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Meet Sam Vartholomeos: Greek-American actor

By on April 2, 2024

by Markos Papadatos

Greek-American actor Sam Vartholomeos shared insights about his Greek ethnic background and his acting career. On his Greek heritage, he said, “I was born and raised here in Astoria, which is little Greece. It still is, even though it is changing a lot. Astoria is a hidden gem for New Yorkers. A lot of people come here for the Greek food or the feta. It’s a beautiful place and not because it’s my home but there’s an energy here that everyone feels when they first come.”

Sam Vartolomeos Photo credit: Emily Assiran

Both of his parents are Greek. “They met here after they came. My mom is from Karpenisi from up in the mountains, and my father is from the island of Andros. It’s a big but beautiful island to explore. I am a part of the Andriotiko Society of America. Just growing up here, it is hard not to be touched by our beautiful culture.”

He also …underwent Greek education. “I went to St. Demetrios in Astoria for Greek afternoon school, so I think that’s why I’m a little sane,” he said with a sweet laugh. “Much love to St. Demetrios. My two siblings and I went there for Greek afternoon school. At the end of the day, I am grateful for going to Greek school because I know our wonderful language, our dances, and our beautiful history. I was a part of the plays at St. Demetrios and the Hellenic Cultural Center in Newtown Avenue, and that is where I discovered theatre.”

While he is not a model per se, he noted that he “dipped his toes in modeling.” “Funny enough, my SAG union got in the way of it,” he said. “If you know anyone in the modeling industry, I am interested,” he said with a laugh.

Sam Vartolomeos Photo credit: Emily Assiran

‘The Crowded Room’

Vartholomeos played the recurring role of Mike in the psychological thriller series “The Crowded Room” on Apple TV+. “My part was super fun, and I was very happy with that, especially bringing levity to such an intense show,” he admitted. “I was very happy to be Mike in this miniseries.”

On being a part of “The Crowded Room,” he explained, “That was a wild ride even from the beginning. It was an amazing experience because of the people that I got to work with. Tom Holland was simply awesome, and Sasha Lane is a sweetheart.”

‘Bridge and Tunnel’

He described “Bridge and Tunnel,” where he starred as Jimmy Farrell, as a “very special show.” “It was my life on Long Island in the ‘80s,” he pointed out. “I recently learned that I was born in Manhasset at North Shore Hospital on Long Island. We filmed that during the pandemic, so that whole process was a bit challenging.”

The creator, writer, and director Ed Burns is the man. “I will aways be forever grateful to Ed,” he exclaimed. “Ed took so much of our personal lives, and he put that into Season 2, so that was nice because we were connected to it in a different way. The cast and I built this camaraderie, and it felt like a family for two seasons, which was so much fun,” he added.

Sam Vartolomeos Photo credit: Emily Assiran

‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Vartholomeos opened up about his experience doing “Star Trek: Discovery.” “That was a ride and a half. At the time, it was the biggest job that I had ever gotten. It was really special because I had grown up with ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars.’ I built camaraderie in a show like that. Doug Jones is a good friend to this day and Sonequa Martin-Green is such a sweetheart. Michelle Yeoh played our fearless captain; she is a total badass, and an absolute legend.”

Thoughts on the Greek-American

Vartholomeos shared his thoughts on the Greek-American community in the United States. “These days, I see a lot of Greek-Americans wanting to be a part of the culture more and that’s a wonderful thing especially since when I was little, I feel like they were trying to get away from Greek culture.”

“I love seeing this switch now where everyone is proud to be proud,” he exclaimed. “Greece is the most beautiful country in the world with the best and healthiest food. I also love seeing non-Greeks gravitating towards the culture. We need to be proud of where we came from, and let’s celebrate that.”


Sam Vartolomeos Photo credit: Emily Assiran

Message for his Greek-American fans

For his Greek-American fans, he said, “We need to support each other more as a culture. I think we have a lot to offer. Not for nothing but the Greeks made acting cool and we started theatre. I would love to see more support of Greeks in all industries in general because a rising tide lifts all ships. Let’s get together a little more, especially because good or bad always come back to you.”

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