Giorgio Borghetti – Città di Castello, my shelter
by Lorenza Mangioni
In 1982, Universal Pictures released E.T. the Extra – Terrestrial , directed by Steven Spielberg. The film destined to become a real cult, centered on the friendship a little alien establishes with Elliot, a 9 year-old child. The bond becomes strong beyond the barriers of language, origin and the typical innocent trust that is to be found in childhood. In Italy we have known the story through Giorgio Borghetti who at just 11 years of age dubbed Elliot part, giving voice to the voyage of discovery Spielberg told.
Since then he has dubbed others, important films such as Dead Poets Society, Stand by me – I remember one summer, A Beautiful Mind, until getting into various forms of acting; televised fiction in the Carabinieri, Incantesimo, Elisa di Rivombrosa and Un Matrimonio, a mini-series complete by Pupi Avati the forthcoming musical Guys and Dolls where he plays Marlon Brando’s character from the film, without losing the curiosity and desire to reinvent the character, which is often the way of sensitive people.
Today, Giorgio is a young man with a few gray hair and more self-awareness, but above all he has come a long way from when he was discovered and rediscovered, mixing personal experiences and work without ever falling into the trap of imitation but firmly keeping his own identity. We meet on a rainy day, during a break between his commitments, smiling, helpful, ready to simply talk about himself. Indeed, when naturally familiar with fiction, what strikes me is his wish for open and intimacy in the conversation.
What do you remember of the experience of E.T. ?
«I remember it as a daydream, what kid would not want to meet an alien and have an adventure with him? For me it was the beginning of the adventure of my life and my work and it is still continuing».
Had you already foresee that it would be your profession and it would introduce you to acting?
«I was too young to have a clear understanding, I didn’t ask myself about the future, by day after day it became my life because I have never stopped dubbing films».
Dubbing requires timing and empathy, are these characteristics that have helped you as an actor then?
«Dubbing is essentially immediacy, there is no physical movement, relying only on the voice to convey the emotions. Acting instead involves the whole body and the emotional contrast, for which there is a very different approach. What definitely helped me was learning the rigor, accuracy, consistency and attention, all the fundamental aspects for surviving on the set».
During your life there was a time when you moved from Rome to Bologna. You’ve changed your whole way of living and are closer to work. Do you think you can always reconcile your personal and career choices?
«It is very difficult job as you need to find a balance because you are often out of the house, forced by demanding schedules to manage commitments and saying no is not always possible. The people who are close to us, even unintentionally pay the price. It is fundamental to balance all of life’s priorities».
Do you remember the exact moment when you realized you wanted to go beyond the dubbing room, and that acting was your dream?
«At age 25 there was a turning point, I wanted to leave everything and become a ski instructor, my other great passion. Then I met my teacher, Riccardo de Torrebruna, which helped me understand how to give body to the voice and how to convey emotion. Since then I have learned to love acting as a whole, for the strength with which you can represent the human experience».
In January, we’ll see you on TV in “Un Matrimonio” directed by Pupi Avati , widely regarded as a master, how was it working with him?
«He really is a great master! A gruff looking man, but in reality very good and able to interact with the whole crew. I looked to acquire as much as possible on the set, I watched how to set up the equipment, how he handled the actors and how with affability and strength he managed everyone. His tireless passion.»
You’ve been married, you then had an well publicised romantic relationship and a beautiful baby, how much of yourself did you put into this project with Avati?
«In fact I always bring my own personal experiences to the set, you cannot forget who you are, it is emotional work, which inevitably touches upon sensitive things. It is also important that this identification lends credibility to the project. However, in this particular case it was simple, the environment was familiar to me and allowed for greater commitment in telling the story of a 50 year long marriage through the domestic dynamic».
It has been said that for years you have visited Città di Castello, thanks to some well-established friendships, what do you like about it here?
«In a word: peace. The pace is really tiring of the capital, Rome is a wonderful city and ruthless at the same time, so I come here to regenerate. The silence, calm and definitely the good food! My schedule does not allow me, at least now, to get away from the city, but I have a quiet haven that is definitely important to relieve tension and stress».
You are the dubbing director, engaged in your next project in the theater, and we will see you in the cast of “Centovetrine”. Do you think you can make a comment on that, or do you prefer to wait and see what the future holds?
«The balance is absolutely right. without exception, I’m a grown man and happy with the work, I have valuable relationships that always enrich me but mostly I have a son that I love and that has absolutely changed me for the better. Obviously this does not mean that there is less of a desire to improve and achieve all the goals that I have set».
In a competitive environment like that of performance it is not always easy for a young person to find exposure, what would you recommend ?
«Thinking about it very very very hard (smiles). It’s a really hard and difficult road, sometimes passion and talent is not enough. It takes luck of course, but also the necessity for self-sacrifice and modesty, never stop studying and growing. At the end this is a life’s calling, right?»