Editor, comedian, writer, actress, Tess Masazza is an introvert-born soul who makes her primary outlet and form of expression out of pure laughter, wishing away the terror that difficulties promote, at first sight, when they peep out from every new open door. But Tess loves challenges, loves to put herself out in the game, she cherishes human opportunities when she sees them, with a rare kind of audacity and desire to know herself better, with her limits and abilities.
As one of the contestants of the Italian version of the game show “LOL: Last One Laughing,” and creator of the web series “Insopportabilmente donna,” now adapted into a successful novel and a critically acclaimed theater show, Tess has hit all the targets she was aiming at: the powerful stage of the web, the cathartic effect of self-ironic language, the demonstration of the versatility of expression of romantic-comedy content. So, she made her dreams become a little truer; so, she gave shape and further possibilities of evolution to her highest quality daydreams.
What’s your first cinema memory?
I started taking acting classes after seeing the theater play “Frou-Frou Les Bains,” in 2001, in Paris. I laughed from beginning to end, and so my passion for comedy, for entertainment was born.
You were one of the competitors in the game show “LOL 2: Last One Laughing:” what made you say yes to the challenge of taking part in the program?
I love challenges, taking a risk in my work but also in life. Participating in “LOL” was both a working and human opportunity. It was hard for me, as I don’t have a comic repertoire or a script to follow, but understanding your limits is essential if you want to improve yourself and grow.
What was the best part of the experience? And the “most challenging” contestant to deal with?
I went along very well with the whole cast, getting to know them, and learning from them has been very constructive. The contestant who risked multiple times to defeat me was Mago Forest, he can surprise you with his improvised jokes that are so hilarious.
What have you learned from the “art of holding in the laughter”?
To be able to make other people laugh without having the possibility to laugh has been, for me, complicated. In fact, I panicked, and I suffered from performance anxiety.
I got to understand the technique that you learn with experience, but also with the awareness of your own abilities.
“Insopportabilmente donna,” your web series, has had a huge success, also reaching a wider audience of theatergoers and readers, in the form, respectively, of a show and a novel: where did the core idea of the series originate and what satisfactions have you had from seeing it grow and change shape multiple times?
The idea was born years ago when I felt the need to do something mine, write things of my own (I used to be an editor for several magazines before that). But I also wanted to go back to acting, so I had this idea of creating lighthearted, short content where I could show my several passions. The web gave me the chance to make myself known quickly, it’s a stage with huge potential. Today, seeing my format assuming new shapes is a huge satisfaction. It allows me to be continuously stimulated.
“The web […] is a stage with huge potential.”
Your web series was born 8 years ago. Have your way of expressing yourself and the contents you deal with changed over time? If so, in which way and towards which direction?
There has been an evolution, a growing process involving the “unbearably woman” [ndr. from the title “Insopportabilmente donna”] character.
I once liked to play out anything that crossed my mind, today I am more thoughtful and I try to dig deeper, seize and play out the nuances of the themes I tackle, as well. The theater show and the novel are proof of this evolution. The ironic (but above all self-ironic) language, though, is still the same.
What does writing represent to you? Is it a routine, an outlet you need to face your everyday life, or a simple exercise of creativity?
It’s all three. Writing allows me to feel lighter, to bring out all the thoughts I have that sometimes become bulky, as I was born an introvert. But writing, above all things, allows me to make my dreams almost come true. I write in a spontaneous way, letting myself be carried away by my daydreams.
What’s your relationship with social media and the web, in which you’ve been playing a part for quite a few years?
I’ve always felt very fascinated by the world of the web, by its potential. For my job, it’s an instrument, a fundamental means. In my private life, I’m not a big user of social media, I mainly use them to keep in touch with my family who lives in different parts of the world, or with my childhood friends, as I wasn’t raised in Italy.
What’s the latest thing you discovered about yourself?
I discovered I’m 35 and not 25 anymore. I need to work out, I have no more excuses. [laughs]
What does it mean to you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
It means caring less about other people’s judgment and focusing on the good things, even the smallest ones. It means enjoying the present.
“Enjoying the present”
The best “fuck you” of your life?
It is yet to come, but it’s ready to go. I have it on the tip of my tongue. All joking aside, I don’t really like conflict, I always try to find a way to avoid getting to a point where I can’t but tell someone to fuck off.
Your greatest act of rebellion?
The theater show has somehow been an act of rebellion because not everybody believed that you could turn a web thing into a theater play, especially when it’s a romantic comedy we’re dealing with. However, I wanted to prove the opposite as hard as I could.
“…not everybody believed that you could turn a web thing into a theater play…”
The latest person who made you smile?
The vet, who sent me my dog’s blood test a while ago, told me he’s healing.
Would you rather laugh or make people laugh?
Laughter is my preeminent anti-stress. Laughing to tears is a wonderful feeling.
Your dream collab?
Easy, a movie with Ryan Gosling. No, I’m kidding, I mean, I would love that, but it’s not my real answer. Writing and shooting a movie with Woody Allen would be really incredible. In Italy, Checco Zalone.
What’s your favorite joke?
It’s a joke from the above-mentioned show “Frou-Frou Les Bains.” It’s difficult to translate it from French to Italian, but it’s basically a dialogue between two characters, one has lost her dog (in the sense that she can’t find it) called Kiki, and the other one asks her,
“C’est qui Kiki?” which means “who’s Kiki?”.
The dialogue made of “who’s Kiki” and “Kiki who?” goes on for ten minutes and is truly hilarious.
What’s the book on your nightstand?
The latest work by Stephen King. I love crime novels.
“I love crime novels.”
What are you afraid of?
Flying. Planes terrify me and it’s crazy because I travel a lot.
What’s your happy place?
My family, dog included.
Photos&Video by Johnny Carrano.
Styling by Mimina Cornacchia.
Assistant stylist Gabriella Piluso.
Makeup by Claudia Blengio – Simone Belli Agency.
Location Manager Luisa Berio.
Thanks to Lapalumbo Comunicazione.
Thanks to Frascati 11.
Thanks to Luisa Berio.
Total Look: Ermanno Scervino
Shoes: Le Silla
Total Look: Saint Marc
Total Look: Greta Boldini