The power of theater that pushes him to go beyond his human boundaries, the bidirectional relationship with his characters, and the internal conflicts that function as an inspiration source for his performances, turn Alessandro Fella into one of the young Italian actors we should not lose sight of.
With him, we go back to Rome, precisely on the rooftop of hotel Le Méridien Visconti, for a journey towards the discovery of what makes Alessandro the actor and, above all, the person he is today.
What’s your first cinema memory?
One of my first cinema memories is the first time my dad brought me to the Odeon cinema in Milan’s Piazza Duomo. We went to see “Jurassic Park,” it was totally random, we didn’t plan it. We came from the suburbs, so a trip to that part of the city was always a bit of an event. Perhaps, we entered the movie theater because my dad realized that, in doing so, he would have gifted me with a memory.
Acting for you is…
Acting has always represented a complex, difficult world to me. Today, just like the first day, it encourages me to observe, study, and improve as an actor, but above all as a human being.
“Acting has always represented a complex, difficult world to me.”
In the TV series “Il Paradiso delle signore” by Riccardo Mosca you play Federico Cattaneo, one of the main characters of the show, a teenager who dreams to rebel against his parents’ life-choices, but who always seems to run away from a direct confrontation with them. Do you identify with your character? What were you like as a teenager? Is there something of Federico in you?
Federico, who’s initially depicted with negative connotations, is actually a very sensitive and positive character. He doesn’t really run away from confrontation, but it’s what happens throughout the story that’s bigger than him. Luckily, as a teenager, I didn’t have to go through traumatic events such as ending up in a wheelchair, or finding out at 25 that your dad is not actually your dad. Who’s not in this field often believes that the relationship between the actor and the character only goes in one direction and that the actor is the only one who gives something of itself to the character. The truth is that the relationship is bidirectional, we learn a lot from our characters and bring something of them with us. This happened with Federico, as well.
“Who’s not in this field often believes that the relationship between the actor and the character only goes in one direction and that the actor is the only one who gives something of itself to the character. The truth is that the relationship is bidirectional, we learn a lot from our characters and bring something of them with us.”
Even before starting to act in cinema and television, you got to experience the world of theater. What fascinates you about that universe and what was your first contact with the stage?
My first encounter with a theater stage was unexpected, a friend asked me if I wanted to try and join the theater company he was working in for an emergency substitution two weeks before the first repeat performance. I had never entered the theater to see a play. What’s fascinating about it is its power, theater has always pushed me to go beyond my human limits by going through the artistic ones.
After graduating, you founded a theater company with some of your friends from university, and you called it “La Compagnia Scattante” (the lively company). What’s the origin of this name? What brought you to embark on this journey and how would you describe your experience?
La Compagnia Scattante was created in the theater school “Scuola Internazionale del Teatro Arsenale,” when three other students and I, with whom I often used to do group projects, decided to try and revisit what we were working on at school to make some shows out of it. The name comes from the Italian word “scatta,” or “scattare,” which means “to spring into action,” and which was often used by one of the students, Matteo. We used to bring on stage our way of seeing theater back then, and I think that what brought us together was the desire to experiment and play. We wanted to bring theater back among ordinary people, especially in the streets, cafés, and cultural centers. That was one of the most beautiful and lighthearted times in my life, and thinking about it always makes me smile and feel a bit nostalgic.
Do you feel more comfortable under the theater spotlights or in front of the camera?
Theater and cinema are two different means to convey a message, and they’re both very powerful. I wouldn’t know which one I prefer. Maybe on stage, since there are fewer interruptions and constraints, it’s easier to focus and, as a consequence, to feel freer and more comfortable. I think that, just like in real life, discomfort and any form of interior conflict are what can make alive and interesting everything that an actor brings on stage.
You’re not only an actor but also a singer: you took singing lessons at the Accademia della voce in Milan to improve your singing skills. What role does music play in your life?
I wouldn’t call myself a singer, I tried to work on my voice and vocal muscles in order to understand how far they could go. Music is ever-present in my life and it marks every moment, period, and mood change.
“I think that, just like in real life, discomfort and any form of interior conflict are what can make alive and interesting everything that an actor brings on stage.”
What’s a song to describe this very moment in your life?
“Aspettando il sole” by Neffa.
Who’s a singer or musician you would like to play on the big screen?
I don’t know, someone iconic, for sure.
One of the things we’re missing the most during these times of forced renunciations is the traveling experience. Travels are mind-opening, they teach us so many things, and provide us with new stories to tell. Have you ever had a life-changing journey? What’s the first place you’ll travel to as soon as we’re able to travel again?
I’ve spent several months in California, in Los Angeles. To experience cultures and habits that are different from yours allows you to see everything from another perspective, and it’s really edifying. I don’t know where I’ll go as soon as it’s safe to travel, but somewhere out of Europe if I’ll be able to.
If you had to watch only one film, read only one book, listen to only one song, and talk to only one person for the rest of your days, what/who would you choose?
I think I’d ask my dad or someone in my family for advice, and I’d use these moments to spend as much time as I can with them
What’s the latest TV show you’ve binge-watched?
I watched “This is Us” during the quarantine. I recommend it.
What stories do you dream to tell?
I think every story has at least one reason for which it’s worth telling.
What’s the latest film or TV series you saw that made you discover something new about yourself?
The choice to live by making art is a big responsibility, you choose to live in uncertainty and life is not plannable. For those who make this kind of choice, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by anxiety about the future. During the forced pause due to the pandemic, when the whole world stopped, paradoxically I somehow felt relieved from this point of view, for the first time I was forced to live in the present with zero responsibilities about the future. I realized I need to learn to stay, to think about the happiness and the luck I have today, in order to enjoy them more. I realized that in the past I was so obsessed with trying and build some kind of certainty for my future, that I almost forgot to live my present.
“I realized I need to learn to stay, to think about the happiness and the luck I have today, in order to enjoy them more. I realized that in the past I was so obsessed with trying and build some kind of certainty for my future, that I almost forgot to live my present.“
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you?
It means trying and keeping the balance in a state of peace. To wake up in the morning feeling happy to live my day.
You’re scared of…
My biggest fear is regrets.
What’s your must-have on set?
An epic fail on set?
When I can’t stop laughing!
Who’s the movie character you would want to be friends with?
I don’t know, Genie from “Aladdin”?
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
The bravest thing I’ve ever done, I think, was to completely change my life and devote myself to theater when I was 25 after I had graduated from University and already found a job.
What’s your happy place?
My happy place is certainly my home, my family.
What can you tell us about your future projects?
I prefer not to say anything about the future, we’ll see what happens
Photos by Johnny Carrano.
Thanks to Other Srl.
Grooming by Chantal Ciaffardini.
Styling by Sara Castelli Gattinara.
Location Manager Luisa Berio.
Location Le Méridien Visconti Rome.
Total Look: Giorgio Armani
Earring: Flaminia Barosini
Total Look: Giorgio Armani
Earring: Flaminia Barosini
Suit: Giorgio Armani
Earring: Flaminia Barosini