After last season’s success, Angela Finocchiaro is back in Umbria. She plays the lead in ‘Open Day’, (with Bruno Sori, directed by Roger Dear), on stage at Politeama Clarici Foligno and the Teatro degli Illuminati in Città di Castello.
The story is about the torment of a mother and a father in their fifties who have been separated for some time and who, crushed by life, find themselves having to deal with a teenage daughter. It’s ironic, edgy and emotional.
Ms. Finocchiaro, another story about a marriage crisis?
« Actually, the spouses in the play are more concerned about the future of their daughter, but end up talking about themselves, their failures and conflicts, and wind up in a vicious circle. They fail to come to terms with their daughter starting high school, who is taking it in her stride. She has more chances than her parents, and they themselves are eternal adolescents especially in their relationship with their own parents».
At one point it states, “The past isn’t always like you remember, the future is never as you imagine”; a bitter realization?
«It’s the great Walter Fontana’s tragic mood that puts the two protagonists face to face in their country house where they’ve spent most of their lives – a place where they have the opportunity to get back in the game. Now and again they seem to succeed but in the end the father realises that life has defeated him».
‘Miss Universe’, again by Walter Fontana, was an important turning point your career as an actress …
«More than anything the day I met him was a fundamental time in my career; we began a fruitful collaboration that continues to this day».
Another consolidated artistic partnership of yours is with Stefano Benni. Have you got anything lined up together?
«Not at the moment. My next show will be the Italian version of ‘Calendar Girls’ based on the film that tells the true story of a group of ladies of a certain age, who pose naked for a calendar. Their aim is to raise enough money to buy a comfortable sofa for the visiting room at their local hospital but in the end they raise enough money to fit out an entire department. It’s been a huge success in all the theatres in Europe».
You were in the film ‘Benvenuti al Sud’ inspired by a successful French film. Do you think the French are better than us at approaching universal themes, (eg. ‘Quasi amici’)?
«Because we’re bigots we’re tied to political correctness and censoring ourselves, whereas they put intelligence and feeling in their stories, even those that are right on the edge like the one you mentioned; and they make everyone feel good».
In ’92 you worked with Alberto Sordi. Tell us a bit about that…
«I laughed so hard I cried, even when I sat next to him waiting for him to say “action”; so much so my make-up had to be reapplied. He had an incredible verve, a unique ability to have fun on set especially during breaks».
You’re a female comic icon now. Although women comediennes were less popular in the past who were your role models?
«In the 70’s my generation learnt from the best like Franca Valeri, Monica Vitti and Melato. We’re actresses who can easily switch from comedy to drama».
You’ve won a David award among others. Do you prefer success with the public or critical recognition?
«Greedily I would say both. Audiences pay my wages, and the awards are a nice recognition for the effort I put into my work».