Nino Frassica he is voiceless. Too much work: «I recorded the reality show of Rai2 The college, where I am a storyteller, and 8 podcast»Explains the actor with some difficulty. At 71, he continues to divide himself relentlessly between television (he is a regular star at Che tempo Che Fa), literature (on November 15th his crazy new book Paola, a true story comes out of Mondadori) and cinema: on November 10th we will see him in The tales of Sunday, the film by Giovanni Virgilio dedicated to a “respectable man”, the generous mayor of a Sicilian village (Alessio Vassallo) told from 1934 to 1978. Giving up the usual surreal comic streak and proverbial paradoxes, Frassica interprets with a he overdosed on humanity a very humble man, alone in the world and raised in a college of priests: he is the protagonist’s teacher of life, left without his father who emigrated to America.
Don Matteo 14, waiting for the return to Spoleto
Isn’t that an unexpected role for a comedian like you?
“I made the film because in my character I saw many human types that I met as a young man in my Messina: good men, dedicated to others, altruists who abound in the province”.
And where does the surreal humor that gave her success come from?
“I’ve always had it. The detachment, the desire not to take anything seriously by looking at everything from above represent a defense against pain ».
Did you suffer a lot?
“I’ve had some difficult times, like everyone else. Even if I didn’t go to Barbara D’Urso’s to tell them … When you learn to minimize the problems you understand that they are not so serious ».
Why did he disguise himself as a woman on the cover of his new book?
“I wanted to make people laugh, and I myself had a lot of fun while writing. Paola, a true story is a paradoxical, absurd story but with a plausible background. Like all my comic inventions, after all ».
Are you more famous for Renzo Arbore’s broadcasts such as “Quelli della notte” and “Back all the way” or for “Don Matteo”?
«My success has two sides. Fiction has given me mass popularity while in Arbore’s and Fabio Fazio’s programs I appeal to a more sophisticated audience. And I like all this ».
Which comedians do you like?
«The surreal ones like me: Valerio Lundini, Maccio Capatonda, Cochi and Renato».
What do you think of current TV?
“I see too many disposable programs, designed only to contain the commercials, without attention to quality”.
Why don’t innovators like Arbore, and like yourself, get back on track?
«Maybe we have grown old … but for heaven’s sake, I’m speaking for myself. It would take a different physical strength, the same one that I lack to be a director ».
How did you manage to be cast by Sofia Coppola in the movie “Nowhere”?
“The director made a mistake. She was looking for a “good presenter” and on the net she bumped into my character without realizing that she was a parody. You wanted to make fun of Italian trash TV, but the real bad TV is the American one … ».
And how did he end up on the set of “The Tourist” alongside Johnny Depp?
«I owe everything to Don Matteo. The series is also hugely popular in Germany: The Tourist director’s mother, German Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, was a fan of mine and she asked her son to absolutely give me a part of her. In the script there were none but to please her he invented for me the role of the carabiniere chasing Depp ».
What is missing from your already eclectic career?
«An experimental fiction, that is, built according to the scheme of variety and with the absolute freedom to dare. When I do Don Matteo, I have to censor myself in movies and on TV. But I really want to go further ».
Does the dictatorship of the politically correct prevent it?
“I have no problems because I avoid political satire.”
And where does this choice come from?
«The news expires. Who talks more about Berlusconi’s bandana? Instead the surreal humor is eternal. Like Totò ».
In our present marred by wars, viruses and crises, do comedians have a greater responsibility?
“We are the relief valve. Yesterday I was sitting in the bar and a man came in from a funeral. He was desperate but when he recognized me he smiled and thanked me for my work. And I felt useful for something ».