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Hot Under The Collar : From SOD Magazine

JUST THE FACTS Birthday: June 9
Favorite Movie:
"It changes all the time, but right now it's Carnal Knowledge."
Favorite Food: Lasagna
Superhero of Choice:
"Superman. He has the most powers and can do anything he wants."
Hails From: Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY
Number of Times He Saw Titanic: 2

Nick Kiriazis Sizzles As Sunset Beach's Resident Man Of The Cloth When Nick Kiriazis reported for duty as SUNSET BEACH's Father Antonio, he was in and out of wardrobe in no time. No wonder, "I wore the priest costume every day for two weeks," the actor laughs. "I finally got to put on something different when they let me wear sweats and normal clothes. I was a lot more comfortable, let me tell you." That said, the casual clothes (jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap) the actor's donned for this one-on-one chat can't disguise his admitted discomfort with being interviewed. "I'm learning to deal with all of it." he confesses. "I'm getting better at it. But the whole press thing has just kept me so busy since I started." His alter ego has also been busy since hitting the BEACH. Consider: he presided of Cole and Cailtin's wedding, where he heard the confessions (and they were doozies!) of Cole, Caitlin, and Olivia. "It's an interesting town," smiles Kiriazis. "Antonio enjoys helping people. I'm not quite sure he actually helped anyone involved here, though." But with this troubled trio, that's not going to happen overnight - though Kiriazis became BEACH's resident soul man almost that fast. He was first contracted about the role on Thursday, and showed up for shooting the following Monday. "I had tested for ANOTHER WORLD in July, so I basically got this job through that one because they dug up my audition tape," the actor explains.

"I got called on Thursday night at 6:30 and I had to decide by 10 the next morning, I couldn't let the opportunity go by, so I went there on Friday, met with Executive Producer Gary Tomlin, was handed a pile of scripts - and here I am." Daunting? Nah. Mountains of memorization was something the actor was familiar with from his work as BEVERLY HILLS 90210's Prince Carl. "That whole experience was a lot of fun, " Kiriazis states, adding that it taught him to roll with the punches. "I went into the audition with a proper English accent and they stopped me right away. They decided to explain my American accent in the story." Oh, okay. "I was thrown in and didn't really know what I was doing," he admits. "But I learned a lot. I made the best of the situation." That was not the first time this philosophy came in handy. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in theater arts, Kiriazis made his way to New York City and survived the way many struggling actors do. "I moved in with a friend of mine, shared a one-bedroom apartment and got a job parking cars for a restaurant," he remembers. "I would go out on cattle calls, get Backstage, circle the ads and go. All that didn't really lead anywhere." Well, not quite. It did land him a small part as an extra in the Al Pacino film Scent Of A Woman.

"I was in the scene at the end at the trial, and I get all revved up and cheer after his famous speech." Kiriazis may have gotten all revved up about acting as well, but the gigs, unfortunately, didn't come. So to pay the bills, he tooks jobs "spraying people with perfume" and "working as a personal trainer in a gym." Meanwhile, Kiriazis auditioned for a large agency, and was signed for commercials and theater work. A shot at pilot season in Los Angeles followed, and though he "got a good response and had a lot of callbacks," he didn't get anything. It was back to New York. While living on the East Coast, Kiriazis worked in commercials (yup, he's that guy in the Pizza Hut ad), and kept his acting skills sharp doing a lot of theater. After another failed attempt at pilot season and "going back to the gym," Kiriazis decided to try L.A. full-time. Fortunately, this trip to the City of Angels yielded a blessed event: a small role in the Kevin Costner/Don Johnson comedy, Tin Cup. "I spent a week on the movie, and I was in a scene with Costner," Kiriazis grins. "That was my first big movie experience, even if I had a very small part. I had three lines and only one left in." Which one? Without a missing beat, Kiriazis says,"I'll give you four-to-one odds.' I was discussing a bet between Costner and Johnson.

That was my feature film debut." And apparently just the jump-start his career needed, as the theory about a body in motion staying in motion proves to be true. He soon landed his 90210 gig, and after that, quickly got guest spots on such sitcoms as WINGS, THE NANNY, and GEORGE & LEO. Kiriazis flew back to New York for the audition at AW last summer, but he wasn't quite certain that daytime was where he wanted to be. "When that didn't work out, I thought about it, and I wasn't sure I wanted to do a soap," he says. "When I got called for BEACH, though, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of being in front of the camera every day." Fans are glad he did, though the hunky actor may seem out of place as a priest. "There must have been something in his life that drove him to become a priest so young, and I am sure it will come out," Kiriazis theorizes. "Antonio's genuinely interested in helping people and doing God's work." But there are also eartly matters on this guy's mind, for as Father Torres has grown closer to Gabi, he's confessed, "I know I'm a priest, but I am also a man." Hmmmm. Viewers can't help wondering if Antonio will stay true to his vows. How does the actor feel about playing a potentially naughty priest? "I won't have any objections," he declares matter-of-factly. "It will bother my character, but not me.

It's crossed my mind that fans may be annoyed, but I don't think it will be anything to controversial," Will it? Heaven only knows. Article from The Week In Soaps, during Shockwave Phillip will confront Antonio about their past in Mexico. "Working with Michael [Sabatino] was really great," NICK KIRIAZIS enthuses. "He's a good actor. It's always good to have some conflict to play around with in a scene. You know, it's like a status battle kind of thing. So, it's fun going back and forth, like a tennis match." The good Father has been awfully secretive about what happened back then... and it doesn't look like that will change any time soon. "I got sort of a backstory, but I want even more detail, though," Kiriazis admits. "They're gonna give it to you slowly, in pieces." In the meantime, Father Antonio will have to struggle with himself. "I think his dealings with Francesca have brought back a lot of memories and questions that he hasn't dealt with since he left Mexico," he explains, "and I think he's going to have to face those again."

As if the personal turbulence onboard isn't enough, the cruise ship will have to deal with natural elements when a tidal wave hits by week's end. "That was fun," Kiriazis enthuses about filming the scenes. Everybody worked really, really hard, the crew and the cast. The boat flips over, all the sets are upside down, all filled with water. And we had to do some stunt work. It was great." Being on the west coast, did the earthquake storyline rattle Kiriazis? Nah. "You know, this is gonna sound kinda bad, but I don't even think about it anymore," he confesses. "Once in a while, if I go on the highway and I'm under an overpass and there's traffic and you're stopped under that, then you're like, 'If there's an earthquake, this thing'll fall on my head!' " he bravely laughs. "But, usually I go through the day without even thinking twice. And also, I don't live on a cliff or anything like that. Sometimes when I'm in the studio I think about that too, those lights and stuff come crashing down. But I keep it to myself."