Starring in the movie “Settembre” by Giulia Louise Steigerwalt, out in Italian theaters on May 5th, Thony is an actress and singer who never settles, who fiercely dives into the projects that most challenge her, make her grow.
Speaking of which, in “Settembre” Thony plays, alongside Barbara Ronchi, a woman on the pursuit of her own identity, in a general exploration of the meaning of human contact: a theme that’s never been more current as it is in this very historical period we’re living in, where the value of interpersonal contact is as acknowledged and elevated as never before.
We discussed all this with Thony, in a chat about the wonderful side of being surrounded by love, embracing our true nature, as “weird” as it can actually be.
Running towards the lightness, the understanding, the unexpected that only cinema can convey, as much as a soundtrack that sounds like truth. Running away from the “constant dissociation” from the world and people that you risk experiencing on your own skin when you step away from the most authentic version of yourself.
What’s your first cinema memory?
My first cinema memory dates back to when “The Little Mermaid” came out in cinemas. I was in New York, I went there with my family to visit my uncle and aunt who live there, and it was nice to watch that movie altogether, I think it was the only time I watched a movie with my whole family.
Both “Summertime” and many other movies and TV series you starred in, like “Every Blessed Day” by Paolo Virzì, “Tutto può succedere” by Lucio Pellegrini, “In guerra per amore” by Pif, feature some unreleased songs of yours in their soundtrack. How does it work for you when you need to write songs for a movie or a show? How does your approach to music and songwriting change compared to when you write lyrics for yourself or a non-cinematographic audience?
I often read the script or the specific scenes that will feature my songs. I try not to be too verbally descriptive, on the contrary, I try to be the least specific possible to avoid a didactic effect, and, obviously, I try and understand the mood that the song needs to have. This is the main difference between writing for myself or for cinematographic work.
Music and acting are your great passions: what role do they play, respectively, in your everyday life?
They’re not only my passions but, luckily, they’re also my job, so, alongside a healthy amount of sociality, they represent all my life.
“Settembre:” the tale of three characters in the pursuit of happiness, an existentialist analysis of the meaning of that very feeling and other emotions that often, for one reason or another, we don’t allow ourselves to feel in our life. It’s the case of your character, Debora, a woman who’s striving to discover her identity through her relationship with her friend, Francesca (Barbara Ronchi). The movie, directed by Giulia Louise Steigerwalt will be released in Italian theaters on May 5th: what should we expect from this story?
I think that, once out of the movie theater, you get to feel lighter. More understood. You get to have the feeling to live things knowing that there’s always an unexpected component that you can’t control, and it’s good, it’s okay.
“…there’s always an unexpected component that you can’t control, and it’s good, it’s okay.”
What did you put (or didn’t put) of yours in the character you play?
I’ve tried to get rid of every aggressive, moody, selfish piece of me. I wanted Debora not to look like me at all. I wanted her to be a friend that’s always there for you without overpowering you.
A woman with a limpid personality.
The movie talks about the discovery and acceptance of your identity, in all senses, which is essential for everyone: how important is it, for you, and how important has it become in your work, to be able to always be yourself?
I’m still working on it, to be honest… But I think that little by little, I’m managing to be as weird as I feel I am, without being anxious about it. It’s not always easy, but when I can make it, I like myself much more and I’m much more liked by others.
“Settembre” also deals with the search for a “more authentic contact between people,” to quote the director herself. How do you seek contact? What does it represent for you and has anything changed over the past few years, in your experience?
I’ve never been like this, as full of love as I am now.
I think it goes hand in hand with the question you asked before about being yourself. If you pretend you are who you’re not, people notice it, and you, first and foremost, experience some sort of constant dissociation that doesn’t allow you to really love the people you have in your life.
“I’ve never been like this, as full of love as I am now.”
What was your greatest act of rebellion?
Saying no to the offer of making a “pop” record in Italian with Sony when I was 19.
The best “fuck you” of your life?
The one I said to my father. [laughs]
The soundtrack of your life: what song would you choose?
Anything produced by Jon Brion.
What song perfectly describes this very moment of your life, instead?
Phoebe Bridgers, “Motion Sickness.”
The first DVD and the first record you remember buying?
VHS: “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
Record: Alanis Morissette.
Your latest binge-watch?
Mmmh… Maybe, “Desperate Housewives.” I’m not really a binge-watcher.
The musician you’d like to play in a biopic?
What does it mean to you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
To love yourself. To consider both your positive and negative things as truly unique.
Because they are.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Going to therapy. [laughs]
What are you afraid of?
Growing bored of myself.
What’s the latest thing/who’s the latest person that made you smile, today?
My sister trying to convince me to go home for Easter.
Your happy island?
The euphoria of affections. Sicily.
Photos by Johnny Carrano.
Makeup by Micaela Ingrassia.
Styling by Sara Castelli Gattinara.
Thanks to Others srl.
Top: Think B
Tights: Philip Matignon
Jewelry: Voodoo Jewels
Bag: Jimmy Choo
Trench coat: Primark
Total look: Mimi a La Mer
Ring: Voodoo Jewels
Earrings: Marco de Vincenzo
Eco fur: Think B
Ring: Voodoo Jewels