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Grazia Schiavo interviews the film Almost Orfano

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Very soon in the bedroom with Quasi Orfano, Grazia Schiavo is undoubtedly the emblem of class and elegance, as she has shown to us many times. But in this experience, the Roman performer added a new side of himself, which he shared exclusively with us at VelvetMAG.

From theater to cinema to television: Grazia Schiavo has literally done it all. Advertising, television, but acting is, we can say, his real passion. A somewhat “opposite” passion because not totally shared by his father as he told us, but which finally gave him the opportunity to take his “revenge”. Elegance, talent, beauty, but also self-awareness, acquired over the years, have allowed her to carve out a very personal place for herself on the Italian television and film scene.

grace slaveCredits: Piergiorgio Pirrone (left)

In addition, this precious gift of transformation allowed him to offer us an unpublished version, which represents a new achievement in his professional career. Also because, as she herself confessed to us: “But we ‘live God’ when we, actors, have the possibility of changing, that is to say of seeing ourselves as different and being seen as different. “. And on this occasion, he told us about his metamorphosis towards the “baresità” in Quasi orfano by Umberto Carteni, in the room from October 6th.

Interview with Grazia Schiavo

I would start from your origins: you were born in the theatre, you arrived in the cinema in the 90s and you also work on television between commercials and television series: what do you think is the secret to juggling with these different types of language?

Surely to have an awareness of how to move from one territory to another, it being understood that with regard to theatrical and cinematographic acting, once the limits of space have been set aside and the fact of addressing a public present, in the first case, and a room, in the second, it does not change much. Because playing should always be the same. It must pursue an ideal of truth, of coherence with the story and the character.

Television, which I practiced as a child, has other registers: I was a presenter, I stepped over a lot at the beginning. – confessed Grazia Schiavo, who added – It’s another job but you are yourself: there is no work on a character. Advertising also amused me a lot, because I found it very funny to create a commercial in a short time that must convey something in a few minutes. I must say that it was also quite spontaneous and natural for me. But the passion to act comes from something deeper that requires continuous study.

In a way, you grew up in an artistic environment between a painter grandfather and a sculptor mother, but I read that you felt “opposed” to embarking on an acting career. Do you think this ban helped you? If so, how?

So helped I don’t think so much, (laughs). My father, a lawyer, tried in every way to persuade me to change direction. He said the attorney was the go-to plaintiff and wanted me to take what seemed like a safer route. Art scares everyone because you work today and you don’t know tomorrow. There are so many factors that have nothing to do with talent. So my dad was right in some ways. (laughs) At the same time, however, you can’t stop a passion.

It didn’t make my job any easier (the ban, editor’s note) because I often kept the handbrake on, I almost had a feeling of guilt. – said Grazia Schiavo, who continued – Because in me there was this feeling of “but I didn’t make him happy”. But today I say “but who cares about feelings of guilt”. (laughs) Parents should be happy that their children are pursuing happiness. Do not try obsessively to match the aspirations of parents, often built on fears. I confiscated them then I said to myself “they can be used for the characters”. In life they held me back a little, but it was also the sign of a character that was being built. I also had the opportunity to resume studies in psychology, which was one of my greatest passions, and I understood many other things.

The Las Vegas Divorce Experience

Under that influence, next came the role of Sara, a common-law attorney, in Divorce in Las Vegas. As a kind of redemption or maybe “ironically”

I thought about that. (laughs) I thought at least my dad would be happy, even if he hasn’t seen it yet. At least I do as an actress. I think that the characters never arrive by chance: even the most distant have to do with me. They have to remind me or make me face something that I may be pushing back in life.

How do you remember that Las Vegas divorce experience?

I enjoyed it very much. We shot in Las Vegas, I liked the character too: he had his own story and the relationship with Andrea Delogu was also very funny. – confessed Grazia Schiavo, who added – She is a fantastic person and it is important to find yourself humanly. It was very nice and then it does not happen every day. I happened to go to Las Vegas and say, “It would be nice to shoot a movie here,” and then it happened. In short, never say never. (laughs) Nothing happens by chance: sometimes having a vision of things somehow helps to reach them.

grace slaveCredits: Piergiorgio Pirrone

Grazia Schiavo tells us about Almost Orfano, in theaters from October 6

Speaking more of the present, Almost Orphan by Umberto Carteni is set to hit theaters, marking your “return” to Italy after a brief interlude in Las Vegas, so to speak. How would you describe and what should we expect from your character?

My character amused me a lot and I hope he also amuses the public because he is Riccardo Scamarcio’s sister-in-law, Valentino Rocco (in the film, editor’s note). She is part of this disruptive family, because she bursts into a perfect Milanese universe of this creator. By one mistake, he manages to ruin everything a bit.

My character amused me from the start, already for the approach to Bari, because I had to study a dialect, even a language. (laughs) I was supported by Azzurra Martino, who was a coach from Puglia. I have to tell you that at some point I felt that I had absorbed this dialect and I couldn’t stop speaking in Bari even outside. I had arrived at a wedding and I was speaking in dialect. It was very nice, a little shocking at first: I always say “viva Dieu” when we actors have the possibility of changing, that is to say of seeing ourselves as different and being seen as different. The director told me right away “look Grace, I want to put you down”, he wanted to cool me down a bit and make me more believable as a simple woman.

The film was born as a remake of a French comedy and we played on the district of Bari as in France we played on the accents of their south. It exists everywhere, even in Rome between the north and the south. (laughs) When you encounter otherness, the different is frightening but enriching. In the film I am dressed in colors, often in slippers and I have this loose curly hair: I like to take glam photos, to wear makeup, to feel good. But with the characters it’s different, it’s very liberating, we free ourselves from certain anxieties of perfection of the madness of always having to see ourselves in our best light.

Can you tell us a funny episode or an anecdote on the set?

There is one but I would spoil the scene. A funny episode: love scene Antonio Gerardi and I, there was a whole preparation, but in the end everything was not mounted. But look there are many, also related to my character because she is a strong woman. As a southern woman, she also has character, she has her pride. I liked to shoot moments of anger towards certain situations. Listen, you move on to another question and maybe something else comes to mind. (Laughs)

I would like to come back to the relationship between Divorce in Las Vegas and Nearly Orphan. Although they are only two years apart, they are children of two different periods before and after Covid: do you think this different approach influenced you during filming?

Admittedly, there was much more lightness before. I came back from Las Vegas in December and then everything blew up. Traveling with masks, getting vaccinated, having to take a tampon every three days: so many things that weigh everything down. Many aspects change and even this closeness with my work colleagues that I had two years ago was not the same between us, even if we were buffered. Yes, it probably changed us. In my case, when I work I am always joyful, happy and I always try to put my heart and all my passion into it. Or at least try to. We must not allow ourselves to be conditioned.

Grazia Schiavo in Almost OrphanStage photo

Speaking of conditioning, Quasi orfano also presents itself as a kind of reflection of the differences between classes but also of the differences in the broad sense. Do you think it makes sense to talk about it, especially now?

In my opinion, it always makes sense to talk about the absurd. Luckily, the movie sort of resolves that aspect at the end. He puts it on a constructive and non-judgemental level, precisely because it’s such a stupid thing: whatever the classes, for what they are, for what they bring, for their experience, people are always an enrichment. What would we be if we were a class, only one color, only one dimension and one vision: we would be very poor.

Do you have a project you would like to realize, maybe a dream in the drawer?

Now I’m starting to shoot something, so I already have something on the side. But I would like to bring a project of my own that has been in the drawer for a while: I write and I would like to let my characters and my story live. And then definitely the theatre, which I miss. After Covid there was a long time I didn’t practice it and it’s still at my house. You always have to open up to an audience.

In the meantime, as I speak I am in the process of retracing to find the anecdote. (laughs) Listen, I can tell you that I started filming in Puglia, on a farm full of animals, pigs. And I remember this very strong smell that accompanied us from the morning and, sometimes, I was in a hurry to get back into the motorhome because it was very intrusive. (laughs) It was really rural and it felt really integrated. It’s also fun to work with Antonio Gerardi who is, so to speak, a stage animal, because he is an instinctive, strong actor who adds that little something extra.

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