From an article in The Guardian with Paolo Sorrentino by Catherine Shoard:
Hi Paolo, has the success of the film surprised you?
Yeah! I’m really surprised. Because the movie is not so simple. It’s long, the plot is fragile; I didn’t think it was for a big audience.
Do you think people were hungry for a film that addressed hedonism in this way?
I think people were interested in some aspects of life for the main character: the waste of time, the memory of first love. How life can be funny and upsetting at the same time.
Is it a movie particular to a specific time? Could you make it now?
The movie could also be made today, for above all it’s about human nature and that hasn’t changed in the last two years. Rome and its politics is only in the background.
Do you feel more optimistic about Italy today than you did when you shot it?
Yes. I think something is changing. Many people understand the country can only survive if it becomes more similar to the countries of northern Europe. Otherwise we die. Some small political changes I’m also pleased about.
And Pope Francis?
I don’t know. It’s not easy to understand what will happen. The consequences of his words and actions day to day are hard to know. It’s too early to say. We need more time to understand if some things are just for show or if they are a real change.
The main character in the film, Jep, expresses a weariness with celebrity culture. Do you share this?
Yes, there is a precise correspondence between him and me. The way he feels about people and the heart and parties are very close to me. I am not usually a guy that goes to parties, but many of his ideas are exactly mine.
Do you have any expectations of the Oscars?
We have to do as football trainers advise: take it one match at a time. Now there are the Golden Globes. Then we will see what happens with the Oscars. I am a limited guy who can only ever think of one thing in my life.
On a side note, listen as Toni Servillo, who was not in LA for the award ceremony, lets a reporter have it in a phone interview. When she asks him about the critics of the movie he first says that it seems like an inopportune time to talk about critics in this “moment of enthusiastism”, pretends to be in a tunnel and losing the connection, and then lets her have it with the Italian phrase that every Italian American knows, even if they really don’t speak the language.
A truly “LOL” moment for Servillo, dropping the Italian version of the “F bomb”… “Pronto? Pronto?”