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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Interview: 2017 David di Donatello Nominee Vito Gallina

Embracing his Sicilian culture, actor Vito Gallina is making a name for himself as he takes on unique roles alongside his trailblazing contemporaries.

Whether he is starring in an independent short film, playing the supporting character in a big budget production or impersonating an American silent film icon, one thing is certain: Vito Gallina's unique look and buoyant style of acting immortalize each character he interprets. 

On the set of "Il dolce e l'amaro" with Luigi Lo Cascio
Since 2001, Gallina has appeared in a number of successful films Italian films as an extra or supporting character. However, his most important role came in 2014 in Flavio Costa's tale of friendship and love, Svegliaci quando fa chiaro. His performance in the short film earned him an award for Best Actor at the Cici Film Festival in Sicily. 

Watch Svegliaci quando fa chiaro..

His latest achievement is the David di Donatello nomination he recently received for his adorable short film Charlie Chaplin e Stellina, which he made with his beloved pet that passed away last summer. 

Watch Charlie Chaplin e Stellina...

Gallina and I are connected on social media and I've particularly enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures of his homeland of Trapani, Sicily that he posts on Instagram. He also raised my curiosity when he told me about his role in the upcoming film Mary Magdalene, starring Joaquin Phoenix. The film was shot in Basilicata, Campania and Sicily. So, I asked Gallina about his work and how growing up in such a beautiful place has inspired him as an artist.

Tell me about your city and Trapani.. the culture, people and beauty. Do you feel that all this beauty and culture has influenced you as an artist and actor?
I was born in Castellammare del Golfo in the province of Trapani in Sicily. However, I had to move away for work. I teach art education and painting at a middle school in Vicenza, which is located in the region of Veneto. When the semester is finished, I will head back to the mild climate in my beautiful land of Sicily where I'm surrounded by the sea from coast to coast, the warm, hospitable people and wonderful Sicilian cuisine. Yes, the beauty of Sicily has influenced me as an artist and also as an actor. I'm an outgoing, spontaneous person, so acting comes natural. 

Is there a particular character that stands out- one that you've really enjoyed portraying? 
The role I've enjoyed the most has been Charlie Chaplin. I say this because more than any other character, even the Sicilian characters I've played, I identify with Charlie Chaplin the most.

On the set of "In guerra per amore" with Pif

Tell me about your experience working on the film, Mary Magdalene.
In October of 2016, I worked on the production of Mary Magdalene, which stars many well-know famous American actors. The film was shot in Matera, Naples and Sicily. I participated in the scenes that were shot in the fishing village of Mandala in Sicily. 

What is your dream.
It would be great if a director would see the similarities I have in common with Charlie Chaplin and cast me in role to portray him. My dream is to go to Hollywood. It’s always been my dream to be accepted in the city of Los Angeles. Many of the films in which I have participated, such as My Name is Tanino, The Commissioner Montalbano, A Thing Called Love and Celafonia (just to name a few) have been shown there. 

Great things are indeed ahead for Vito Gallina. Check out his YouTube Channel to see more of his interesting works. 

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