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Libero De Rienzo

A galaxy of EuroStars in Berlin

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- The young Italian will join the European Film Academy's Shooting Stars at this year's German Film Festival in February

Libero De Rienzo

An important sidebar event during the forthcoming Berlin International Film Festival (6-16 Feb) is Shooting Stars, an event organised by European Film Promotion (EFP) as a way of introducing the best and brightest of Europe’s young acting talents to an international audiences. One of this year’s 19 coming talents is Italy’s Libero De Rienzo.
De Rienzo first came to the attention of Italian TV audiences when he appeared in a now-famous advert for a well-known brand of pasta. He made his international acting debut in Gallic director Catherine Breillat’s A ma soeur and after taking part in numerous Italian TV dramas and films, gained recognition with Santa Maradona, directed by Marco Ponti and co-starring Stefano Accorsi. De Rienzo went on to win the David for best supporting actor. He talks about his Berlin appointment in an exclusive interview with Cineuropa.

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You were selected to represent Italy at “Shooting Stars” 2003. Do you think this is a major step forward in your career?
“I’ve never been very fond of the word “career”. I don’t believe in the term “artistic career” but prefer to think of this as an “artistic journey” I have undertaken. Thinking in terms of a career is a trap that often means that you end up as just a little light that flashes on and off without any continuity. I believe in objectivity, being true to yourself so that you can turn that intermittent light into one that shines all the time. That also means that you don’t end up believing every word of praise you hear. That said, I fully appreciate the importance of a showcase like “Shooting Stars”: it is a fundamentally important instrument in making yourself known and progressing and improving your work, as long as you follow your own personal set of guidelines.”

This is an opportunity for you to meet with industry operators from all over Europe...
“Absolutely. It’s a chance to get up close and personal to people who really care about cinema and who want to make films. It is also an opportunity for peer comparison.”

You have some experience of the international film scene, thanks to your work in Catherine Breillat’s A ma soeur. Are there any other international projects in the pipeline?
“There are but aside from Marco Ponti’s new film, scheduled to go into production in the spring, I must speak in the past tense right now. Last summer I worked on Richard Loncraine’s latest film, My House in Umbria, alongside people like Maggie Smith and Giancarlo Giannini. It was a fantastic experience and I loved the way in which we made this film. At the moment I am focusing all my attention on a project and in all honesty, am not doing an awful lot in terms of finding new acting parts.”

What can you tell us about it?
“I am working on the screenplay of a film that I will both direct and star in opposite Regina Orioli. She is also helping me write the film together with the unpareilled assistance of Giulio Calvani. The story is 36 hours in the life of two siblings having an incestuous relationship. They also have to deal with other problems that are more or less common to most normal people.”

I’d hardly call the two protagonists normal...
“Normal people are all the men and women that you pass in the street and will never know. I think that cinema and television put certain problems under the spotlight and make them seem bigger than they really are, for example drug addiction and incest. All we have done is transform them into clichés. I wanted to tell a normal but believable story, on the lines of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s Au bout de souffle. Belmondo plays an ordinary guy that extraordinary things happen to and he tries his very best to return to normality.”

Do you mean the sort of normal people you’ve played up until now...?
“And to think that my dream is to be Bruce Willis. Only joking!”

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