Wife of former NHLer, sports broadcaster an avid writer, history geek
I’m always intrigued by the stories of people who may not have as high a profile as their spouses. And Anne Marie Kypreos is a modest woman who has a story to share — literally.
She’s married to former professional athlete turned sports broadcaster, Nick Kypreos, and she sits demurely in her Hoggs Hollow home, where the troupe moved to a year ago from Leaside. Here, she’s sharing her passion for writing, one that started when she was five and living in Gainesville, Fla.
Amid the sports trophies (including a smaller replica of the Stanley Cup — Nick’s from his time with the 1994 New York Rangers), there’s a huge book collection of first editions.
There’s Tom Sawyer, Heidi, Stephen King’s Christine, Watership Down and more. There are even turn-of-the-20th-century encyclopedias, fraying on slate-grey bookshelves of her front office.
Kypreos, who went to University of Florida for journalism, worked as a copywriter before becoming a model in New York City. Of course, that’s where she met Nick, a few months before he became a Toronto Maple Leaf.
She always kept journals while travelling abroad writing poetry, short stories, whatever came to mind.
“I lived in Spain for three months and I would sit there and write and write. I had friends I lived with and that was something I would do for nobody’s consumption but my own,” she says.
A few weeks ago, at a film premiere hosted by Leaside brothers Drew and Matt Taylor, I chatted with Anne Marie about history, and she revealed she’s finished a screenplay about the only Canadian civilian prisoner of war, Mona Parsons, who led an underground Dutch resistance group against the Nazis.
Parsons was one of the few civilian prisoners of war during the Nazis, and was born in Nova Scotia. During the war, the classically trained singer and actress led a Dutch resistance group. She’d been given recognition for her efforts by Royal Air Force and then-General Dwight Eisenhower, but nothing from Canada.
“[The Nazis] tried to break her and she had a background in acting, and there was a part of her that said, I can do this,” Kypreos says. “She physically saw her architect, who was a part of the resistance with her, dead on a table.”
Kypreos has tapped into at least eight references doing research for the screenplay, including historian Andria Hill-Lehr, and has uncovered quite the romantic war tale that leads one to question whether it’s fiction or not.
Much like Hill-Lehr, the life of Parsons became a bit of an obsession for Kypreos.
“She really helped unfold this woman,” she says. “Unless you have firsthand accounts of what this what [Parsons] was like, you have to read between the lines, and that’s where the art part comes in.”
With plenty of Parsons’ life details marinating in her imagination, Kypreos has grown attached to her heroine even more so.
“You fall in love with the character because they’re alive, almost as real as anyone else,” she says.
Hopefully, with the help of Drew Taylor of FilmHouse Inc., who was introduced to Kypreos via mutual friend Melony Jamieson, the story of Mona Parsons is brought to the big screen.