The actor: «That festival was like an ‘all in’ in poker». And on the relationship with his partner Anna Ferzetti: “At home I cook, and I keep the worktops clean”
With that face – and that physique – like an Alpha male Pierfrancesco Favino it often touches to put the dots on the i’s. «I’m a romantic, like Alexander, the protagonist of Promises
by Amanda Sthers. I just don’t look like it. I found myself in him, chasing an impossible love. I am an idealist, loyal to my dreams. This story is a beautiful tale, without judgments or maternal gaze, of the masculine and its frailties. As happened to me with Maria Sole Tognazzi per The man she loves, there is a female gaze more intrigued than seeing in an Alpha male casing, in fact, emotional characteristics that would seem far from the stereotypes of masculinity. Even if I think they belong to him, and how. But, to be honest, there was also romanticism in the Lebanese, even in Buscetta. I think I’ve made characters with a romantic attitude several times, perhaps not necessarily aimed at the couple ». Fifty-two years old last August, father of two daughters with his partner Anna Ferzetti, over sixty films to his credit – including Promises in the hall on November 18 -, in addition to two in progress, among the most anticipated of the season: The hummingbird by Francesca Archibugi e Nostalgia by Mario Martone. Also on the curriculum is a formidable edition of Sanremo, several David di Donatello and Nastri d’Argento, a Volpi cup.
And also an excellent knowledge of foreign languages: here he acted in English.
«Alexander is not the classic Italian mafia but a man who grew up in London, an English mother and an Italian father, but who wants to sever ties with this part of the family. I set myself a bit of the challenge of saying “I am capable”, I felt ready to do it not only in a supporting role. And I must say that it came easy for me ».
When did you decide to be an actor?
“I did it so as not to have to tell me one day: you didn’t try. The girlfriend of the time was important, I would have said no of mine. I was a kid from three films a day, backpack on my shoulder I went to the Venice Film Festival. The exam to enter the Academy was a step towards the unknown ».
It went well, what memories do you have?
“I was the youngest. Among the classmates were Fabrizio Gifuni and Luigi Lo Cascio, they seemed to me grown men, they were 22 years old, I was 19, three years apart but I felt Calimero ».
Teachers Orazio Costa and Luca Ronconi.
“Fundamentals. They helped me cement a strong identity, especially understanding what wasn’t working for me. With Ronconi I worked for four years with his company. He esteemed me, he told me: you are “The best is the enemy of the good”. He was an absolute genius, one of those intelligences that enlighten you even just passing by him, never met others so capable of enlightening a text. But as an actor I understood that to experience anything else I would have to leave, it was not what I wanted ».
Did he do it?
“Yup. And as I told him, in Argentina, I realized that everyone already knew. There was a heavy climate, of great pressure, and I never thought that this job can be done without joy. I’m a more popular actor ».
He made his debut with Alberto Negrin’s A Private Affair, from Fenoglio.
«I was still in the Academy. Written by Raffaele La Capria with a young assistant, Paolo Virzì. I auditioned for the lead role but I was too dark. They dyed my hair. Carrot red effect. I went back to the Academy with the hat, I was ashamed. Then the film took an international turn, they offered me another role. The first time in front of the camera, with Negrin whom I hate on that occasion. I was a dog, not a nice experience. Years later I saw him arrive on a set: “I’m doing Bartali, they tell me that you could be suitable”. And with Alberto I built a very strong friendship and partnership ».
He has also worked often with Gabriele Muccino, since “The Last Kiss”. He says your fates have gone to resemble the characters in the film. She was Marco, the only one married in the middle of a Peter Pan gang. Do you share?
“No. That I believe in the family is true, but I don’t have Marco’s closed mind, I don’t have those blinders. It was an important film, in which I entered through the side door thanks to my agent Graziella Bonacchi. I am happy to have been there but unlike others, objectively nothing has changed for me, I was so invisible. For me the real path was thanks to Bartali, El Alamein
by Enzo Monteleone e
by Michele Placido ».
How did you do with the Lebanese? It seems so poles apart from her.
«A work of research and imagination. I thought that the man was one of those children that Accattone found when he came home, I used Pasolini a lot, those characters with a lump in their throat as if they were about to cry. In some environments you cannot afford it, if you have to drive back the emotionality, anger can only come out. And the experience of the civil service in Ostia in an assistance cooperative also helped me. With kids of seven, eight. One was called Simeone, the first time he saw me he commented: “And now who is this str …?”. Two years later I found out he was killed, I read it in the newspaper. I couldn’t help but think about him. It is a lie that we all leave with the same possibilities. I believe it, I send our daughters to public school, but you raise them in those conditions. We are all good at declaring ourselves pacifists and progressives, but what is the experience that makes you say with certainty: I am a good person? ».
Bartali, Pinelli, Di Vittorio, Craxi, Buscetta, also the voice of the statue of Garibaldi. His career is a compendium of Italian history, in a Favino-Gifuni derby.
«Happy to share the responsibility with Fabrizio … I’m joking, for me a lot was born by chance and luck. I have never had a desire to specialize in biopic. Having been able to interpret Di Vittorio and Craxi was interesting, two different points of view of the world of politics of which I am a careful observer, interpreting them means going beyond the veil of your opinion. In general it seems to me that we do not give the cinema the value of a story free from belonging, Craxi proved it to me. Also El Alamein. Everything becomes a derby. Even after decades. But artists have the right to reinvent history, let’s think of the fuss that raised Moro’s walk in Good morning night by Bellocchio ».
He was a director in the theater with “Servo per due”. At the cinema the producer but no director, why?
«I have great esteem for those who direct at the cinema, everyone pushes me, maybe one day I will, but only if I feel the extreme urgency.».
Did you have fewer doubts for Sanremo?
«I came from a time when I had done theater, in fact, and many said no, which in our profession is equivalent to a hello. It was like a All in to poker. Now we know that it went well but the truth that at that moment nobody wanted me anymore, I knew that I would have risked everything and that the environment looked at me very badly for this thing. It pissed me off that the fears that prompted me to say no weren’t mine. I said to myself: are you almost 50 years old, and you risk not doing something that you know belongs to you for fear of the judgment of others? I had the good fortune of being accompanied by two madmen, Claudio Baglioni and Michelle Hunziker, the good fortune that no one expected anything. It was a success, therefore a multiplier. Had it been a failure, it would have been a crater. I think we should all do popular TV, Mastroianni was going to make fun of himself, Gassman doing somersaults with Pippo Baudo. I’m not a snob. People want to see you. You become one of the family ».
By the way, what father is he, very daddy?
“They too are daddy. I try to do everything so that they are not Favino’s daughters, I safeguard their lives, Anna and I try not to talk about work at home. They have seen very few of my things. For me, if I see myself on TV I get nervous, I change, I notice what I don’t like ».
Who started calling it Woodpecker?
«My dad used to give nicknames to everyone, except Paola, even to inanimate things, we all have nicknames: Popi, Chicca and Picchio. Pluto and Donald are missing and we are all here. He also gave nicknames to inanimate things. I could easily sign myself Picchio Favino, I am more the one there than this one with the long name ».
The most unpleasant moment on a set?
“Speaking of what happened to Alec Baldwin, I remember an episode. We were in Bulgaria. I had a rifle, obviously loaded with blanks, I had to shoot blindfolded. I asked the assistant director to be able to try the weapon first and I was not given the opportunity to do so for reasons of time. I fired, the shell brushed my temples ».
What movie was it?
“It does not matter. For the first time in my life, I screamed a lot. They kept me, I was right. A film can be bad, but it’s one thing that it’s an accident, it’s another that it’s a project ».
He finished filming “The Hummingbird” and “Nostalgia”.
«Two beautiful and diametrically opposed experiences, different films based on two crazy novels, by Sandro Veronesi and Ermanno Rea, with two very different directors, Francesca and Mario. De The hummingbird
I wanted to buy the rights myself. When they called me I jumped for joy ».
Abatantuono told us that Cracco cooked at “Dinner club”.
«But that’s what Diego says. Of course, if you have Cracco, unfortunately for him, it’s as if a button comes off and you can call Armani. I really enjoyed myself, I combined two passions, travel and cooking. The greatest satisfaction when I prepared the cuttlefish egg was given to me by Sorrentino: “when do you do it to me?” Medals ».
Who cooks at home?
“Me, and I keep the countertops clean.”
«Valerio Mastandrea also likes this, the Iberian pluma caramelized with honey cooked at low temperature. Once at a lunch I made a kilo and seven, I had never seen him eat so much. Almost an Oscar ».
November 9, 2021 (change November 9, 2021 | 22:18)
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