INTERVIEW WITH ACTOR KEVIN NAUDI

Kevin Naudi is a creative & art director by profession, a father by choice, and actor and stand up comedian through passion. He was born into the world of advertising through a company his father set up, and since then has built a very reputable portfolio of campaigns under his creative belt.

Married for over ten years and a father of two beautiful girls, Kevin started his acting career in his 30s. Yet looking back, he says that being funny simply came from within, and so he has been making his friends and family laugh since his early years. Also, he was always into acting out his favourite movie scenes, creating his own world, and lived out his youth with a wild imagination. His passion came into fruition when Kevin got his first role with Colin Azzopardi (of the Game of Thrones) in a music video for Red Electrick, ‘The Runaway’. He followed this up with a performance at the One Act plays at MADC, which earned him the most promising actor title. Considering his inexperience in theatre, receiving this award was a good sign of what was to come.

In 2014, Kevin submitted his acting CV to a call up for featured extras for an epic movie being shot in Malta, titled Risen. After appearing as a featured extra (soldier), he was cast to fill in the role of the ID Soldier. In early 2015, he auditioned and got the role as an Italian Policeman in the hit series You, Me and the Apocalypse 2015, starring none other than Rob Lowe. He didn’t stop there, and this was followed with a feature role in the epic movie ENTEBBE, starring Rosamond Pike and Daniel Bruhl.

Then there is his stand-up comedy career. Kevin started out with his first stand-up special ‘Laughing at the Truth’ in 2015. The show, written, directed and performed by Kevin himself, ran over two nights at the MADC Club Rooms to a packed house. This was the first time that a Maltese stand-up comedian performed solidly for over one hour single-handedly. His other well-attended shows were “Nothing to Hide”, and “No Limits” – the first solo performance to be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre these past 30 years. Needless to say acting and stand up will always be on the top of his list, but producing a short film is also on the cards, along with a hopefully Australian or European tour of his latest stand up ‘No Limits’.

Eve: What has been the single greatest challenge in your career so far?

Kevin Naudi: Writing the script for my second stand-up special, Nothing To Hide. Balancing being a father, husband and doing stand-up is one thing, but the first few months following the birth of my second daughter were very difficult and I literally was scripting at all kind of weird hours of the night. Also I didn’t even have time to do one proper run through before I performed the script on the night, apart from not being in the right frame of mind to prepare for a stand up… Thankfully, I could use this to my advantage and joked about it with the audience – and laughs followed.

Eve: You’re currently the only Maltese stand-up comedian to write, direct and perform three stand-up specials. What is it like?

KN: To be honest I don’t think about this much, as what I do, I do it for myself and of course my fans. To achieve what I have in stand-up is something extremely rewarding. Knowing my wife and eldest daughter are very proud of me tops it all, along with, of course, all my family and friends. Stand-up comedy is very hard, as you are alone on stage, being judged by every single word you say, which I honestly love. Thankfully, it comes naturally to me because I literally script what I feel about myself, my situations, the world around us, situations I encounter. I know what others feel and talk about behind closed doors, but do not have the liberty to express in public. I’m not happy to be the only Maltese stand-up comedian to write three specials over one hour long, as the more we are the more chances we have to help the local stand-up scene grow, maybe one day leading to a full-on comedy club were people get to enjoy different acts every night/weekend. Now that’s a nice thing to dream about.

Eve: What’s the hardest part about being an actor/ comedian and what’s the best?

KN: Acting? I would simply say the hours, and sometimes being on an uncomfortable set with difficult filming conditions. Other than that, I enjoy every single second when on set, as I take every opportunity to look around me, and learn. From DOP (director of photography), the AD, to the Director, all give me further knowledge for progressing with my acting and directing.

Eve: What do you enjoy doing during your time off?

KN: Spending time with my kids (and my wife of course – she’s gonna read this). I enjoy the simply things in life. A beer, a lunch, a drive, anything that helps me switch off. And of course laughter to accompany the whole thing.

Eve: Is fashion an important part of your life?

KN: Wouldn’t say important, but I’m quite conscious on how I look. I believe everyone should have self-respect in that regards, no?

Eve: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

KN: To travel back in time, and do it all over again. That said, I have a superpower, and that’s being the best father I can possibly be to my kids.

Cover photo: JCiappara Photography