If you haven't been keeping up with El Señor de los Cielos this season, I recommend you skip the next paragraph to avoid any spoilers of what's happened since its premiere Oct. 14.
If you're up to date, you know that after los Casillas rescue Amado from jail, he and Diana say goodbye to the family and head to Greece, where his "friends" Nicos and Athina, and their daughter Irina, are waiting for them. But besides the gorgeous Greek rooftop where the family is casually chillin' when Amado calls to confirm he and Diana are on their way, there is another thing that caught my eye: Nicos. I know you're also wondering if this was a dream or if the Greek gods finally decided to bless us with such a treat, and the answer is yes, he's definitely real.
I met Nicos in the flesh when I paid a visit to the set of El Señor de los Cielos in Mykonos, Greece, and got to talk to him — more like mumble because I was a bit overwhelmed as he was shirtless at the time — and he turned out to be the sweetest guy ever. You could tell he was enjoying his time, and he loved striking up conversations with everyone on set. Giannis Spaliaras — his real name — is also a celebrity in Greece, to the point where there were paparazzi hiding on the roof of the hotel where they were shooting some scenes, trying to get a good shot of him for their magazines.
Giannis started his career as a model and moved on to acting, debuting in the film The Attack of the Giant Moussaka in 1999, and later appearing on several Greek TV series, most notably Lola, where he played Alexandros Filippou. What really catapulted him to fame was competing on the fifth season of Greece's Survivor in 2017. Since then, he's gained numerous modeling contracts, particularly with sports and fitness apparel brands, and he continues to improve his acting, now landing this international role in El Señor de los Cielos.
But how did he get this role? "I knew the production director of the Greek crew," Giannis told POPSUGAR. "She called me to say there was this Mexican series, which was also international, and they were looking for a Greek role. She thought it would be a good idea to suggest me. I sent her my reel, and they sent me a scene in Spanish. I recorded it with my phone, and then they sent a longer scene. I did that one in English and Spanish. That was a great experience for me."
What really impressed me the most about Giannis — besides his incredibly fit physique, charming demeanor, and the best hair I've seen — was how committed he was to his character and the lengths he went to make it as believable as possible. All Giannis could say to not give away too much was that Nicos is a former CIA agent and is on Amado's side. He's fully trilingual, speaking Spanish, English, and Greek, and there are going to be very intense scenes involving him.
In real life though, Giannis speaks Greek and English, so in order to get into his character and understand what was going on, he would get the scripts in English. He'd read them, internalize them, then he'd get the Spanish scripts, which he would memorize as most of his lines were in Spanish. "It's hard to memorize a language you don't know," Giannis said. "In English, one word brings the other one as you talk, and you might be able to change little things if you can't remember your line exactly and it'll still have the same meaning and even look more natural."
"Now I have to say everything in Spanish just like I read it, because if I change it, it might end up being something completely different. It's hard, but I like hard!" It also helps that Giannis loves Spanish and Latinx. He said we reminded him of Greeks, because we're "warm, smiling, and open-hearted people." He added that he had a great experience in Mexico as well, where they shot a lot of the interior scenes that take place in Greece in the show.
Giannis said he'd love to work on a Spanish series again, and honestly, I would personally watch it only to hear him speak Spanish, because if that's not the sexiest thing you've heard, then I don't know what is. You'll understand what I'm saying if you keep watching El Señor de los Cielos on Telemundo, Monday through Friday at 10 p.m.
Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Telemundo for the purpose of writing this story.