinema" mean to you?
High quality cinema. Europe has the most important festivals and wonderful films by amazing directors are being made here. But it doesn’t get enough attention, so I hope it will get a lot more in the future!
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