G.wyneth Paltrow wrote us an essay (and almost certainly shouldn’t have), coining a couple of funny definitions. “Break up culture ”, the culture of breakup (in the sense of the end of a love) and, even worse, “Conscious uncoupling”, the conscious decoupling. The fact remains that breaking up is an art and that hardly anyone practices it with skill. Certainly not Chiara, the character played by Anita Caprioli in Give me back my wife, Sky miniseries broadcast on 13 and 20 September. She writes a farewell letter to her husband Fabio De Luigi on the day of her 40th birthday, then tears it up, runs away with the dog, returns to live with her parents (Diego Abatantuono and Carla Signoris), complains a lot and struggles to make order in the great chaos of emotions that leads her to say: «I can no longer be with you».
“Yes, Chiara is not well, but she doesn’t know exactly what’s wrong” explains Anita Caprioli via zoom. «The most difficult thing, when there is a crisis, is to understand what is not working, in order to be able to make the separation a moment of recovery and not a clean break. But often we are totally lacking in awareness. Crisis is a concept where anything can fit.
Synchronicity in relationships is a rare condition.
And it is naïve to pursue it. Everyone’s times are different. Desires, hopes, planning rarely proceed on parallel tracks. The ideal would be to accept it. One is ready, the other is not, or is ready and does not know it, and then the metabolism for men and women works differently.
Time is the key factor.
The idea of the love they passed on to us is romantic, but absolute harmony has little to do with life. Like in the films of Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love, 2046, ed), one of my first loves, where lovers miss each other by a hair, or it happens that theirs could have been love, but it remains unfinished. Or in How we were the film with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford. You look at it and you are left with the incredible frustration of having seen two people who clearly love each other, but cannot be together.
She says: “The ideal would be to accept it.” It’s not easy. Separations often produce tragedies. Sometimes they destabilize: sometimes friends are also the ones who leave us if the geography of affections changes.
And it’s even more heartbreaking. Because it is a different pain, which lasts longer, it is a grief that is difficult to process. You can rationalize the end of a love story: love ends, desire ends. But how do you explain that someone no longer loves you and no longer wishes to share pieces of their life with you if they have done so up to that point?
You have played more than a generational film, Santa Maradona, Don’t think about it, All down to earth, and films often based on books that in turn had been a watershed, Starnone, Culicchia. How do you see those stages today?
In this period you inevitably think about the changes in life. Something is happening to us so I think everyone is struggling to get an idea of the future. The world has accelerated its speed. And narcissism is the fastest growing factor, we never would have imagined. Those stories were important, they were mirrors of our lives, in which we recognized ourselves. But now I don’t know what we can recognize ourselves in. This little film that basically talks about questioning oneself, accepting the diversity of the other perhaps says something about us in this moment.
In Santa Maradona had worked with Libero de Rienzo …
What a great pain his death! I had great esteem for him, that film was a very beautiful moment that united us, which remained in the hearts of all of us, because it told the generational carefree that we were experiencing, even Stefano (Accorsi, ed) and Marco (Pozzi, the director of the film, ed). But death is something so huge, especially when someone so young leaves, it requires silence …
And in this case there was not. The media did not give the best of them.
There is no investigation that takes. And there is no way to understand. So why not choose the path of respect, of a silence that takes care of the pain of the family? It would have been the thing to do.
The carefree phase he was talking about Santa Maradona, usually in life it is followed by a search for solidity. Was it like that for you too?
I am very happy to have a partner, a little girl. It is not so obvious. Building families is not easy and having a child puts you in front of the idea and the strategies necessary to create a right future for that person who is growing up. Nice, but it is also a responsibility that sometimes stuns.
She is the daughter of theater people, even the loves were inside that world. Can you imagine yourself out of there, from Rome, from the world of people making films?
Well, after all, we all have a plan B …
No, no, I was thinking of the resilience of man, capable of adapting to all situations. I know that I could make do with it elsewhere and that I would survive anyway. But it would hurt me to leave what is the greatest passion in life. I love cinema and theater, I also love them as a spectator, they would belong to me anyway even if for some reason I could no longer do them. And having a partner who does the same job as me is not a form of isolation, it is not self-referential. We are curious people, we often go in different directions and this makes our conversation always interesting.
The beginnings always say a lot about the nature of artists: she started as a child, at the theater, following in the footsteps of her parents. Then he did a little bit of everything, even the Control toothpaste and condom commercial, very avant-garde at the time. How do you see the path made up to here?
It was the period of my studies, I was doing school in Milan, and what came was not necessarily inside a project: it was not experience, it was sustenance. I wanted to go to Rome, continue studying, doing theater: in the beginning there was just that for me. Then causally, thanks to an audition for a film, I said to myself: «But there is another way to tell!». I remember precisely the moment and the scene when I realized that I could and I wanted to do it.
In fact, now the theater hardly does it anymore.
There’s a’Antigone I’ve been carrying around for 8 years, but it’s not a real staging. Theater is complicated and then things happen, I go with the flow.
Where does the flow take you now?
I’m shooting with Carlo Verdone Life as a Carlo, a series that will be released in late October on Amazon.
Has Verdone become a little bit more bitter for some time now?
Melancholy is part of him, of his cinema. But it is a creative melancholy. He is a generous man, he loves the actors, he loves the set like no other. It is his life, it suits us, it goes far beyond the profession.
She was born in ‘73, shortly after ‘68. Were your parents affected by that atmosphere? What have they been through to you? What were your dreams then and what now are those that you cherish for your daughter?
My parents, even if they were not militants, had a strong thought inside that my sister and I felt, which nourished us: an education to freedom and, as far as my mother is concerned, to an autonomous female condition. He told us: “Want what you want, do what you want, what makes you happy, in the big choices of life in the small ones”. Never had vetoes. Here, that freedom is difficult now to project it onto my daughter. I would like her to grow up free from conditioning, that she also be able to think outside the system that requires her to desire and consume more than it needs. I hope he builds a critical sense, that he has emotional and action freedom. I work there, as parents you need to have great clarity on this historical moment, make calibrated and coherent choices, because children look at us, and learn from us.
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