Michele Riondino: «Salvini? He dug his own grave. I’m more worried about Giorgia Meloni. I will continue to take sides”

When Eleonora Giorgi announced on the microphone that he was the winner of the David di Donatello for best leading actor, Michele Riondino he hugged his wife Eva Nestori and held it for a long time before getting up from the chair and accepting the award. «In that embrace there was all the tension accumulated in just a few minutes, but also the desire and desire to achieve something important that would recognize the work that went into it. That hug was an outlet”, says Riondino on the phone from the Island of Elba, where he is enjoying a few days of holiday together with his wife and to his daughters Frida and Irma before resuming the tour he will accompany Laf building, his first film as director, around Italy. The next appointment is at the new edition of Pigneto Film Festivalthe film festival organized and produced by Preneste Pop and organized by Waldo Event Network which, from 15th to 22nd June, will welcome all cinema enthusiasts to the most Indian neighborhood of the capital. Michele Riondino will accompany the screening of the film on the 19th, and despite this Laf building was released last November, it can only fill him with joy.

Why are you so fond of this film?
«Because it gives the opportunity to talk about a topic that is a bit difficult to deal with».

The film won, as we know, three David di Donatello: do the awards matter for you?
«Yes, but not all. In my case, I can say that this film gave me awards even before it was released in theaters, such as the recognition from the union of journalists and film critics which filled me with joy. The awards help the public to perceive the film for what it is, since they represent a sounding board that allows as many people as possible to be intrigued.”

In his case, Laf building it was also a family team effort, given that his wife Eva Nestori was important in the development of the protagonist.
«Caterino is a character that we built at home together, playing on the colors, the moustache, the damaged teeth, the posture: it was a work of creation that was very nice to experience and share».

Eva Nestori and Michele RiondinoErnesto Ruscio/Getty Images

In his acceptance speech at the award he apologized to his daughters for his distractions: what did he mean?
«That I am a dad who is afraid of getting distracted easily, not to mention that during the making of the film I often got lost in my own world. In general, distraction bothers me a bit: I’m so afraid of forgetting someone in the car that in the end I become a maniac and observe carefully even when there’s no one in the car. Let’s say that the worry of being distracted corrects my distraction.”

Is it something you’ve always had or did it mature with fatherhood?
«I have always had my head lost in a thousand projects and a thousand ideas, so I have always happened to be absent from time to time, removing myself from reality because I am imagining something».

As a child, what did Michele Riondino imagine?
«The films I saw: I imagined all the scenes from the films that struck me and replayed them in my bedroom under the covers. I continually imagined myself inside those worlds.”

What was it like to experience those worlds?
«Feeling inside a great game that acting allowed me to continue. As an actor, I realize if I’m doing a good job when I manage to recover my physical memory, a bit like when I had fun playing Indiana Jones at home. The real achievement for an actor is to convince himself of what he does, losing himself in the script and in the character.”

In this sense, you have transformed acting into a sort of civil mission: does taking a position always have a price to pay?
«Of course, and that’s not to be liked by everyone. In the work I do you have to try to please as many people as possible because people make the market, but I have never been able to think in an optimal commercial and productive way. My desire is to be able to tell stories that interest me first and foremost so that I can arouse the curiosity of anyone who wants to hear them.”

We live in a political period in which it is very easy for artists to self-censor for fear of being censored: has this happened to you?
«No, but I see a certain containment of opinions around even in very important films. There is always the fear of taking sides, a bit like my Caterino does in Laf buildingalthough it seems to me that there is a developing tendency to often hide behind the work one creates, as if artistic action could be a sort of alibi for not saying what one really thinks.”

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