There’s Matilde, and there’s Valentina from “È Per il Tuo Bene.”
There’s Matilde, and there’s Giulia from “DOC – Nelle Tue Mani.”
In every character she plays, Matilde Gioli is always there to go the extra mile to make her interpretation more realistic, to mix her character’s features with her own, and to create empathy with the audience. We got the chance to meet her, Matilde: the young woman with a passion for horse riding, and for opening the windows of every place she goes to and the actress of “È per il tuo bene” (Available on Prime Video), “DOC – Nelle tue mani” and many more Italian movies and TV series. Matilde is a self-confident and sweet person, who does crosswords in her free time on set and who dreams of time traveling.
Matilde won us over with her personality and determination and here, in our October Cover Story, she told us about herself with no filters.
What’s your first cinema-related memory?
My first cinema-related memory is obviously the audition for “Human Capital:” my very first experience and my very first encounter with cinema. I knew nothing about this kind of job at the time, I also didn’t know much about cinema, so I remember the “light-heartedness” with which I approached this first meeting with a great director like Paolo Virzì. Now that I think about it, after all these years, I really didn’t realize the magnitude of the film, of the cast, and of the director with whom I found myself working.
How do you choose the projects you take part in?
To choose the projects to take part in, I rely on my agency quite a lot. I’m part of an agency called Volver, which is run by two young and very brilliant guys, Gianni Chiffi and Consuelo de Andreis, whom I trust very much. Before any choice and decision to take or not to take part in a project, we always have a meeting where we talk freely about what I think, what they think, in a totally democratic way. I need to put my trust in the opinion of my agents and experts like them. Then I clearly consider the topics treated in the project: if it deals with topics I’m thrilled about, then I’ll be even happier to participate.
“Then I clearly consider the topics treated in the project: if it deals with topics I’m thrilled about, then I’ll be even happier to participate.”
“È per il tuo bene:” how did you build Valentina’s character and how did you work with your on-screen parents, Isabella Ferrari and Marco Giallini, on your parent-daughter relationship?
Like I said, even when building a character I tend to put my trust in the director and I also talk to the screenwriters who have created the character. After an initial phase of discovery of the characters, of their personality, and of the things from their past that perhaps are untold in the movie – because it’s not fundamental for them to be told – I then try to put this information and my personal experiences together, to try and make the character as true as possible.
Working with Marco Giallini and Isabella Ferrari was amazing. I already knew Isabella, she’s very professional, while it was the first time I ever worked with Marco, he’s such a great actor and a delightful person, he’s very generous and, above all, very fun, we laughed a lot, the two of us, on set.
How much of Matilde is there in Valentina?
Like in every character I play, Matilde is always in there, because I don’t have any previous experience in acting studies, but I’ve been learning what I know on-field, and this is a very important detail to me. I use my personal experience to try and make a character believable. Valentina is actually different from me, because she’s a girl with very clear ideas, who wants to follow her father’s path, who decides to accept a boyfriend who was kind of imposed on her, and this is what makes her very different from me. However, the love she has for her parents is something that we have in common, for sure.
“Even when building a character I tend to put my trust in the director and I also talk to the screenwriters who have created the character.”
“I use my personal experience to try and make a character believable.”
What was the first thing you thought as you finished reading the script of “È per il tuo bene” and what’s the first question you asked director Rolando Ravello?
When I finished reading the script I thought I would have been thrilled to be part of a coral cast made of such brilliant actors, because, other than my family – Marco Giallini and Isabella Ferrari – there are Vincenzo Salemme, Giuseppe Battiston, Claudia Pandolfi, who not only is a great actor, but also a wonderful friend of mine, Valentina Lodovini and, most of all, the youngsters! Biondo, for example, is a singer who appeared in the talent show “Amici” and later found out he’s got some very credible acting skills, so I thought, “How wonderful, I’ll get to spend a lot of time with this amazing group of people.”
I think it’s probably better if I don’t tell you about the first question I asked Rolando [laughs]. The two of us get on pretty well because we both love jokes, so it’s hard for me to come up with a serious question that I might have asked him; if I think about all the jokes we used to tell each other when we were together [laughs]. No, that’s not true, he’s very professional, but the two of us really had a lot of fun.
What should we expect from the finale of “DOC – Nelle tue mani”?
I really can’t talk about the finale of “DOC,” but I can tell you it will be very exciting, that’s for sure.
What struck you the most about your character Giulia Giordano?
What really struck me was the dedication and determination she puts in her job, she’s a woman who can look unfriendly and not quite empathetic, and that’s what they want you to believe at the beginning, that she believes in a non-empathetic way of practicing medicine, but the truth is she deeply loves medicine and her patients, she’s very dedicated and determined, as I said before, and this really struck me.
“What really struck me was the dedication and determination she puts in her job.”
Cinema vs TV series: how does your approach to a character change, if it does change?
A character is build up in the same way, no matter what, but the perks of filming a TV series is that you have much more time to spend with the character because the shooting process is longer. In TV series you have more time to devote to them, this is the pros, while the cons are that deadlines are slightly shorter during the day, so scenes perhaps need to be prepared a little more quickly.
Do you like looking for space to improvise?
I like that very much, but the director has to agree with that and it has to be something coherent with the rest of the people who are working on the same project. If I’m the only one who decides to do that, then I won’t do it.
What’s the last movie you’ve watched which made you discover something new about yourself?
“È per il tuo bene” by Rolando Ravello. It got me thinking a lot about the relationship between parents and children, and it also made me reconsider how many sacrifices parents make for us and how many times we take that for granted.
“It also made me reconsider how many sacrifices parents make for us and how many times we take that for granted.”
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you?
It means that no matter what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, where I’m going, who I’m meeting, I feel confident and that’s a significant starting point, after that, I’m ready to handle anything.
What’s your go-to beauty look?
Hair tied up in a messy bun, no makeup but a bit of lipstick and a quick fix to my eyebrows.
When do you feel the freest to express yourself?
When I’m horse-riding.
What’s the most recent lie you told?
I don’t actually tell a lot of lies, to be honest, I can’t think of anything like that right now.
What’s the first DVD you bought?
What’s your guilty pleasure film?
My guilty pleasure film is “The Mask” with Jim Carrey.
What’s the book on your nightstand?
“1984” by George Orwell.
You never go out without…?
Candies in my backpack or in my bag.
Must-have on set.
Crosswords for the breaks.
Epic fail on the job.
More than once, I went to the bathroom and forgot to take off or switch off my microphone.
The most beautiful fashion look in the movies.
The scene of “Basic Instinct” where Sharon Stone wears that super stylish outfit.
The film that you almost know by heart.
Who was your first crush from the big screen?
Keanu Reeves in “Matrix.”
Who’s the movie character you would like to be friends with?
Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings.”
You told us about your passion for opening windows… what’s the window that, once opened, surprised you the most?
The window on the world of horses and horse-riding: it gave me a shot of adrenaline and joy that I had never felt before.
Which are the stories you dream of telling?
In the future, I’d love to tell the medieval historical period about which no one talks much and which is always considered a dark era, but it’s totally not. I’d love to time travel back to the Middle Ages, and be part of the cast, of course.
What can you unveil to us about your future projects?
I’m about to shoot a movie as the lead, alongside another brilliant movie and theatre actor, he’s older than me and he plays a leading role too, and the only other thing I can tell you is that there are going to be lots of kids in this film.
Photos & Video by Johnny Carrano.
Makeup by Raffaele Schioppo per Simone Belli Agency.
Hair by Cinzia Bozza.
Styling by Suite19pr.
Shirt and skirt by Federica Tosi.
Dress by Stella McCartney.
Shoes by Gianvito Rossi.
Ring by Bulgari.
Thanks to LaPalumbo Comunicazione.
Thanks to San Clemente Palace Kempinski.