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Monday, February 17, 2014

Fabrizio Bentivoglio - Accidental Actor

Bentivoglio with his "Ricodati di Me" family
Born in Milan on January 4, 1957, Fabrizio Bentivoglio had dreams of becoming an athlete before discovering has passion for acting.  He played one season for the Serie A, Milan-based football club, Inter until a life changing knee injury, which forced him to quit. His next move was enrolling in the acting/directing school of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. That decision would go on to change his life forever. Bentivoglio’s stage debut was a role in Shakespeare’s “Timon of Athens.”  He later moved to Rome and teamed up with Studio Universal to create the Tipota Movie Company. 

Among his diverse characters are doctors, lovers, mobsters, movie stars and even a poet. Bentivoglio’s debut big screen appearance happened in 1979, when he appeared in "Masoch" by Franco Brogi Taviani.  Two years later, he starred alongside Isabelle Huppert in "Lady of the camellias" by Mauro Bolognini. He has also worked with American filmmakers, but does better in Italy where his talent is better utilized and appreciated. One American film in particular is called, "The Real Thing," which co-stars a young Gary Busey. 

His big break came in the late 1980s when he met filmmakers, Gabrielle Salvatores and Silvio Soldini.  Salvatores cast Bentivoglio in his 1989 film, "Marrakech Express" and in the 1990 film, "Turne," which has been described as a road-movie with a theatrical backdrop.   

Soldini cast Bentivoglio in the 1990 film, "L’aria serena dell’Ovest" (The Peaceful Air of the West) and in "Un’anima divisa in due" (A Soul Split in Two) as a security guard who runs off with a young girl.  He took home the prize for Best Actor at the 1993 Venice Film Festival for his performance that film.

Bentivoglio was hailed by critics for his role in Gabriele Muccino's 2003 "Ricodati di Me" in which he plays the role of Carlo, a middle-aged husband and father re-thinking the choices he made in life. One night while at a party, he runs into an ex-flame (Monica Bellucci). They rekindle their romance, much to the dismay of his wife (Laura Morante). With two teenage children immersed in their own lives, the husband and wife duo dive into the dreams they abandoned when they decided to start a family.  Bentivoglio articulates the excitement of rediscovering an old dream with a child-like enthusiasm.  Although his character comes across as selfish at times, you can't help but pull for him and empathize with that young passion to follow a dream. 

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