In other words, when the Italians speak in the US version of the movies, we’ll see subtitles, but when the English speaking actors are talking in the Italian version it will be dubbed, and veteran actor Gullotta will dub Allen’s voice. He’ll replace Oreste Lionello, who used to dub for Allen and died in 2009.
Italy dubs everything, and Gullotta, 66, an actor who has appeared in over 100 films over a 50-year career including three from Oscar-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, is also a dubber. He’s worked as the voice of Joe Pesci in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America and other films. He told The Hollywood Reporter that dubbing Woody Allen would be one of the highlights of his career.
“The Italian newspapers say ‘Woody Allen is mine,’ but that’s not the case at all,” said Gullotta. “I just do a kind of simultaneous translation with some acting thrown in. But the role is his, and it’s a great honor.”
Gullotta said dubbing Allen presented some unique challenges: “With the way he speaks, the pauses are as important as what is said,” Gullotta said.
To Rome With Love, which was filmed in Italy, will have its world premiere in Rome on April 20, two months before going into limited release in the U.S. It is the first film since 2006’s Scoop in which Allen appears as an actor, meaning it will be the first time in years an Italian audience will hear Allen dubbed by someone besides Lionello.
“In Italy, Oreste Lionello for ages made me a much better actor than I really am,” Allen said following Lionello’s 2009 death.
Italian dubbers are considered to be among the world’s best, and the practice of dubbing films is widespread: many major releases do not even make versions subtitled into Italian, or the subtitled versions are released well after the dubbed versions. The Italian DVD of Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be The Place, however, can be watched in English or dubbed into Italian.
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