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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Interview with GIUSEPPE SULFARO, Star Of 'Malèna'

Malèna is a perfect film. One of the most memorable things about it is the incredible performance by GIUSEPPE SULFARO. When they shot the movie, he was only fourteen years of age, and had never acted before. He was discovered by one of the world's finest director's, Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) - who gave him the enviable privilege of working alongside Monica Bellucci. I talked to Giuseppe about what it was like to be discovered at such a young age and given such a great opportunity - and found out about the great work he's been doing since.

When did you first know that you wanted to be an actor?

It all started when my aunt read in a newspaper that Tornatore was looking for the protagonist of his new movie with Monica Bellucci. My aunt has always been convinced since I was a child that I had very expressive eyes, so I took pictures and sent them to the production, and from there began the road that allowed me to discover this world to me which was completely unknown but fantastic at the same time. Tornatore began to select 2500 photos of kids from here and summoned 90. These 90 kids he met for an interview, where he liked to tease my adolescence! The first was followed by another two or three, the second meeting was a test on hand, from the 90 kids we were then 40. In the next audition an actress took the place of what would be Monica Bellucci, From 40 actors we were down to 9, then another meeting with Tornatore, who chose three finalists, then a video with the 3 finalists was sent to Miramax. Miramax was also thrilled with me, so from that day, I was catapulted into the world of cinema for a year.

In "MALENA". It's amazing that your performance was so perfect, considering you were only 14. What was the experience like for you?


It was the best year of my life, I was away from home for about one year, I followed my father as I was underage, I did not go to school but when I went to the production, I kept in touch with my teachers, so I could integrate school. Filming began in September.I was the youngest and most spoiled, even though my father was very hard with me, but he understood the time and sometimes turned a blind eye and let me do what I liked.

Giuseppe Tornatore is such an amazing writer and director. What is his directing style like? How would he direct you?

Initially, before six months of shooting, me and Tornatore talked about much of the script in general and, once we started filming - every night we met and talked of the work to be done the next day. Sometimes Monica attended, this was so Monica and I gained great confidence that would help us in the "hottest" scenes, other times I let the scenes play at my leisure and if there was something he did not like we would talk about it and try to reach an agreement .... I was very young and had my first experience at the cinema, he was very patient with me, as I was with him, since he is very meticulous and precise, sometimes too much. Tornatore carefully thought how to complete the whole film, as the attention to detail in dubbing and editing.. sometimes the perfectionism borders on madness!

I'm trying to think of what it would be like to be 14 and working with Monica Bellucci. Was it exciting? Scary?

With Monica I had a great relationship from the beginning, we talked about everything, obviously being 14 years old, after a couple of days you will begin meetings with Monica Bellucci to fall in love; this she understood and maintained this relationship of complicity to facilitate the work later. Well I was glad of this, Monica greeted me every morning with a little kiss on the lips, and it made me feel like her husband Vincent Cassel [Giuseppe smiles]. The film was turning into reality - a reality that I knew would fade when the film was released. This was good and made me feel safer at work, sometimes I feel Monica and I remember with great joy and satisfaction the moments spent with her.

What to say more?!?! I was 14 when they called me to make the film and I had never seen a live naked woman, the first was Monica, now you can understand my teenage years ...... [the memory makes Giuseppe smile] it was a special and wonderful experience.

Recently you have been doing TV work, which most of us don't get to see in other countries. What have you been working on?

A couple of years ago I was in a film by Krzysztof Zanussi "The Black Sun" nothing special, but always a great experience. Then I was in Greece to shoot a film in original Greek, was a good challenge; I was there for three months learning Greek.. just for the script. The film screenplay was nice, but technically quite poor even though the budget was not so strangely low ... but always an experience. I recently worked in Italy for a fiction with Thérence Hill, do not know if you know it, the new series will resume in December for another year.

Do you think you will always work in Italy, or would you like to work elsewhere?

If I had to leave Italy and learn another language, after acting in Greek does not scare me or anything .... almost. [smiles].

What Film Director would you most like to work with?

To be honest I do not have a favorite director to work with, the important thing is to work... but if I have to say a few names there are many like Pupi Avati, Ettore Scola, Giovanni Veronesi, Gabriele Muccino, Neri Parenti.

MALENA is one of my favorite films, by one of my favorite director's, with one of my favorite acting performances (Giuseppe's, of course). If you haven't seen it already, I thoroughly recommend it - it's a magical, heartbreaking film about youth and unrequited love.

Care to share?

27 comments:

  1. Imagine if Monica Bellucci was the first woman you ever saw naked in the flesh. It's all downhill after that.

    Kudos on this piece, Kid!

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  2. LOL I was going to say the same thing UnwashedMass....oof!

    Great piece Kid, what a great idea to interview him now, so many years later. Love hearing his experience of shooting that film!

    Great interview!!

    Lisa

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  3. Malena is one of my favorite films too. Thank you for this great interview.

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  4. Holy shit, a kid play in a porn movie. This is porn and not romance, is only 14 years old and play in porn, just fuck the directors!

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  5. What ever it is... Whether it has porn content or
    has sumthin related to love...
    But over all GIUSEPPE SULFARO is a very Fortunate guy.. Dat too taste gr8 actress Monica...

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  6. Its so amazing to hear from Giuseppe.Himself after so many years. But,Damn! He was a lucky guy. Monica is so beautiful and wonderful actress.
    Anyhow,He does have really expressive eyes. He should me working in more movies. He is a really nice actor.

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  7. Film-amaizing...actors-profesional,good jub...Monica-so beautifull...Giuseppe-good job,and interview...

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  8. every1 go2 HELL!

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  9. Wow...you know you've made it when you get spammy comments :)

    I loved this movie! When I saw that you interviewed him, I had to read this post! He seems like a great, humble guy :)

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  10. 14 year kid doing sex with 36 year old hottest lady in the world.. Damn, i am 36 and still hvnt

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  11. film was so amazing....it touched my heart....
    whoever sayin this as a porn movie hav'nt seen this movie with a feel...

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  12. I'm kinda irritated that such a talent hasn't been worked on much. I really like Malena, mostly because of Renato. GIUSEPPE SULFARO did a great job there.

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  13. its really cool Interview with GIUSEPPE SULFARO, Superbbb...

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  14. who the fuck can say its a porn movie, the one who says should be a bastard who might have never seen a porn so he don't know the difference between XX & XXX, This movie is the best love story of a kid towards a matured married lady. HATS off to the production This movie is just greatest of all time and GIUSEPPE SULFARO is the most luckiest person who got the chance to romance with Monica Belluci......I am Jealous my friends

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  15. Its an absolute masterpiece movie and at that tender age Giuseppe Sulfaro was outstanding. The complexities during adoloscent age has never been experimented in the celluloid with such conviction. (Sanjeev Devchowdhury Kolkata, India)

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  16. I think the guy that think this is Porn it is very clear he has never seen one. This is a Great Movie I like the way it ends it brought back memories of my adolecense. Yes, Giuseppe Sulfaro is a lucky Kid to have this kind of experience at his age. This will stay with him the rest of his life. Its extremely magnificent. Lucky bastard!! (U.S.A.)

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  17. in the scene where renato has sex with malena( the brothel part) you can see that his dick is erected when malena strips and climbs on top of him, monica belucci is by no means innocent and it got me thinking what if the director filmed them actually having sex but kept it for his own private use? film directors can be quite shady at times. alright film nonetheless.

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  18. part of the film is cute, about "youth and unrequeted love", but if you watch it looking for that and nude Monica Bellucci you are in for a rude awakening. This film really pissed me off, because I'm sure its depiction of mean, small-minded Sicilain townspeople of the time is fairly accurate. of course this kid did fine job, but this isnt a porn by any means. there are less painful ways to see beautiful nude women

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  19. Excellent acting and wonderful luck of the young boy to have infatuated by such a pretty actress what and excellent fate well done

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  20. lucky guy to have been there

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  21. He was amazing, acted quite naturally. It reminded me of my teenage :)

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  22. What a wonderful movie. The story, the acting, Giuseppe was superb. Loved this movie.

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  23. First time to see a naked woman...That too the sexiest alive actress on earth, such as monica bellucci? This guy is definitely a lucky bastard. What can any one wish for more? but surely it would be a downward trend there after. After the movie, he would have continued jerking off the same way he did in the movie. Anyways, the movie is in anyway a porn, its a timeless masterpiece and a very heart touching story (Two stories to be precise).

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  24. Watched the film last night and it was amazing acting from Giuseppe

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  25. really heart touching great movie

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