In the alleys of Venice, with the film “Padre Pio” and its strength still in mind.
Directed by Abel Ferrara, “Padre Pio” is a film that in its essence made us experience something unique, remaining under our skin. And, in the alleys of Venice, on a somewhat cloudy day, we met Martina Gatti, who explained how special, different, and unique it was to work on the film with a director like Abel and how she was terrified right before filming. But with Martina, we also talked about indifference, rebellion, and her happy places, and how sometimes these places can be found on the top of a mountain.
What is your first cinema memory?
“Lady Oscar” and “Anastasia”, how much I wanted to be like them.
“Padre Pio” is a unique film of its kind, speaking of redemption but at the same time of guilt and revolution. How did you prepare for your role?
I tried to think about what could happen to a person who loses everything, and in return, they are offered a “revolution“, a word that Anna has never even heard. I always imagined her poised between letting herself go completely to her suffering and wanting to turn into a warrior. For me, neither thing ever comes true, and she hangs in the balance for life.
“I always imagined her poised between letting herself go completely to her suffering and wanting to turn into a warrior”.
Abel Ferrara, the director, did not want to use artificial lights, many of the shots almost look like as if they were paintings and he has a particular and unique way of telling this story, almost minimalist, essential and this is exactly why it “stays with you”. What was your first thought when you read the script? And what was the first question you asked Abel?
Terror. Anna has maybe one line, and in the film, she just cries. I was terribly afraid of not being able to do it, and I talked it through with Abel. He reassured me, but it wasn’t enough: not even Abel Ferrara can make my anxiety disappear.
In the film, Padre Pio’s absence from everything that is happening almost becomes one of the major characters. In everyday life, when does indifference piss you off?
I won’t express myself. I find that lately everyone has been using and abusing this word. People talk a lot about how disgusting general indifference is, and it seems a bit hypocritical to me. I certainly would describe myself as indifferent; nobody does. Yet things don’t change. Why, if none of us are indifferent to anyone, no change has been made?
“Why, if none of us are indifferent to anyone, no change has been made?”
In general, what makes you say “yes” to a project?
Let’s say that I have not yet reached the point of being able to select the projects for which I am taken, I feel lucky when someone falls for it and chooses me. As soon as I can, I will say yes to good stories, and to the way they are written. They will be yes mainly because of the writing.
I think that being an actor, with the many characters you play, you also get to work on yourself, learning new things about yourself. What’s the latest thing you discovered about yourself?
I very much agree with getting to know yourself by acting. Unfortunately, the last thing I found out about myself when doing a monologue months ago is a little sad. I realized that I am a lonely person, despite being a social animal, and having so many people close to me. Figuring this out was enlightening.
“getting to know yourself by acting”
When shaping a character, are you more rational or instinctive?
Both sides are needed, even if my first analysis is always rational and based on the script. If you read it well, there is already everything there. Music too.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I tried not to be afraid.
What are you afraid of instead?
Everything. Planes. Needles. Dark, monsters, walking alone at night, diving into the sea. But I feel like I’m working on it. For example, I am no longer afraid of any insects.
Your most remarkable act of rebellion?
At the end of my senior year, I asked my teachers to fail me so that I could stay in school, where I felt great. They said no.
What does it mean for you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
It means dancing the way you feel even though you have no sense of rhythm.
“It means dancing the way you feel even though you have no sense of rhythm“.
A real-life character you would like to play?
He is not a real person, but a character from a book. My dream is to interpret Meme, one of the characters in Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.
Your happy place?
You don’t know this but I’ve been using the expression “happy place” all my life to express myself when I feel really well. This is why I know the answer well. I’ve had so many “happy places”. My happy place was the gym where I did artistic gymnastics as a child. It was high school, it was a beach house in Terracina, it was a table in a bar in Trastevere with my friends. It was Berlin, it was my mom, and then it was also a small town in Puglia where I did a film. A place in the mountains.