I recently caught up with one of the film's stars, actress Anna Ferruzzo. She was raised in the south of Italy and has chosen roles portraying the strength and resilience of southern Italian women. Her latest role takes that character to the next level.
The diversity of her career and the roles she has chosen mirror the passion that drives her professionally and personally. International audiences first saw her in Edoardo Winspeare's 2003 Southern Italian tale,Il miracolo. The film gave Ferruzzo the opportunity to work in her hometown, portraying the strength and resilience of the soulful Pugliese culture in which she was raised. We posted our interview with Anna in both English and Italian. You will enjoy getting to know this beautiful actress, inside and out.
Black Souls is about to released nationwide in America. Tell me about your character, Antonia and what you did to prepare for this role.
In the movie Black Souls Antonia is the wife of Luciano, one of three brothers and protagonists of the story. In real life I am a woman of the South but I am not Calabrese and I had to learn to speak the dialect of that beautiful land. What helped me a lot was observing the attitude of the Calabrese women who were chosen as extras in the film. I tried to "steal" not only their accents but also their gazes and long silences. In Mafia families, men make important decisions but women always know everything and have a vital role in preserving the traditions even when they live with violence and revenge. I understand well that the silences mafia women are more important than their words.
Nel film "Anime Nere", Antonia è la moglie di Luciano, uno dei tre fratelli protagonisti della storia. Nella vita reale anch'io sono una donna del sud ma non sono calabrese e ho dovuto imparare a parlare nel dialetto di quella bellissima terra. Mi è servito molto osservare l'atteggiamento delle donne calabresi che sono state scelte per fare le comparse nel film. Ho cercato di "rubare" loro non solo gli accenti ma anche gli sguardi e i lunghi silenzi. Nelle famiglie di mafia gli uomini prendono le decisioni importanti ma le donne sanno sempre tutto e hanno un ruolo fondamentale nel preservare le tradizioni anche quando portano violenza e vendetta. Ho capito così che i silenzi delle donne di mafia sono più importanti delle parole.
All the protagonists of this story seem to be condemned to evil, with no hope. Even Luciano, the only brother who tried all his life to stay away from the mafia logic would give his life just to break the bloody feud that has ruined his family. Violence always begets violence, and this is perhaps the only message in a story so hard and difficult.
Qual è il messaggio di questa storia?
Tutti i protagonisti di questa storia sembrano condannati al male, senza nessuna speranza. Perfino Luciano l'unico dei fratelli che ha cercato per tutta la vita di tenersi lontano dalle logiche mafiose dovrà uccidere a sua volta per spezzare la sanguinosa faida che ha rovinato la sua famiglia. La violenza genera sempre violenza è questo forse l'unico messaggio in una storia così forte e difficile.
The role of Annalisa in the film The Miracle was my first starring role in cinema. Until that point, I had always worked in theater. I'm really very grateful to Edoardo Winspeare. He gave me the opportunity to have my first real experience at the cinema in my city, a city that I loved and that I knew very well. It was really a privilege for me. I tried to enrich the character of Annalisa with the strong emotions I was living in that moment: the passion for my job, enthusiasm for this new experience and my great love of Taranto. The Miracle was a very important film for me both from the professional and personal points-of-view. After filming, I moved to Rome. I revolutionized my life and I began to think with more confidence about my future as an actress. I'll always have a wonderful memory of that experience, an emotional memory, almost magical.
Red Bracelets is the Italian version of the Spanish television series Poiseres Vermelles inspired by the true story of the Spanish writer Albert Espinosa. The series tells the stories of a group of young patients in a cancer hospital. Their friendship and love will help them to face and overcome the tragedy of disease and death. In this series, I play the hospital psychologist. The success of Red Bracelets was surprising especially among the young. Before this series, no one on Italian television dared to talk about these important and uncomfortable issues of illness and death of young people and children. The series has instead shown that you can tell any story, even the most difficult, as long as you face it with grace, respect and truth.
Everyone carries within himself the soul of the place where he was born; the beauty of our own land and its history.. but also its conflicts and miseries live in us everyday through our thoughts and actions. In my life, in my work, in everything I do, there is always a bit of Taranto. There is the beautiful sea, its wonderful sunsets, its glorious past but also the difficulties of the present situation. Taranto is a beautiful city but deeply hurt by a savage industrialization that has violated and polluted the territory. These strong emotions, these profound contrasts are always inside me. And since I believe that the contradictions can be a great wealth, I hope to keep improving the characters I play with the contrasts of my soul and my land.
In the last ten years, the economic crisis has reduced much investment in the cultural field in Italy and all of Italian cinema suffers greatly for it. The productions fell by half. We make a few movies, and many of those tell the stories of men. Very few films tell stories of women. This is a real shame. Italian women are an important resource for the country. They know how to handle a career and family, extricating themselves with such difficulty. They are really the core of Italian Society. Their stories are full of passion and courage. They are extraordinary, beautiful stories that would be important to tell. But the complex and fascinating world of women is still little explored by the Italian cinema. Female roles are often relegated to the margins of history. There are many male roles and few female roles .... but I think this is not just an Italian problem.
My life is dominated by love and passion. These are the engines of my life, my inspiration, my true motivation. I am a simple woman, instinctive and passionate. For me friendship and love are very important things, and the esteem and respect towards me by the people I love are fundamental to my stability and my serenity. Sometimes I'd like to be more cold, rational but my instinctive part in the end prevails over reason. Even at work, I need to love what I do. And so, in a movie as well as in a play, I always fall in love with the character I play. I think this is the best way to keep the passion alive for my hard work.
La mia vita è dominata dall'amore e dalla passione. Sono questi i motori della mia esistenza, la mia ispirazione, la mia motivazione vera. Sono una donna semplice, istintiva e passionale. Per me l'amicizia e l'amore sono cose molto importanti e la stima e il rispetto nei miei confronti da parte delle persone che amo sono fondamentali per la mia stabilità e la mia serenità. Alle volte mi piacerebbe essere più fredda, razionale ma la mia parte istintiva alla fine prevale sempre sulla ragione. Anche sul lavoro ho bisogno di amare sempre quello che faccio. E cosi, in un film così come in uno spettacolo teatrale, mi innamoro sempre del personaggio che interpreto. Credo che questo sia il modo migliore per mantenere sempre viva la passione per questo mio meraviglioso e difficile lavoro.
I love acting. It's the best form of communication that I've ever been able to find! I consider myself a lucky and privileged person. I managed to turn my biggest passion into my work. More than a dream, it's a wish. I hope to continue to do my work with the same burning passion of when I started in order to continue to deserve the great privilege that I conquered.
Amo molto recitare. è la migliore forma di comunicazione che io sia riuscita a trovare in tutta la mia vita! Mi ritengo una persona fortunata e privilegiata, sono riuscita a trasformare la mia più grande passione nel mio lavoro e faccio ciò che mi piace fare. Il mio , allora , più che un sogno è un augurio. Mi auguro di continuare a fare il mio lavoro con la stessa bruciante passione di quando ho cominciato e di continuare a meritarmi , anche in futuro, iil grande privilegio che mi sono conquistata.