Paolo Sorrentino’s muse, Italy’s treasure, and I Love Italian Movie’s Man of the Year, Toni Servillo is not like any movie star we have here in the United States. I don’t think so, anyway; I know so little about him. He’s not the kind of guy with his face plastered on People Magazines ( or Chi, a similar magazine in Italy ).
“That an actor is so often asked their opinion on soccer or cuisine or politics or public transport,” he says, “is part of the degeneration process in show business.” (Wow. Refreshing. Take notes, Tom Cruise.)
Want to know who he’s sleeping with? As far as I can tell, that would be his wife, Manuela, a pretty, age-appropriate teacher. Want to know about his fabulous, star quality “digs”? Nobody I know has ever done a photo spread of his house ( been there since the ’60s) in Caserta, south of Naples. Google “Toni Servillo – Gossip”, and you get pretty much nothing, NULLA. Have his two sons have been following in his footsteps, or designing new fashion lines, or getting in trouble with the law; I don’t think so, I think they are just normal kids going to school.
So what has Toni Servillo been doing if not rubbing elbows with celebrities every night and mugging for cameras?
Acting. He’s been acting. This year he’s in the news more than usual, promoting what is being called Paolo Sorrentino’s masterpiece, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty). As the film’s protagonist, Jep Gambardella, a Roman socialite who dabbles in journalism, he nails it, just like he nails every role he takes on.
The Great Beauty is making the rounds in American theaters on a limited basis right now, but there are other opportunities to see his work here in America.
Though some of the best Toni Servillo films have not been distributed in the US, like one of my very favorites of 2012, Daniele Ciprì’s ‘È Stato Il Figlio‘, there are some good choices from Netflix below.
Will Toni Servillo every get the recognition he deserves? Doesn’t seem like he cares that much about it to me. He’s an actor that acts. And he’s one of the best of our time.
Get these other films starring Toni Servillo from Netflix. Click on the images for the links.