Flying while keeping your feet on the ground is not a piece of cake: it’s a process that requires head, heart, and the right dose of maturity. Alongside the ability to have fun, and adapt to situations and people. Andrea Lattanzi has the head (on his shoulders), the heart (so big), and the maturity you need to live freely in the right way.
From his debut in arthouse cinema to the TV series “Summertime” (whose third and last season is now available to watch), going through the movie “La Svolta,” both currently available on Netflix, Andrea has walked a path of professional and spiritual growth, alongside his characters.
If with his first movie, “Manuel,” he confirmed and strengthened his passion for the world of cinema and acting, with “Summertime” he’s familiarized with the power of syntony and the beauty of a job that’s so fun that it doesn’t feel so, in “La Svolta” he’s learned to challenge himself, believe in himself and his abilities.
With a precise path in mind, revealing a strength of spirit that derives from having always believed in his dreams, Andrea told us about his experiences, heroes, and the most important gesture we could all do for ourselves and those surrounding us: recognizing and thanking ourselves.
What’s your first cinema memory?
“Manuel,” my first movie, which I will cherish always and forever, I think. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival, in the selection “Cinema in the Garden,” it went great because afterward it was distributed all over the world; we won lots of awards, and it was a huge satisfaction, I received an award by Catherine Deneuve herself! It’s the movie that changed my life. Only a few know it and only a few are aware of it, but it went really well.
You’ve been one of the protagonists of the TV series “Summertime” since the beginning, by Francesco Lagi and Lorenzo Sportiello, with the third season currently available on Netflix. What was your experience on set like over these years, what was the most significant change you’ve witnessed and what, instead, has never changed?
The first year was a run-in period because we didn’t really know each other that well, though I have to admit that there’s been great chemistry between all of us from the very first moment, we’ve all had so much fun. Plus, we would always film at the beach, so it was sunny and nice in general, we would be in a good mood and enjoy it even more. From year to year, we matured the awareness that we were growing up, alongside the series, and the characters, up to this last season. Personally, I’ve spent three years of my life on that set, so, in part, I’ve grown up in Marina di Ravenna. The last year has been like a blow: knowing that it was the last season, felt like a punch in the guts, it was so sad.
I’ve matured a lot both on a professional and spiritual level, this series has changed me a lot, and I think and hope the others feel the same, it was a great experience that I will cherish forever.
Your character, Dario, evolves a lot between the first and second season, maturing and, willingly or not, changing. How have you built it piece after piece, episode after episode?
Look, it all depends on the writing phase and what the screenwriters do; you obviously need to adapt to what’s written and try and make it as credible as possible. And that’s what I’ve tried to do myself, in a way, taking someone who would initially be shy and lost towards growth. Obviously, I was lucky to be slightly older than Dario, so I knew how to shape him. I did this trying to show a greater maturity in season two, up to completing it in the third one, when I thought: “Okay, perfect, Dario is a grown man now, adolescence is over.” I tried to add a little bit more seriousness: he stays an energetic guy, sloppy from time to time, and this is the way he is, and I’ve built him like that with the help of the directors.
“…taking someone who would initially be shy and lost towards growth.“
Speaking of which, how much of you is there in Dario? Have you discovered something new about yourself, over these years of “coexistence” with him?
I’ll be honest, Dario might reflect some sides of my own personality. For example, as a kid, I would be as shy as him, even though I’m not anymore as of now, and I really like his determination, I’ve carried that in myself as well forever and I always will. What I share with Dario is the will to do things, the desire to get into the game, create, even when everything else goes wrong. As for the rest, however, there are not so many things of me in him and vice versa, Dario is very far from me as I am now.
I’ve grown up in this journey, alongside the character and the series in general. However, I try and always separate the two things, in the sense that I try and make myself available and be service-oriented to create the character and enter his world little by little, so I detach myself from the character right away. Perhaps, obviously, watching myself in a scene, I think, “I did some cool stuff,” but in the end, I take home some good memories, of course, but no pieces of the characters I play, on the contrary, I think something like that would be a bit dangerous.
Logically, you can’t but put at least 5% of yourself in the characters you play, but the remaining 95% is creation, invention.
You know, I love Jack Sparrow from “The Pirates of the Caribbeans,” in fact, when I started preparing Dario, I thought I could have portrayed him a bit like that, with that sloppy attitude, I don’t know why but I thought of him [laughs].
The relationship between Dario and Rita (Lucrezia Guidone), the young single mother, was one of the most unexpected plot twists of season two: what should we expect from season three?
So many things, for sure! Multiple stories intertwine, and the relationship between Rita and Dario develops in a more mature direction, especially as far as Dario is concerned: the two will have to deal with some more complicated situations, which is what happens in real life, and in the end make a decision, with a final twist.
What were the most fun and the most difficult scenes you filmed in this third season?
I actually have fun all the time [laughs]. The most fun of this season is maybe a scene in episode seven where I’m drunk, I had so much fun shooting that one! The same goes for all the scenes at the club… By the way, the person I fight with, in one of those moments, is a member of the crew, his name is Biagio: I love him so much and didn’t expect him to play that part because it was improvised, in fact, so I had so much fun.
The hardest scenes to shoot were those in which I had to find the right dose of emotion, without going too far, especially the scenes with Lucrezia Guidone. They were delicate scenes to shoot, rather than difficult, scenes where you needed to have a certain kind of tact.
How would you describe “Summertime 3” in one word?
Dario is a fragile, sensitive, character, who’s taken a while to gain the self-confidence he deserves, while still having a long way to go; what would you, Andrea, advise him if you spent a night out together?
I would certainly tell him to live his life, go his own way, make his own choices, stop in front of no one and nothing. Because, in the end, we only have one life and we must live it in the best way we can. To face ourselves with obstacles means to stand against what eventually doesn’t make you achieve what you really want, so I’d tell Dario to keep going his own way because he has tremendous determination and willpower, and we’ve seen it from what he’s created. So, my advice for him would be to keep it up.
As for “La Svolta” instead, do you remember your first thought when you read the script and the first question you asked director Riccardo Antanaroli?
The first feeling I had when I first read the script was that of a punch in the guts: I finished reading it and felt a punch in my stomach, really [laughs]. When I met Francesco Cimpanelli, one of the producers of Rodeo Drive and Life Cinema, he gave me the script and told me: “Choose the one you want to play.” So, I could choose between Jack and Ludovico. He, of course, had his own preference, he wanted me to play Jack, while I kind of had the wish to choose Ludovico because I thought it was too obvious of me to play the bad guy. However, on one hand, I thought that I had already played good guys before, so it would have been nice to put myself in the game in a different role. So, once I’d read the whole script and fallen in love with it, in the end, I chose Jack.
I asked the director multiple questions because we met and started talking about the script right away; we worked together and built the character together, so maybe more than questions, there was real work and development that we carried on.
“Choose who you want to be.”
How have you worked with Brando Pacitto on the relationship between your characters? What kind of confrontation was there between you two?
Brando and I met right away before starting filming, we did lots of rehearsals in the studios in Via Tiburtina (Rome), so the chemistry that was born then has later become something huge on set. When I play certain roles, I always try and be in character when I’m on set, so I would carry the character around in-between takes, I would make him do things he wouldn’t have done, and this was so fun. We went on really well, Brando and I, in fact, we still go out together, we’re friends.
How did you relate to your character, Jack?
It was a nice challenge, also because I couldn’t wait to play such a role, to prove that I can also be a tough guy. I was so willing to put myself in the game, so I really wanted to play with him and I think I did. I also like to improvise a lot: obviously, I had to stay faithful to the script, but I still left some space for improvisation. I wanted to create that huge shield typical of the “tough guy,” which then of course crumbles down as the story goes on, to show that he, too, has a soul. I had quite some fun, more than an approach, it was a job in general.
We’ve spoken about “coexistence” with Dario, your character in “Summertime,” and in the movie “La Svolta” it’s your character, Jack, who finds himself in a situation of “forced coexistence;” with which character from the world of movies would you like to be forcedly coexisting?
This is hard… but what a nice question! Rather than “forcedly coexisting” with someone, I guess I wish I could get involved in international cinema because I really love actors like Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo Di Caprio, the two of them in “The Wolf of Wall Street” were just amazing. I would let myself be forced to coexist with them, no doubt [laughs], to create something together because they’re great. Within the Italian panorama, there are many actors and directors with whom I hope to work one day, we’ll see what will happen in the future.
One night changes the life of Jack and Ludovico; what was the moment that changed your life, instead?
It was one day at my place in Rome; I was going through a tough time in my life, and that day I burst into tears and told myself: “Enough, I don’t want to be here anymore, I need to leave.” From that moment on, I started traveling, seeing the world, working here and there, and I think it was that time. It’s also fair that I sometimes thank myself, as well, because I always thank the others but for once, when that day I looked at myself in the mirror and thanked myself, maybe it was that one moment the real turning point of my life.
It’s important to recognize your own merits sometimes, and not only those of the others.
What makes you say yes and what makes you say no to a project, instead?
This depends on many factors. In Italian cinema, we usually always see the same faces because, unfortunately, the Italian economy is nothing like the American one: an actor in the US gets paid 100millions of euros to make a movie, while here we don’t even get 1% of that number. So, it’s hard first and foremost because I’ve now become a bit more selective, I read the scripts and try and move on towards a precise direction; interesting things are coming for the future, and I’ve already said yes to those projects, while I’m putting aside some others but not because I don’t like them, for the simple reason that they don’t fit in the path I want to cross in this very moment of my life and career. I was born in the arthouse cinema and I think I want to go back there, little by little. So, rather than yes and no, it’s more of a choice of direction that an actor makes: I try and do certain things even just for a change, to challenge myself, not to always do the same stuff. Now, I’m directed in a more targeted direction.
“…I was born in the arthouse cinema and I think I want to go back there…”
When creating a new character (but also in your everyday life), are you more rational or emotional?
I’m much more emotional. I let myself be guided by my instincts, by improvisation, so I’m totally more into emotion.
What’s your favorite movie quote?
This is a nice one… My sin, or maybe my luck, is that I watch lots of movies, so every time I learn an endless number of cool quotes, it’s hard to choose one. I could name, of course, Pasolini, Fellini, as two artists that I appreciate so much, while from our contemporary cinema, I’ve loved “Another Round,” which I watched for the third time a few days ago, an amazing movie, one of my favorites so far. There’s also another film that’s overwhelmed me, I’ve watched it three times at the cinema, it’s “Interstellar.”
Your latest binge-watch?
I’ll be honest with you, I’m not really into TV shows, I prefer movies, I love movies so much. However, speaking of series, I’m late to the party but I’ve recently watched (because everyone would keep talking to me about it) “Euphoria:” I’ve savored it, every episode feels like a film, I’ve loved it so much.
What’s your must-have on set?
Speakers. I always carry speakers with me or earphones. Music is vital for me when I’m on set.
What’s a real-life character you’d like to play in a biopic?
You know, lately, I’ve been obsessed with the old west. I’d like to play a character like the ones from Sergio Leone’s movies, I’d love that, I’d like to get dirty, have long hair, black and rotten teeth, and play some crazy dude.
This reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character from “The Power of the Dog”!
Yes, exactly! There you go, someone like him, not necessarily the stereotypical Indian with bow and arrows [laughs].
What song describes this very moment of your life?
These days I’ve been non-stop listening to “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra, it’s an obsession. As for Italian music, instead, I’m more into rap, or sometimes I go back in time and listen to old artists like Lucio Dalla, whom I absolutely love.
The most significant cinematographic encounter in your career so far?
This is hard because all the encounters I’ve had have been important, I’ve met amazing people who’ve given me huge opportunities. However, the revolutionary one that’s given me the chance to make myself known and approach this world was Dario Albertini, who chose me for “Manuel,” a film that was basically built on me, and I don’t know if something like this will ever happen to me again in the future, so that was my business card.
Who or what inspires you on the job, but also in your everyday life?
My mother. I always say this, but it’s the truth. She’s been such a determined person, when I was a kid, she would walk around the city carrying these huge bags full of clothes and she would sell them door-to-door, and then, after a number of years, she managed to open her own store. So, to see someone starting from zero and managing to build something was the emblem of everything for me, she’s given me the strength to face all this, maybe even unconsciously.
The advice you’re happy you haven’t listened to?
“Don’t be an actor… study.” [laughs]
An epic fail on set?
My first experience with a very small set; it was back when I wanted to figure out whether I liked it or not. At some point, they shouted out, “Everyone ready… Camera…” and when they said “camera,” I didn’t wait for the “action” and run in to play my scene. Everyone was there, still and silent, and someone told me: “Andrea, we have to say ‘action’ first!” I played it cool, I said, “Sure, right!”, and had so much fun, I remember that day well, it’s indelible.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I might have to pull out a book now… Maybe, having believed in my dreams, which is not easy, it’s not to be given for granted because nowadays we tend to stick to what feels comfortable, to lean on that and ease down, while I’ve always believed in what I did. Again, I don’t want to always mention determination, but I’ve been brave enough to say “I can do it”.
What are you afraid of?
Good question… When I was a kid, I used to be a hypochondriac, so I would constantly think about the fear of dying. Now, instead, I’ve accepted it, so I try and live my life as peacefully as possible every day, with no more regrets, or anger against anyone because I’ve been through so much, I’ve lost some friends and important people I’d met, I have a new life now, made of highs and lows – I’ve been through a time where I had to deal with some tough stuff – to the point that now I think, “I’m not scared” and try to live happily, to do everything I want to do, obviously as far as possible. Behind that, anyways, there’s a whole therapy process, I love going to therapy, it’s a path you also walk on a level of growth, so you can’t but face your fears, and it’s nice to face them.
Generally speaking, I might be afraid of… darkness.
“…you can’t but face your fears, and it’s nice to face them.”
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you?
I’ve kind of never looked at myself from a physical point of view, I’ve never liked to look at myself in the mirror, I don’t care about any of that. In my opinion, to feel comfortable in life, you need to be comfortable with yourself, first thing; if you’re comfortable with yourself, you’ve won because it means you don’t care about judgment and prejudices. Feeling comfortable in your own skin means knowing yourself.
What’s the latest thing/person that made you smile today?
A video that some friends of mine sent me on a group chat: we’ve been in Milan for two days and they’ve edited this reel with our pictures that made me burst into a hysteric laugh because there were some terrifying pictures, and I started laughing out loud in the street.
What’s your happy place?
My happy place is freedom. Can I say that?
Freedom to live and express what you want and think. I think freedom is the basis of everything, the foundation to get wherever you want to get, as free people but, obviously, with a consciousness and a solid structure beneath your feet because you can be free but also fly high, while my idea of flying also includes a solid structure under my feet, stay with my feet on the ground while also being free.
Photos by Johnny Carrano.
Makeup by Chantal Ciaffardini.
Styling by Sara Castelli Gattinara.
Styling Assistant Bianca Giampieri.
Thanks to Others srl.
Location Manager: Luisa Berio.
Location: Grand Hotel Palace.
Total Look: Dior
Total Look: Dior
Total Look: DSQUARED2
Total Look: DSQUARED2