SPOTLIGHT ON MATTHEW BALZAN

Date of Birth: 10th November, 1988

Location: Birżebbuga

Star Sign: Scorpio

Media-related occupation: Actor

Matthew Balzan had started his involvement in drama back in 1999 when he took his first course with Joseph Galea. Since then, he’s participated in various other courses, especially at the Malta Drama Centre, where he even had the opportunity to take part in the World Youth Theatre Festival in Vienna in 2009.

He kept on taking part in various courses until he obtained a Diploma in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London in 2012. His first drama experiences were at L-Istitut Kattoliku in various pageants and plays, whilst his first television experience was Delitti f’Malta in 2004. In recent years, Matthew has taken part in annual pageants, two editions of Notte Bianca, and the Malta International Theatre Festival, where he won Best Local Supporting Actor.

Other theatre experiences include several plays with Vermiglio Theatre Productions and Xbiehat ta’ Uħud li Huma Kattoliċi at the Manoel Theatre in 2011. He’s also been part of several local series, including Rajt ma Rajtx, Andrew & Sue, Klassi Għalina and Strada Stretta. However, his most intense role has so far been in Id-Djarju l-Iswed, where he was cast as an exorcist. On a far lighter note, he’s now playing Pawlu in Division 7.

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Photo by Mario Casha

 

How did you fall in love with acting?

I guess that my interest in drama arose due to my uncle, who use to participate with a charity drama group, and would take me with him to his plays.

In your opinion, is there something lacking in Malta in terms of career development in this field?

I think that we need more professionals in the field to participate in encouraging local talent. Unfortunately, it’s still very difficult to take up drama as a living in order to really make a career out of it locally.

If you had to meet any actor, who would it be and what would you talk about?

It would either be Tom Hanks or Johnny Depp, and I’d surely talk to either of them on characterisation. In my opinion, they are the best actors who can interpret so many different characters in an excellent way.

Any behind-the-scenes anecdotes you could share with us?

There have been many along the years. The most I remember are those associated with the annual pageants I’ve taken part in. It was very common to find ice cold water when the apostles had to wash their feet, or either rotten food which had to be eaten during the Last Supper!

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Above: Matthew Balzan as Pawlu in Division 7 captured by John Nicholas Galea and edited by Chris Goa Farrugia

 

Do you feel you have enough space and opportunities to spread your artistic wings in Malta?

At certain times it’s difficult, but I’m lately seeing an increase in opportunities, especially for young actors, so I think progress is being made. I was fortunate enough to find a dear friend who’s also involved in drama who encouraged me to carry on.