My husband likes to complain about the roles that actresses like Meryl Streep take and I have to remind him, constantly, that women their age they are lucky to get parts at all. Fair or not fair, that’s the way it is, and so that’s one of the things that makes 7 time Best Actress winner Margherita Buy and her brilliant career so special.
Starring most recently as Adria in Giuseppe Piccioni’s Golden Lion nominated Questi Giorni (These Days), she’s the hot single mom, the one who dresses a little too young for her age but can pull if off, so why not? She’s got an apparently successful hair salon, but she’s not what you’d call good with her accounting, so her teenage daughter Liliana (Maria Roveran) steps into the mothering role from time to time, to help keep things afloat.
Though I hated to remind her of her age, I had to ask, “How are you pulling this off? How are you still getting the sexy roles? One obvious answer; she’s still very sexy looking, but there’s more to it than that, and Margherita chalks it off to luck.
“I’m very lucky”, she told me, because throughout my career while I was growing older I have always managed to find beautiful stories and directors who gave my great roles where I’ve managed to play younger women (because she looks younger, obviously) and portraying characters at appropriate ages.”
“You don’t have to play the same role, as some actresses do”, she went on. “I’ve been able to play women who evolve and change and I was able to evolve with my characters. I’ve always felt close to the women I’ve played.”
Doing dramatic roles, in fact, “I am always too involved, sort of trapped by the characters.”
The role of Adria is definitely a dramatic one, the mother of a young daughter with cancer, but there’s a comical side to the party girl mother who won’t grow up, and I asked Margherita how she managed to play a character that was so different from herself.
“I found her amusing”, she said. “She’s a woman who I know; I’ve met many people like her in my life. She’s uneducated but she’s simple, and I understand her fragility, her insecurities, wearing clothes that are too young for her. I actually love her.”
“She had a child when she was very young and she wasn’t able to enjoy her youth, but she doesn’t want to give up being a woman”, she said. “She moved me.”
Though Margherita starred in one of my favorite comedies of all time Maledetto Il Giorno Che T’ho Incontrato (Damned The Day I Met You with Carlo Verdone), she says she doesn’t do comedies as often because they have to be well written “or otherwise it’s better not to do them”. (Maybe Meryl Streep should take this advice.)
Whatever it is that Margherita Buy is doing to remain youthful and relevant as a woman and an actress, I don’t see any sign of that letting up.
Margherita, just so you know, luck has nothing to do with this. You really are something special.
Mia Madre (My Mother)
Check out Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds)
Viaggo Solo (A Five Star Life)