Freedom can be many things, and its beauty lies in this, in its many facets and interpretations.
For Barbara Chichiarelli, acting means freedom, without judgment, without fear, and with the will to experiment.
We talked about this and her roles (and challenges) while in Palazzo Dama, a timeless atmosphere, just like the one in Rome. From playing Livia Adami in “Suburra- Blood on Rome” to Dalila’s scream of pain in “Bad Tales” to the experience on the set of “Il Silenzio dell’Acqua 2,” Barbara told us about how she builds a character, the main “ingredients” to approach a project and her must-have on set.
Meanwhile, she discovered that she’s a patient woman: and we can’t wait to find out more about her future projects!
In such a time in history where we’re missing cinema more than ever, both as a physical place and a collective experience, what’s your first memory related to that world?
I remember when, as a teenager, I went to see “Titanic” with my best friends. We watched the movie while holding each other’s hands, we cried the whole time “from the iceberg on….”
You’re one of the protagonists of one of the most successful Italian TV shows in recent times, “Suburra: Blood on Rome.” How did you “process” your character? What was the first question you asked the directors and yourself about it?
“Suburra: Blood on Rome” marked the beginning of my work behind the camera. I will always cherish that project and that character. The first question I asked the directors and myself was, “How does this woman think?”
“How does this woman think?”
“Bad Tales,” the latest masterpiece by the D’Innocenzo brothers. What was your first reaction when you read the script?
I was speechless, I really thought it was a masterpiece.
In the movie, you play Dalia, a loving mother, and wife, a woman who’s apparently submissive to her husband, played by Elio Germano. Was it particularly hard or uncomfortable for you to empathize with your character? How did you face this challenge?
I didn’t find it hard for any specific reason. As far as I’m concerned, it takes two phases to build a character. First and foremost, I read the script, I visualize what I read and I get a sense of the character and the context. Then I exchange some ideas with the director and only after that I start looking for a synthesis between our two visions and making some actual suggestions on set. As for “Bad Tales,” my research was fostered by having the D’Innocenzo brothers as my directors, as they had extremely clear ideas about every single scene! I’ve happily relied on them and Elio Germano.
What was the most emotionally intense scene to shoot?
The scene around the end of the film where I had to let out a scream of pain, for sure.
“First and foremost, I read the script, I visualize what I read and I get a sense of the character and the context…”
“…Then I exchange some ideas with the director and only after that I start looking for a synthesis between our two visions and making some actual suggestions on set.”
TV series and movies: what changes in your approach to these two different types of productions?
It’s more or less the same, a lot of study at home and a lot of concentration on set.
“Il silenzio dell’acqua 2” in one word?
“Bad Tales” and “”Il silenzio dell’acqua 2,” two characters, two mothers. What was the difference in building these two characters that are so similar yet so different?
They’re two immensely distant worlds and contexts.
Your favorite “mom” from the screen?
Anne Dorval in “Mommy” by Xavier Dolan.
When do you feel the freest to express yourself when you’re working?
Always, that’s why I do this job!
What’s your favorite movie genre to watch and to act in?
I enjoy always experimenting with new things, both as a spectator and actor. I don’t have a favorite movie genre.
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you?
It means not to look at myself from the outside, not to judge myself.
What was your latest binge-watch?
“I enjoy always experimenting new things, both as a spectator and actor.”
What kind of stories do you dream to tell?
Poetic and not pathetic stories.
What’s the latest thing you found out about yourself?
I found that I’m a very patient person.
What’s your must-have on set?
Cigarettes that I like to smoke from time to time.
An epic fail on set?
None that I remember.
Who’s the movie character you’d want to be friends with?
There are loads!
What’s the latest movie you saw and that’s “stuck with you” now?
“Dogtooth” by Yorgos Lanthimos.
The first DVD you bought?
I don’t remember, to be honest… but probably “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.”
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Deciding to do this job.
What’s your happy place?
My loved ones.
What can you tell us about your future projects?
Nothing… as usual, but I guess there are some nice challenges out there waiting for me!
Photos by Johnny Carrano.
Thanks to Other Srl.
Makeup and Hair by Chantal Ciaffardini.
Makeup assistant Giulia Giovanelli.
Styling by Sara Castelli Gattinara.
Styling assistant Claudia Senna.
Location manager Luisa Berio.
Location Palazzo Dama.
Total look: Flaminia Barosini
Jewels: Flaminia Barosini
Total look: Max Mara
Jewels: Flaminia Barosini
Glasses: Tommy Hilfiger – Safilo
Boots: Unknown Footwear
Jewels: Flaminia Barosini