Adriana is in a border body, she distinguishes him as an alien. She asks heaven to repair it, she asks her mother why she was created “broken”. Emanuele Crialese (“Respiro”, “Terraferma”) gives to the cinema “L’Immosità”, presented at the Venice Film Festival, a colorful, at times painful portrait, which draws from one side of his life hitherto kept hidden from the public.
We are in Rome, in the heart of the 70s, here the torments of the Borghetti are consumed, a family that seems one of many, in an Italy that changes and sings Patty Pravo and Adriano Celentano. Clara and Felice are a split couple but there is no talk of separating, he says no, appearances are saved. She (Penelope Cruz) struggles against the weight of this drywall marriage as she watches her daughter struggle to understand her own sexuality other than the one she wears at birth.
The Immensity received great applause in Venice and is now also receiving acclaim at the box office. In the cast also two good Calabrian actors, a couple in life: Carlo Gallo (who also acted as acting coach to the children in the lead) e Rita De Donatowho have recently become parents.
Carlo is thirty-seven years old, he manages the theater of the Maruca which he built, brick by brick, with his brother who is a puppeteer. He knows that grabbing the big dream is sometimes the feat of a madman «or an artist, go and know the difference. I am nobody’s child artistically, my parents never took me to the cinema or the theater. I started perhaps to escape from something ».
Was there a revelation, some kind of call to arms?
“No light from above. I was studying at Unical “Communication Sciences”, I was already doing some amateur theater with friends, then I met Max Mazzotta, Rosa Masciopinto, Alvaro Piccardi, in workshops organized between the University and the Teatro Stabile di Calabria, there I I am told: I have to change direction ».
And where did that new road lead you?
«In Udine. There I was accepted into the Academy of Dramatic Art and I realized that there was a lot of work to do. I’ve been doing this job for fifteen years now and things are happening only now ».
Things that also have the imprint of Emanuele Crialese.
“It was almost a divine sign to be able to find such a sensitive artist, curious about the theater and who does not make cinema a private club”.
How difficult is it to leave Calabria with a dream as big as it is?
“Much. I did several auditions for TV series also set in Calabria, arriving at the call backs six or seven times. But then, in my place, actors from outside Milan and Rome were taken. The joke is that they then asked me to teach them the Calabrian accent or dialect. That’s how difficult it is ».
“The Immensity” is a film that has made a lot of talk, how did it start with Crialese?
«I met him in Puglia for a cinema workshop and then in an olive grove, one evening, I recited something I had written, the monologue” Bollari “. He was struck by it, approached me and told me: ‘Let’s keep in touch’ ».
He did more, he came here to Calabria.
«In 2020 he called me because he was shooting a documentary and wanted to go to Crotone with his camper, he also told me that his great-grandparents were from Scandale. He had to stay a few days, in the end he stayed a month and a half ».
Where have you gone?
“Riding on the clay gullies in Crotone, on Lake Cecita which was frozen in December, we did some underwater shots on the Ionian Sea. One day, while we were leaving the water of Capo Colonna, the proposal arrived: “I would like you on set with me”. I would never have asked him, I almost ran out of breath ».
When did you read the story of the film what did you think?
“I have often cried. Then came the proposal to follow the children to prepare them for the set. For four months they never had the script, Emanuele wanted them to really become a family before being one on the set, to preserve the spontaneous amazement ».
The story is also full of edges, is it difficult to prepare children for certain scenes?
«It takes a light hand. We have triggered a play mechanism in the little ones even when the scene required the association to some feeding problems that are not easy to connect, for example, to a six-year-old girl ».
What won you over in this film?
«The delicacy. Some perhaps expect something shocking, given the issue, but it is not so. There is no cynicism in Emanuele’s work, he never winks at the public, he doesn’t give him what he wants ».
You starred alongside Penelope Cruz, what was it like working with her?
“You took my breath away. She is an incredible professional, empathetic, her performance on her set really deserves special recognition. I was on the red carpet in Venice and she saw me from afar and came to greet me by hugging me with a warmth that surprised me, we looked like friends for years ».
And now, what’s after the lagoon.
“Two films. I finished filming Lorenzo Adorisio’s “The Return Party” and Andrea Di Stefano’s “The Last Night of Love” ».
Meanwhile he has also become a father.
«Lorenzo was born in July. A joy that I cannot describe. Do you know what Emanuele was saying? Which is the son of Immensity. He really is ».