He’s featured in films like Gladiator, played Mariah Carey’s husband on screen, lived in Westeros and now he’s landed himself a prominent role in the hit show Vikings.
Andrei Claude is one of Malta’s biggest on-screen successes of current time, and we’ve had a little chat with him about his life, career and how he got to where he is today.
His plan was always to split his time between Malta and London, but even he admits to having to spent more time in Ireland and Italy over the past few years.
When he is able to find time to visit Malta, he usually heads over during the summer months. “The sea surrounding this island is beautiful,” he tells us, “and I love swimming.”
Golden Bay is his favourite place to stop by when in Malta, but he actually hails from the quaint town of Attard.
When he was younger, he dreamt of becoming a Californian fitness model – and he did just that right up until his late twenties.
“Even though it was fascinating to be on the set of Gladiator, I was totally immersed in ym own world during that time and the thought of becoming an actor wasn’t something I had considered,” he admits.
After spending a few years travelling in the USA while working as a fitness model, he ended up in New York posing for romance novel covers after winning the title of ‘Mr Romance’ at a convention in 2004.
“Sometimes I was a vampire, other times I was a knight – or even a cowboy.”
“Although we were just shooting still pictures, without being aware of it I was finding myself getting into character and I was really enjoying that process.”
So, Andrei did what anyone else would and signed himself up for an acting class. He was nearing his thirties at the time, relocated to London and booked himself an agent. He soon enough working on short films, independent features and gradually progressed into the TV world, which is where you’ll find him now.
Andrei recommends to any budding young actors or actresses that they find a flock, a group of like-minded individuals, and just start creating.
“Short films or web series, these are where you find the experience and training necessary to prepare yourself for when an opportunity comes along,” he explains, “showcase your material to agents, directors and producers.”
Andrei has a clear message for anyone wishing to pursue their dreams, be it acting or otherwise. He asks: “Pursue something worth considering, since Malta is mainly focused on the service industry. Relocation is always an option. Los Angeles, New York, even London, there’s so much more opportunity out there.”
“The Malta Film Commission is doing a good job of attracting foreign productions to the island and offering grants to local aspiring writers and filmmakers. I believe there needs to be a community for the indigenous film industry to flourish though. This is a collaborative business, and the potential lies in having groups of people with different skills working together towards one objective.”