When Michela De Rossi landed her breakout position in The Many Saints of Newark, the Sopranos prequel at the moment in cinemas and streaming on HBO Max, she had not seen the unique tv programme. She had additionally by no means been to the USA — and, very similar to her character within the movie, barely spoke a phrase of English. However that didn’t cease her from taking the position head-on, commanding the display with a nuance and experience that simply marks her as a global star to look at within the coming years. Schön! joins De Rossi in Rome to debate The Sopranos, experiencing America for the primary time, her favorite elements of New York and extra.
How is being again in Rome realizing that The Many Saints of Newark is being watched everywhere in the United States?
I’m nonetheless realising it! It’s been just a few days, and all these items are taking place — my social media is exploding with all these lovely messages and compliments from lots of people. I’m very… I don’t know. I’m simply excited, and I’m dwelling within the second.
The Sopranos is extremely beloved within the US. Was it intimidating to return from Italy to a brand new nation and be concerned in such a monumental a part of its tradition?
I feel it was not, as a result of I’m the native one. After all, they’re two completely completely different cultures, American-Italians and Italians. The Sopranos, it’s not so iconic in Italy in contrast with the USA, so I watched the entire thing once I received the position as a result of I hadn’t seen it earlier than. After I noticed it, I believed, ‘oh my — why didn’t I do that earlier than?!’ I’m watching the sequence for the second time now, as a result of it’s so lengthy and you must rewatch it to actually perceive it. However I simply felt so excited. At first I had that anxiousness, however on the similar time I believed, ‘I’m the Italian one; I can carry one thing they want.’”
As a local Italian coming to a really Italian-American-centric challenge, what was your response to experiencing that for the primary time? What in regards to the tradition shocked you?
Quite a lot of issues. In that immigration interval, numerous Italians got here to America after which, over time, our cultures have blended. Which is gorgeous! In Italy, everybody suppose that they’re imitating us, proper? However that’s not true. It’s only a completely different tradition. It’s simply American stuff blended with Italian tradition, and The Sopranos was born from that. I imply, the strains that David wrote have been very exact and really Italian, so I solely added my… I don’t know what. I bear in mind messing with my fingers, as a result of [Italians] transfer lots with their fingers. And I believed lots about gestures. In America, American-Italians, they do like this [pinches fingers together]. They’ve just some, however we have now tons of of them… After we completed the shoot, I gave David Chase a present — I drew numerous our [Italian] gestures, framed it and gave it to him. He went mad for that!
How did your journey from Italy to the US really occur, and the way did you discover it when you arrived?
It was loopy. I used to be in theatre watching a present in Italy. It was 10 PM, and my agent known as me, like, laughing. Like, ‘you received’t imagine it! No method! You’ve received to go to New York Metropolis tomorrow morning for a chemistry check.’ I had solely carried out two self tapes earlier than that, after which they known as me and put me on a flight. I used to be actually scared — I’d by no means flown alone earlier than, and I had by no means been out of Europe, and I by no means did a chemistry check — and in entrance of, you already know, David Chase! I used to be scared!
However then, once I went to New York I felt — I don’t know why, but it surely felt like dwelling. There are some locations you go and also you simply really feel, ‘this isn’t for me.’ And different instances you suppose, ‘I can keep right here. I can do that.’… I do know, it’s one factor should you go to New York Metropolis by your self and one other factor should you’re doing a film with a Warner Brothers. However I used to be like a princess strolling round… It was wonderful. Wonderful.
Had been there any American or New York-specific belongings you fell in love with throughout your time there?
I fell for the Flatiron [Building]. I feel it’s one of the best constructing in Manhattan. After which, I feel… all the things. You understand, the cinema business is predicated on that place, so in all places you go, all the things you see, was in a film. Strolling in Central Park, strolling alongside Fifth Avenue, going to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge. Every part was so lovely! I like New York.
This was your first English language appearing expertise, proper?
Yeah. I spoke like that, within the film, once I shot the film. I’ve discovered the language now throughout these two years. I didn’t converse English earlier than… I’m working arduous with this!
Is that one thing you wish to do extra of, appearing in American movies and particularly in English?
Yeah, after all!… The factor is, I wish to do nice motion pictures. I don’t care the place they’re — it’s not one thing about Hollywood. I don’t care! It’s simply because numerous actors, nice administrators, they’re from from America. However I wish to work with everybody who will do one thing lovely with me.
[The section contains spoilers for The Many Saints of Newark] How did you really shoot your remaining scene on the seashore? Did you’ve gotten a stunt double?
They used a stunt double simply because they needed to repeat and repeat and repeat it to set the scene. However I did it for the primary three photographs, and I [had to] change 3 times… The wig and the jacket have been so heavy, and the boots — I bear in mind it was so arduous, and I felt fairly dangerous as a result of I had vertigo. After I was underneath the water, it was so arduous. It was freezing, and I had these excessive footwear and I couldn’t swim, after which we we did it repeatedly and repeatedly. So then, once I was useless, they known as within the stunt double.
Are there any particular forms of roles or forms of movies that you just’re all in favour of pursuing subsequent?
One in all my goals is to do a biopic, as a result of I might like to play somebody who existed. It’s one thing that’s been in my thoughts since I used to be younger, as a result of I like to imitate. I like to have numerous references to work with, so if I may play an actual individual, it will be very difficult for me. For instance, the film about Édith Piaf — Marion Cotillard did one thing like that. When you may present a face of a life otherwise, that’s so fascinating to me.
What’s been inspiring you latterly?
What conjures up me is that, I’ve misplaced numerous alternatives. Once you do auditions, you may win, you may lose, and whenever you fail there’s a degree by which you wish to cease. You don’t wish to lose anymore. I feel throughout these final three years of my life, I put down a mark, like, ‘I’ve to do that. I wish to do that. And nobody will cease me.’
I feel typically, should you want one thing and you’ll’t have it, that could be a treasure. I feel it’s there to push you. That’s why I’m so petrified of fame or success, as a result of my big worry is dropping the chance to dwell the traditional life that conjures up me as an actress proper now. After I see American actors they usually have, like, bodyguards and folks round them wherever they go — each time I feel, ‘how will you act should you don’t dwell an actual life?’ In case you don’t go to the grocery store, should you don’t watch what’s taking place on the street, you already know what I imply? In case you don’t have to scrub your own home? Perhaps it’s simply due to my form of preparation that I’ve, which comes from theatre. I take advantage of my life, my experiences to behave, so one of many issues that scares me most is fame, since you cease dwelling a traditional life.
What are you wanting ahead to proper now?
I want I may play somebody who is completely completely different than me. Like, completely change myself, and have the chance to play a lead position. That is one in all my goals proper now.
The Many Saints of Newark is at the moment in cinemas and streaming on HBO Max.
images. Francesco Ormando
style. Gianluca Cococcia
expertise. Michela De Rossi
hair. Alessandro Rocchi @ Simone Belli Agency
make up. Concetta Argondizzo @ Simone Belli Agency
images assistant. Luca Stendardi
phrases. Braden Bjella