The smiles, the laughs, the games of someone who makes a strength out of complicity and who’s on the right track… Elvira Camarrone and Christian Roberto are definitely on the right track. Their movie debut with Netflix “Caught by a Wave” introduced us to two young actors who told us a story that can’t but touch hearts with great sensitivity and simplicity.
Here’s what they’ve told us about the movie, and their passions and projects!
What’s your earliest cinema memory?
E: A tiny me with my parents. Maybe watching a cartoon. The list is endless. I’ve seen so many.
C: My first cinema memory dates back to when I was 8, it was my third year of elementary school and there they screened for us “Hugo,” a movie about the history of cinema and George Méliès, one of the first directors ever. That movie made me dream and fall in love more and more with this world.
What did you think the first time you read the script of “Caught by a Wave,” and what was the first question you asked the director, Massimiliano Camaiti?
E: I thought that the character fit me well. That I wanted to know her better, work on her.
C: When I read the script for the first time, I was immediately moved by it, I found it deeply touching, and I soon started to try and find as many connections as possible between my real life and my character, Lorenzo, and what impressed me the most was that I immediately realized I had so much in common with the character and the script, in general. The first question I asked the director Massimiliano Camaiti was, “how am I going to film the scenes on the scooter? I can barely ride a bike!…” but I have to admit, I learned that early on, it was easier than I’d thought.
How did you work to build up the chemistry between your characters, Sara and Lorenzo?
E: We worked with the director, Massimiliano Camaiti, and with an acting coach. However, above all, we worked with each other, which is the most important thing. You can make all the experiments you want, but then it’s up to fate, intuition, and feeling.
C: The “chemistry” between Elvira (Sara) and I helped us a lot to find the harmony between the two characters, Sara and Lorenzo. All happened naturally, it felt like I’d known her for years. We have a lot in common, and we share the same interests, but, above all, we’re really close, so everything you’ll see in the film is real and felt, from hugs to kisses. Like I’ve already said, the audience will be able to feel what originated between us from the various scenes of the film.
How would you describe “Caught by a Wave” in one word?
C: The word would be “captivating.”
What were the challenges of bringing these characters and this story on the big screen, and how did you face them?
E: To tackle themes that deal with human suffering is very challenging. We tried to face those challenges trying to understand what really happens in difficult conditions, and trying to play our characters with respect, with humanity.
C: While filming, there were many challenges we had to deal with, also given the delicate topics we were tackling; however, the song “Promise” by Ben Howard was essential, every time Elvira and I were having a hard time dealing with a scene, we just needed to listen to “Promise” to perfectly get back into character. In fact, “Promise” was chosen by the director to be part of the movie soundtrack.
“We have a lot in common, and we share the same interests, but, above all, we’re really close, so everything you’ll see in the film is real and felt.”
What kind of research did you carry out to be able to face the theme of Sara’s condition?
E: We met some young people, in a center, before filming. We talked to them and in them, we discovered an extraordinary strength that keeps them going on, no matter what. It felt like they were asking us to take that same strength with us, not to forget about it, once on set.
C: We did a lot of research to be able to face the theme of Sara’s condition, but what certainly helped us most, me, Elvira, and the director, as well, was to meet the young people suffering from muscular dystrophy in Palermo, a few weeks before filming; to get to meet them, talk to them, and ask them questions, made us better understand and get much closer to this kind of condition.
Who’s better at sailing between you two?
E: I guess we’re at the same level. We’re rubbish. I’m joking, I’m better than him.
C: By counting how often Elvira has capsized, which means to tip the boat over in the water, I’d say I’m better than her! Anyway, all joking aside, none of us was capable of sailing before filming and, within a one-month training, both of us made great strides and improved a lot.
“We met some young people, in a center, before filming. We talked to them and in them, we discovered an extraordinary strength that keeps them going on, no matter what…”
“…It felt like they were asking us to take that same strength with us, not to forget about it, once on set.”
You’re both actors and dancers: to which world do you feel you belong the most?
E: I feel like I’m more of an actress. However, in my heart, there’s still a dancer. Dance is a situation you don’t forget. The movement in the space. The strain, the rehearsals, the discipline. All to be able to achieve harmony. That’s what happens on set, somehow. You have to do what you have to do. Observe. Never back out. Try and dream the same dream as everyone else.
C: I started off with dance, thanks to my longtime passion for Michael Jackson, and he’s the one I’ve been looking up to ever since I was 3, imitating his movements and expressions. Precisely by imitating Michael Jackson, when I was 8, I made it to the finals of “Italia’s Got Talent” and met my first agent, who gave me the opportunity to start working in the entertainment industry. I hunkered down and studied acting and diction early on. I’ve always tried to pursue both my passions, dance and acting, in fact, all my efforts have paid off and, at the age of 9, I was chosen to play a part in my very first musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” at Teatro Brancaccio.
My passion for dance and acting was living on the same stage. From that moment on, I’ve never stopped, I’ve always kept on studying dance and its many genres (ballet, hip-hop, modern, tip-tap, contemporary and acrobatic) and, at the same time, I kept working in the world of cinema and theater, which have helped me grow up and improve more and more, as I’ve had the opportunity, ever since I was a child, to be on important movie sets and stages, like Teatro Sistina with the musical “Billy Elliot,” and to work alongside actors and actresses like Virna Lisi, Sabrina Ferilli, Giuliana De Sio, or Ricky Tognazzi, from whom I’ve learned a lot, thanks to their advice or even just stealing from them with my eyes. Having said that, I feel like I belong to the world of dance and the world of acting in the same way.
“My passion for dance and acting was living on the same stage.“
What role does acting and dancing respectively play in your lives?
E: Dance and theater are a huge part of my life. I began studying ballet when I was 4, with Melissa Mackie, who came from London’s Royal Ballet, and I went on for 9 years. Then, I studied modern, contemporary, creative, character, folk dance, and tip tap. At some point, I added the theater studies, attending the Ditrammu school, run by an extraordinary family of theater people, the Parrinellos. There were lots of actors. The stage, the street performances. This went on until I turned 17. Now I work in cinema. I’ve just turned 19. I study diction. And I’m about to go back to study dance.
C: Dance and acting play a vital role in my life, I couldn’t live without them, when I’m on stage and stand in front of a camera, I’m “the real me,” I forget about everything else and start dreaming.
Your latest binge-watch?
E: A dozen episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” with my mum. We’re both addicted.
C: My latest binge-watch has yet to come, I’m waiting for the fourth season of “Elite” to come out!
The latest movie or TV show you’ve particularly enjoyed, that has stuck with you?
E: “Grey’s Anatomy.”
C: The latest movie I’ve seen at the cinema was “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins. It really struck me because I’ve recently lost my grandpa, to whom I was really close and, given the theme the movie deals with, I have to say it really impressed me.
Your must-have on set?
E: The script.
C: My must-have on set is, like I said before, music, I think it’s essential and necessary to me and to make the scene work; listening to a song that’s related to the scene I’m about to film helps me better get into character and scene.
An epic fail on set?
E: I’ve never had one. That’s funny.
C: I don’t remember any epic fail on the set of “Caught by a Wave,” but I remember well a “fail” on another set, the TV series “Baciamo le mani:” I was 10 and, in a scene with Sabrina Ferilli, who played my mother, we couldn’t stop laughing, in fact, the scene was cut in the final editing!
The thing you like best and the one you like the least about each other.
E: What I like the least about him is his lunacy. What I like most is that we share the same interests and passions. It feels like talking to a male version of myself.
C: What I like most about Elvira is her cheerfulness, she’s just like me, after all, in fact, we laugh a lot when we’re together (whoever spends an afternoon with us could never get bored). What I like the least about her, instead, is how slow she is to get ready!
The character from a movie or TV series you would want to be friends with?
E: Barney from “How I Met Your Mother.”
C: Billy Elliot, for sure. It’s a movie I’ve watched ever since I was a child, I’ve always related to him, as we both share the passion for dance.
The movie you know by heart?
E: The Harry Potter saga. Every single line.
C: “Billy Elliot”, again for the same reason, it’s a movie I’ve watched since I was a kid and I’ve always seen something of myself in him, as we share the same passion.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
E: Probably, cooking some pasta.
C: The bravest thing I’ve ever done was precisely on the set of “Caught by a Wave,” when we had to go out to sea to film a scene in the water, and the place was full of jellyfish, and I had to dive in the water, even though I’ve always had a phobia of jellyfish, ever since I was a kid… I had to face my fear!
“The Harry Potter saga.”
The latest lie you’ve told?
E: I don’t usually tell lies. I like to be transparent.
C: The latest lie I told was yesterday night, to my friends. I didn’t feel like going out, so I told them I had some guests at my house, but I was just sleepy. If I had told them the truth, they would have stressed me and convinced me, but the excuse of the guests never fails to work.
What’s your happy place?
C: My happy island is the stage, when I’m on stage, everything becomes magical, the theater, the audience, the smell behind the scenes, they’re unique and inexplicable emotions that make me feel good!
What your biggest fear?
C: Other than bees and jellyfish, my biggest fear is not to be able to make my dreams come true, but I want to believe in them and do everything I can to make them come true, also because some of them have already become true, like “to make a movie for Netflix.”
“When I’m on stage, everything becomes magical, the theater, the audience, the smell behind the scenes, they’re unique and inexplicable emotions that make me feel good!”
Do you have a motto, a mantra that represents you, that you repeat to yourselves every day?
E: I never stop learning to stop.
C: Every day I repeat to myself, “there’s no time like the present.”
Who or what is your source of inspiration in your private and/or professional life?
E: In my private life, my parents. As for acting, my drama teacher, Elisa Parrinello.
C: My biggest source of inspiration, ever since I was a child, has been Michael Jackson. I’ve always taken inspiration from him and his dancing, I grew up with his music… And my biggest dream, as I like to dream big, would be to become like him, someday, or anyway to pursue all my passions: dancing, singing, and acting.
“I never stop learning to stop.”
“there’s no time like the present.”
The most important cinematographic advice you’ve received so far?
E: To try and understand what the character really requires and truly feel every single emotion.
C: I’ve had the honor to work with many important Italian actors and actresses like Virna Lisi, Luca Ward, Ricky Tognazzi, Sabrina Ferilli, and Giulia De Sio, so I’ve been offered many tips, but the sentence that impressed me the most was certainly this: “remember, a good actor is someone who doesn’t act.”
What stories do you dream to tell?
C: The stories I dream to tell are those that make people dream, moving stories, or stories that can touch people’s hearts… Stories that send positive messages, I love to think that I could be of help for people who are suffering for some reason and, maybe, can find relief from one of my films, and start dreaming as well!
“To try and understand what the character really requires and truly feel every single emotion.”
“Remember, a good actor is someone who doesn’t act.”
What’s the latest thing you’ve found out about yourselves?
E: That I can listen to good advice.
C: That I’m learning to be less touchy and let things just roll off my back (I’m a Capricorn, I can’t but be a bit touchy).
Photos & Video by Johnny Carrano.
Follow Elvira here.
Follow Christian here.
Makeup & Hair by Chantal Ciaffardini.
Styling by Sara Castelli Gattinara.
Thanks to Others srl.
Location manager Luisa Berio.
Collant: Calzedonia – Frida Kahlo
Sneakers: Alex de Pase
Shoes: Sergio Rossi
Sneakers: Alex de Pase
Total look: Red Valentino