Meet some of the amazing women I’ve been honored to speak with over the last few years.
Of her dramatic roles,“I am always too involved, sort of trapped by the characters.”
“They (the neorealist films of the past) tell about the average man who goes to work, does his best, and is beaten down by society, and that’s what we wanted to do with this film. I wanted to tell this story (her film, Gli Ultimi Saranno Ultimi) to raise awareness for the situation in Italy, because there so many people are “the last”, even the bosses, living with impossible situations.”
“Acting is about the simple things that you do, like crying. I have cancer (in her film Questi Giorni), so now I have to cry, but Giuseppe (Piccioni, the director) said, ‘No!’ You have to suggest with your eyes a war between two feelings’. Giuseppe taught me a very big, important lesson, because as an actor you can’t take the easy way. Many times it’s the most difficult way, showing the contrast between the mind and the body.”
I think that the cinema produced by a country respects its social reality, economy and culture, and in the last five or six years there has been a rebirth in Italy, above all with directors and auteurs that are the true spirit of cinema, in my opinion. Maybe the economic crisis that Italy has gone through and is going through has served to eliminate the superfluous and made us return to our origins, that is to say making films that are more sincere and more original. We actors can’t do anything but follow this current and help the directors realize their visions.
Of starring as a pregnant teenager in Roan Johnson’s Piuma, “This is one of the roles I always wanted to do. I was fond of Cate, Piuma and the story from the beginning because it reminded me a lot of my story with my mum (Magnificent Italian actress Lidia Vitale). I also was an unexpected child and with this movie I could live the same experience from the opposite point of view and appreciate even more the work my mum has done. In the end I made a lot of researches about pregnancy to make sure to bring the more truth I could. Those are things that happen and it’s a matter of respect to bring out the reality of the facts.”
In Italy we are too afraid of change. We’d rather “riscaldare la minestra del giorno prima” (reheat yesterday’s soup). It would be great if we could make a movie like La La Land someday, and I could have a role like Emma Stone’s. I hope I’m around when things change. I hope to be part of this small but important revolution.”
Of playing conjoined twins in the film Indivisibili, “We’ve been living in a kind of symbiosis our whole life, are very close to each other, and can identify with the pain of separation even though we aren’t physically connected. The story is about “amore veramente indivisibile” (truly indivisible love) there’s a psychological bond that is even stronger than the physical one.”
“The choices made in our work are very important and I have to say I have always 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.”
After starring in Salvo and Cloro, “In America? People know me in America? I don’t want to be famous. I just want to make great cinema.”
(On growing up with her famous father Luigi Comencini) “Yes, I am the daughter of a famous director but we had a normal life. We were four daughters, but my mother didn’t work and we didn’t go to the set. But I started working with my father after I started writing with him. Having said that, when we would come home from school we were breathing the air of cinema, talking about it all the time.”