In a blend of cinematic magic and self-discovery, Margherita Aresti emerges as a talent in constant challenge with herself. Among the leads in “Un Professore 2” and “Noi siamo leggenda”, the actress tackles the delicate theme of relationships between adults and teenagers, conveying a message of confidence in one’s ideas and openness to dialogue as a tool for confrontation and understanding.
Sharing her experiences in preparing for her roles, which are often so similar yet distinct from herself, Margherita narrates the details of her interpretation, providing us with an authentic and pure insight into the challenges of adolescence and the entertainment world.
What is your first cinema memory?
I can’t recall a specific first memory… Emotions, on the other hand, leave a more lasting impression. Every time I enter a cinema, I feel that breath that makes me forget everything else; time stands still, and nothing else matters in that moment. It’s like magic.
What have been the most significant challenges you have faced in your career so far?
I’m still at the beginning, so everything is quite new for me. Every day is a challenge, as I am constantly in competition with myself, trying to know myself better to overcome my limits without getting lost in the “darkness” first.
You are now the protagonist of two successful TV series: “Un Professore 2” and “Noi siamo leggenda.” Both of your roles, Nina in “Un Professore 2” and Viola in “Noi siamo leggenda,” explore the theme of the relationship between adults and adolescents. What message do you hope to convey through these characters?
I think it’s right to believe in one’s ideas and pursue them without fear of not being understood. However, it’s crucial to listen and be open to dialogue because we may grasp aspects we didn’t perceive on our own, leading to growth and maturity. So, I think it’s important always to question oneself, speaking not only about adolescents but especially about adults.
“I think it’s right to believe in one’s ideas and pursue them without fear of not being understood.”
Two entirely different roles: how did you prepare to embody Nina and Viola? Were there specific challenges you faced during filming?
I felt a responsibility that should not be underestimated. For this reason, I relied on my coach Yvonne D’Abbraccio, and together we worked on both characters, especially on Viola, who was more complex for me due to her nature being very different from mine. I won’t deny that becoming Viola was a lot of fun; stepping out of myself made me feel lighter. I started listening to new music, changed half of my wardrobe because I didn’t like my clothes anymore, and learned not to care and truly listen to myself. With Nina, it was a more natural process; I managed to empathize more quickly because her nature is more similar to mine. The more complex work I had to do was on motherhood, trying to understand what it really means, with Sofia, the girl who plays Lilli. It was love at first sight; we met several times outside the set to get to know each other and make our relationship as credible as possible.
“Noi siamo leggenda” specifically addresses delicate themes concerning adolescence. What aspect of Viola’s story or character do you find most relevant and significant, touching you personally?
Viola’s problem is that she doesn’t feel loved, causing her great suffering that she doesn’t show through weakness but rather through strength and anger. Consequently, it’s more challenging to relate to her and understand her. Affection is primarily lacking from her parents; her father left when she was little, and her mother always prioritized work. Therefore, throughout her growth, she has always had difficulty establishing genuine relationships based on trust.
Speaking of “Un Professore 2”: how much of yourself, or your high school self, do you see in Nina?
My sweetness, fragility, and unpredictability are aspects I found in Nina. She has a soul more similar to mine, and this allowed everything to come out naturally and with simplicity.
In your opinion, what is the role of art in general and television specifically in contributing to the understanding of adolescent dynamics and in representing the challenges that young people face?
We, the young, don’t need something extraordinary to recognize ourselves in something and, consequently, understand and ask ourselves questions. I think adults need to listen more because sometimes some are a bit set in their ways, not deeply understanding our world but twisting it in their own way, making everything more complicated. Art has great power, and it shouldn’t be wasted.
“Art has great power, and it shouldn’t be wasted.”
How do you approach the emotional challenges of your roles, especially considering the depth and complexity of the characters?
I try to empathize with my characters, understand their inner world, and put my emotions at the service of both.
Undoubtedly, the characters you have portrayed have taught you something new. What is the last thing you have learned about yourself through your work?
I have learned to be self-sufficient, to feel good even when I am alone, and not feel uncomfortable about it. Another thing I realized is that you need to surround yourself with the right people.
What are your long-term goals in the acting world, and are there specific roles or genres you dream of playing in the future?
I am continuing to study at my academy, YD’Actors – Yvonne D’Abbraccio Studio. I enjoy being in class; every time I come out, I feel richer, and this motivates me to become more and more skilled as an actress. I have always dreamed of playing a role created by Tim Burton.
“I have learned to be self-sufficient”
Your must-have on set?
Nothing tangible; the important thing is to have emotions.
An epic fail on set?
It has happened several times on the set of “Un Professore 2” that we had to stop shooting because something suddenly made us laugh so much that it was really difficult to get serious again.
What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
Fight for my dreams, even when everything is against you.
And your greatest act of courage?
Saying goodbye to the people I love, moving to Rome, and dedicating myself entirely to acting without having a plan B.
“…even when everything is against you.”
What is your greatest fear?
The fact of not being afraid. This has often been the cause of great conflicts, especially in the family. Today, at twenty, I can say that even though there have been disappointments and there will surely be more, I am doing the job I have always dreamed of. I hope to become a great actress, and when I approach a new character with all my commitment and the doubts that always accompany me, I will work hard because I consider myself lucky. I feel so small and insignificant, so I am afraid of not being up to that role or that great literary work, and of disappointing expectations. But then rehearsals begin, and all I want is to be a good actress and convey emotions.
What makes you feel safe?
As I mentioned before, accepting the contrasts that seem to overwhelm you at the moment but then make you understand many things.
What does it mean for you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
Being an actress and playing characters distant from me that open new emotional horizons, making me grow.
The last thing or person that made you smile?
An unexpected gift that I can’t talk about.
What is your happy place?
Acting, giving space and life to a character different from me. I find it exciting, as my teacher Yvonne conveyed to me: “Everyone takes the limits of their own field of vision for the boundaries of the world,” quote by Schopenhauer.
Photos & Video by Johnny Carrano.
Makeup and hair by Micaela Ingrassia.
Styling by Andreas Mercante.
Location: Anna Lo Presti.
Management & Academy YD’Actors – Yvonne D’Abbraccio Studio.
Total Look: Mantù
Total Look: Seafarer