How Greenport Came to Be
In 2013, Tony Spiridakis wrote a feature film script about his autistic son, entitled Inappropriate Behavior. “It’s a beautiful story that involves a father’s decision to take his son on the road to play comedy clubs in lieu of therapy, as a way of saying he doesn’t need medication or a special needs school. He needs to make people laugh," explains Tony.
The film was on its way to being made, but after a series of unfortunate events the deal fell through. Spiridakis was crestfallen over the news until Shannon Goldman, his lifelong friend and partner in the Inappropriate Behavior project, suggested that they write a television pilot for a show based on what had been going on in Tony’s life. “It’s the comedy of a man taking care of his aging parents, his autistic son and his Hollywood career... what do you do when things don’t go your way — how do you make it all work?” says Spiridakis.
So what started as an idea between two friends to salvage the poignant message of Inappropriate Behavior became a launching pad for a docu-style comedy that we experience with Greenport. The film's namesake is where the story takes place, where the show was shot on location and where Tony and Shannon live.
For more on the backstory of how Greenport came to be, you can read this insightful article as told by writer Katharine Schroeder.
MEET TONY & SHANNON /
Tony Spiridakis, Writer/Co-Creator/Actor
Tony Spiridakis is an award-winning director, writer, producer and actor. His first film, Queens Logic, he wrote, produced and co-starred with Kevin Bacon, John Malkovich and Jamie Lee Curtis. His play, Self Storage, was developed at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and led to Tony adapting and directing the black comedy film version starring Ron Perlman and Joe Pantoliano. He created the TV series, The Heights, with legendary producer Aaron Spelling. His independent film, Noise, won Tony best director awards at the Florida and New Orleans Film Festivals. Another play, The Last Word, had a successful run at the Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles, before Tony adapted and directed the film version with Timothy Hutton and Richard Dreyfus. His post 9/11 drama, Beyond The Ashes, won screenwriting honors at Riverrun, Austin and Montreal International Film Festivals. His comedy, If Lucy Fell, starred Sara Jessica Parker and Ben Stiller. His most recent project, the pilot Greenport, is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to bring film and television production to the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives and runs the esteemed not-for-profit Manhattan Film Institute which he co-created with his partner Lisa Gillooly. In the pilot, Tony plays a once-famous movie star desperate for a comeback if he can only conquer his addictions of partying and weight gain.
Shannon Goldman, Director/Co-Creator
Shannon Goldman is co-founder of Rockville Pictures, a New York-based production company, and a long-time filmmaking collaborator of Tony Spiridakis. For over 15 years, the two have worked together on various projects including Ash Tuesday, an audience favorite at the Tribeca Film Festival; and Noise, Grand Jury Prize winner at Florida and New Orleans Film Festivals. Shannon produced his first feature Lost Prophet in 1992, and followed his passion by directing, editing and/or producing five more feature length films, many of which debuted at top film festivals and were released to critical acclaim. He contributed as an early advisor regarding the formation of Manhattan Film Institute, and now teaches filmmaking at the school and serves on MFI's Board of Directors. Through Rockville, Shannon directs, edits and produces commercials and brand films for some of the top fashion retail companies in the country. He is also the co-creator of the award-winning television show Lunkerville, which airs in over 120 million homes internationally. Born and raised in Manhattan, Shannon now lives and works on the North Fork with his wife and creative partner, Deb.
MEET THE CAST & CREW /
Starring: Rob Hancock, Dimitri Spiridakis, Geoffrey Owens, Jennifer Bassey and Michael Nouri
Rob Hancock, Cast (Tony)
As a stage actor, Rob Hancock has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and North America with such renowned companies as Utah Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, Northlight Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Westport Country Playhouse, among numerous others. He starred in the world premiere of the hit musical Daddy Long Legs, in which he went on to play at London’s St. James Theatre in 2012. Prior to that he toured more than 30 cities in the North American company of Mamma Mia!. Rob has also performed as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orchestra Japan, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra. TV credits include Royal Pains, True Blood: Postmortem, and The Guiding Light. He is originally from Nashville TN.
Dimitri Spiridakis, Cast (Danny)
Dimitri Spiridakis began his acting career at the age of 6 in the award-winning indy film Noise. A year later, his brother Nikos cast Dimitri in the environmental PSA Save It, alongside actor Tony Goldwyn; the PSA played during the 2008 presidential debates on CNN and MSNBC, before finding a home with the environmental non-profit 1Sky which uses Save It to raise awareness on the dangers of fossil fuels. Diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, Dimitri always showed that he had a gift for comedy. He continued to develop his acting skills at the Manhattan Film Institute, where he starred in the short films Moving On, Inappropriate Behavior and Tracks. Dimitri appeared as himself in the documentary film Driving to Ground Zero, which premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival. Also a talented fine artist, Dimitri will be attending Bard College this Fall 2017, majoring in Studio Art as a freshman.
Geoffrey Owens, Cast (JT)
Geoffrey Owens is best known for his roles in The Cosby Show (1984), The Paper (1994, Dir: Ron Howard) and Play the Game (2009, Dir: Marc Fienberg). TV Credits include Blue Bloods, Lucifer, recurring role on Divorce, guest star on The Slap, regular on The Cosby Show, The Leftovers, Built to Last; appearances on Elementary, Deadbeat, Biker Bar, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, Medium, Journeyman, Las Vegas, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, That’s So Raven, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Wedding Bells, Friends of the People, The Affair. He is a New York native, born in Brooklyn in March 1961.
Jennifer Bassey, Cast (Jean)
Emmy Award-nominated Jennifer Bassey became a contract player on ABC TV's All My Children in the summer of 1998, after having portrayed borderline nymphomaniac "Marian Colby", since the early eighties. TV credits include Law & Order, L.A. Law, Falcon Crest, Murphy Brown, Silk Stalkings, Matlock and Coach. Her first job in entertainment was as a singing Playboy bunny in the very first Playboy Club. She left her bunny ears behind and was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she graduated with honors, finishing just below classmate and future Academy Award-winner, Sir Anthony Hopkins. Jennifer went on to the Big Apple, where she appeared in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including Neil Simon's California Suite; George Abbott's Not Now Darling; In Praise of Love with Rex Harrison and The Homecoming (The Original Royal Shakespeare Production). Her most recent off-Broadway credits include Molière's Tartuffe and Wendy Wasserstein's Isn't It Romantic, both staged at the Tribeca Playhouse. Jennifer hails from Chicago.
Michael Nouri, Cast (Avy)
Michael Nouri begins his fifth decade in film, theatre and television. He has starred on numerous prestigious television series including Damages opposite Glenn Close, the critically acclaimed NBC miniseries The Slap, NCIS, Without a Trace, CSI: NY, South Beach, Enterprise, Cold Case, The Practice, The West Wing, Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent. His major recurring roles were on ABC's popular show Bay City Blues, Downtown, Love and War, The Young and the Restless and Brothers and Sisters. He recently co-produced and starred in the movie The Squeeze, appeared in the US TV series Heartbeat, played in Blue Bloods opposite Tom Selleck and can be seen in the movie Woman Walks Ahead (2017) starring Jessica Chastain and Manifesto (2017) opposite Chris Noth. Michael serves as ambassador for Seeds of Peace, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and enjoys mentoring inner-city kids who want to become actors.
For the full cast and crew of Greenport, visit the official Greenport IMDB page
MEET OUR PRODUCERS /
Executive Producers: Jim Thompson, Paul Michael Henry, Shannon Goldman and Tony Spiridakis
Jim Thompson, Executive Producer
Jim Thompson began his career as a screenwriter. His first film, Summer’s End, was produced by Showtime in 1999. It starred James Earl Jones and was nominated for four Emmy’s; Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor. It won Best Picture and Best Actor. His second film, Every Dog Has It’s Day, was written and produced by Jim and was directed by Marc Chiat and premiered at The Slamdance Film Festival in 1999. Over the next several years Jim was a working writer, selling pitches and specs. Wanting to branch out into development and production, Jim launched the boutique management company Original Content in 2005 where he worked with myriad writers developing, selling, and in some cases producing their material. War starring Jet Li and Jason Statham in 2007 and The Last Knights starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman in 2015, were produced by Jim and written by Original Content clients. Tony Spiridakis is not only an Original Content client, he’s also one of Jim’s oldest and closest friends. They met on an epic red eye flight from New York to LA in their mid-twenties and have remained friends, collaborators and creative kindred spirits ever since.
Paul Michael Henry, Executive Producer
Paul Michael Henry has never acted or won an Oscar. His passion for independent filmmaking resulted in creating, supporting, and directing the East End Student Film Project (EESFP), a summer program in Greenport, dedicated to introducing and cultivating local, young students in the art of filmmaking. Along the way, he ran the Greenport Student Film Festival which resulted from local filmmaking students requesting a venue to show their work to the community and to meet and view other young filmmakers work. After EESFP, Paul joined Manhattan Film Institute and is currently acting as MFI's Director of Production and sits on MFI's Board of Directors. It has always been Paul’s goal to bring filmmaking and filmmakers to the North Fork of Long Island and to make Greenport a destination to learn, produce and exhibit world-class films.