Elena Kampouris could teach us all a lesson in being more well-rounded.
At just 19 years old, the Bridgewater, New Jersey native recently expanded her acting chops to make what the Wall Street Journal has called a “sparkling” Broadway debut in Josie Rourke’s revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, alongside Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber.
After starring roles in TV shows like NBC’s American Odyssey and films such as Men, Women and Children and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, where she played the daughter of Nia Vardalos and John Corbett‘s characters from the original, Elena tells us that she may have found a new favorite medium in theatre.
“It’s a night and day difference,” she says. “There is nothing than can be artificially censored, dubbed, edited or manipulated. Of course, challenging yourself in all forms is what one would consider a well-rounded actor, though.”
Balance is a recurring theme in Elena’s life and work. She says she landed on acting because of “a yearning to find vehicles in the form of characters to entertain, to tell stories and to connect with people,” but other artistic interests include writing and photography, and they fit into an even longer list of things that are important to her for maintaining her own “yin and yang.”
“I have to find ways to decompress and escape,” she says, admitting she deliberately takes time away from electronic devices, sometimes carrying only a pen and pocket notebook. “Whether that be meditating, swimming, playing with my dogs, writing, working out or just being in peace and quiet listening to nature.” And because she’s all about the balance, Elena admits that her other favorite decompression pastime is something we all know a little too well. “Just binge watching some mind-numbing reality TV,” she admits. “You gotta find a way!” We approve.
While Elena takes the stage for the next three months in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, she’ll also be gearing up for her next film release, an adaptation of the book Before I Fall, about a teen girl who is to relive the day she dies over and over.
“I play a heavily bullied, mentally disturbed, suicidal girl,” Elena says. And while she recognizes that it’s a major departure from any other role she’s played, it falls right in line with her enthusiasm for embracing and learning from life’s many perspectives. “With every part I take on, [I aim to] find a new challenge and push myself to go outside my comfort zone,” she says. “It broadens my understanding of human nature.”
How to do find balance in your life? Let us know over @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Craig Barritt/Getty)