An actress with beauty, honesty, courage, and outrageous talent, help us wish Anna Ferruzzo a happy birthday.
I Love Italian Movies: You’re the star of two of the best movies of the last two years. How do you choose your roles? Did you know that the parts in Anime Nere and Pecore in Erba would be so important? What are you looking for when you choose a part? What is the most important? The theme? The script? The director?
Anna Ferruzzo: The choices made in our work are very important and I have to say I have always been rather lucky. In fact,there have been very few times in which they chose me for a role that I wasn’t already in love with before filming, talking with the director, or reading the script. In my overall evaluation, everything counts, empathy with the director, the script, the role, but in the end the intuition that I trust myself and I have to say that, at least until now, I have never betrayed myself. I am proud of the films that I have made, in cinema and on TV.
(STREAM ANIME NERE: Do it now if you haven’t already!)
ILIM – Pecore in Erba is really funny! How did you keep a straight face saying those lines. I can imagine that everyone was laughing on the set.
Anna: Shooting Pecore in Erba was a really beautiful, fun experience for me. Despite being young, the director, Alberto Caviglia proved to be very talented and had really clear ideas. The cast was mostly young people that were full of enthusiasm and full of positivity. There is no better way to make the audience laugh than to do your job with joy , and obviously that contributed to the success of the film.
None of us expected that Pecore in Erba would be selected for Venice and when we found out we were couldn’t believe it, but we were pleased. Evidently doing this wonderful work with hard work, passion and joy still pays off.
ILIM: When did you get that Anime Nere would be such an important film? (It cleaned up at the David di Donatello Awards, outshining La Grande Bellezza and Il Capitale Umano.)
Anna: I worked with Francesco Munzi for the first time in the beautiful film ‘Saimer’ in 2004, so I had already had a chance to see the work of one of the best Italian directors in recent times. When I auditioned for Anime Nere I knew that it was an important film. I’d also read the book it was based on, written by Giacchino Criaco and its accuracy and poetry dealing with the ‘Ndrangheta had really affected me.
I was sure that Francesco Munzi would have been capable of recreating, across the images, all of the power of the story. The book differs a lot from the film but the darkness at the heart of it, that lives in the pages of the book, is the same in the film. I was aware of the fact that we were making a great film, I was proud of it and I felt that it would be appreciated and awarded.
ILIM: Francesco (Munzi, director) and Vladan (Radovic, cinematographer) told me that Africo (the location of the film in Calabria) was a little scary. Did you think so?
Anna: Calabria is a wonderful place and full of big contrasts, and as far as the landscape goes, kilometer after kilometer of beautiful coastline and a beautiful sea, inland, it’s mountainous and harsh. The locations were we were shooting were right in the backwoods of Calabria, so because of the lack of good roads, getting to the set was often complicated. At dawn the forest rangers accompanied us through the mountains in jeeps.
So we did get to know the wilder part of Calabria, the part that is less touristy and I understand that for those that weren’t born there it could seem scary. Even though I am not Calabrese, I am a women from the south and I’ve known this harshness my whole life, it’s part of my heritage. I’ve never been afraid, never.
ILIM: So where were you born?
Anna: I was born in Taranto, Puglia, but I have lived in Rome for many years.
ILIM: We Americans are very nosy about celebrities! Are you married, have a boyfriend, kids, pets…?
Anna: I live with my boyfriend Massimo, he’s an actor too. We don’t have kids but a few years ago we adopted two mixed-breed dogs from an animal shelter in Rome, Rocco and Pupetta and we adore them.
ILIM: What do you do for fun?
Anna: When I’m not working a live a very simple, and rather reserved life. It relaxes me to take care of the house myself, and I’m a kind of homebody. In my free time I love taking long walks listening to music and I don’t just enjoy making films, above all I love watching them and I go to the movies every chance I get. My passion is Italian neorealism and I love the films of Vittorio de Sica.
I really like vintage clothes and since I am a good cook (a passion that I had inherited from my mother), I have fun making the recipes my own. On my little terrace I have a tiny garden that I tend with love. Emerging my hands in the dirt magically eases all of my anxieties and seeing the first blooms of spring is a magical moment.
ILIM: What can you tell me about Il Sindaco Pescatore?
Anna: Il Sindaco Pescatore is a television film inspired by the life of Angela Vassallo. Angelo was the mayor of Pollica, a small town near Cilento. An example of honest and virtuous, Angelo was killed in 2010 in an ambush by the Camorra just for opposing the spread of crime in his town.
The film tells about his life and I play Angelina, his wife, an extraordinary woman who I had the privilege of meeting while we were making it, a human experience that was very important to me. From a professional point of view I had the chance to work with the great Sergio Castellitto and to be directed by Maurizio Zaccaro, a director that I have always admired.
The premier was in Rome with 500 high school kids in the audience and their attention, their respect, and their participation and the tangible emotion in the theater made us realize right away that we had done a good job.
The broadcast in Italy was a big success, with over 7 million Italians following the film and getting to know the story of this honest and courageous man, an example of good politics and civic responsibility that is rare in Italy, and thanks to TV, it was given a much broader audience. I am so proud to have participated in this film and proud to have contributed to its success.
ILIM: So, what’s next for you?
Anna: My last film was ‘Le Ultime Cose’ (The Last Things) from young, talented director Irene Dionisio; I’m sure it will surprise you. I hope to see it in the theaters soon.