The reasons why we are madly in love with Claudia Potenza are many and (many) in this interview

Talk with Claudia Potenza it’s like talking to a thousand different women. In fact, now she is shy, almost hesitant, only to become direct, pragmatic, even hilariously ironic. And then again, all over again, she takes up the merry-go-round of her feelings: modesty, frankness, embarrassment, verve … “Eh, there are so many in here!” he jokes about her, not without a hint of pride. Because, yes, even if she doesn’t say it expressly, Potenza is proud of her feminine evasion. You are therefore not surprised that Carlo Verdone wanted this tornado of a woman in his first tv series: Life as a Carlo, from November 5 on Amazon Prime Video. The story, inspired by events that really happened in Verdone, tells the actor and director’s routine, with a lot of irony (so much so that it looks like a brilliant self – parody, rather than an autobiography). Here Potenza plays Ivana: Max Tortora’s wife, in the role of himself as a friend of Verdone. A woman who is a little on a war footing …

What do you like about your character?

Unlike Verdone and Tortora, I play a fictional character: Ivana. I especially like her practical sense of her: she does not hesitate to scold her husband and Verdone when they shoot her hard or when they get into her trouble. She is a straightforward, resolute woman whom Verdone and I built together, on the set, during the shooting.

Did you already know Verdone?

No: I only knew your daughter, for extra work reasons. I am very happy that you chose me: I find you a brilliant director and actor. It was a special meeting!

Today more and more artists are trying their hand at their autobiography, if not cinematographic at least literary. Did the idea tickle you too?

No not at all! It is not for everyone to write a biography, just as it is not for all actors to have to make a film as a director! (laughs, ed) You must have the talent. Then, imagine, I respect everyone but personally I don’t think my experience is fundamental for humanity. If one day I should realize that what I am experiencing could teach something important, I assure you that I will not hesitate to write a book. Unfortunately, this is not the case for now.

The cast of Vita da Carlo at the 2021 Rome Film Festival

Daniele VenturelliGetty Images

Do you think that the explosion of autobiographical books is partly the daughter of the “selfie society” where self-representation is everything?

We are definitely exaggerating: we are too much ego – referred, no one excluded. This, however, generates a wave of aggression: we are immediately ready to judge everything of everyone, without appeal. Our thinking has become the new filter with which to interpret (or even correct) reality. This is not good: we should stop, breathe and reflect.

Less stories for everyone?

Yes. Then, oh, I’m the first to be hyperactive … but it’s important to remember that the other isn’t necessarily interested in what we do. Instead of feeling bad about a missed like, we should instead be surprised if someone cares about us.

However, if you were to write your autobiography, which title would you choose?

If I was blonde! (laughs, ed) As a child I often thought about it: I was convinced that the life of blond girls was much easier … Already at the time I thought: “if I ever write a book, the title will be IF I WOULD BE BLONDE!“(laughs, ed) Then as I got older I corrected the grammar (laughs, ed) However, in the end, it may not be said that in the end he doesn’t really do it: maybe someday I’ll try my hand at a good novel. After all, the title is already there …

life as carlo

Claudia Potenza in a scene from Vita da Carlo

courtesy photo

I read that at the age of three she had already decided to become an actress and at nine she was faced with the problem of how she would manage to combine career and family when she grew up. These are very complex thoughts for a nine-year-old girl …

Yes, it’s true. At the time my sister was already singing opera and I saw all these opera stars with crazy tragedies behind them. Genius was accompanied by recklessness and therefore I questioned myself.

Yes, I understand, but it is not for all girls: what childhood did you have?

A normal childhood. I lived a lot of art, of course, because I went to the theater, listened to music … I was certainly a very profound child. I was, let’s say, a little jester but with a melancholy gaze.

Is it still true now?

Yes, indeed.

But of the two sides which prevails in you today: melancholy or lightness?

It depends: we are so many in here, you know? There is practically a residence! (laughs, ed)

vitra da carlo max tortora and claudia power

Claudia Potenza and Max Tortora in Vita da Carlo

courtesy photo

What comes first for you today: family or work?

If we talk about priorities, undoubtedly the family which, however, does not replace my work. Even before being a mother or wife, I am Claudia: this comes first and a fundamental part of me is represented by my being an actress. Acting is not in fact a normal profession: it is a work of feelings and immoderate passion. The love I have for the stage is as visceral as my love for my family.

Tell me a quality that you love about yourself and one that you don’t love?

Anxiety and control: these are definitely two flaws. Instead I like my intuition.

Thanks to the pandemic, Red Armchairs was born: an initiative to support actresses on maternity leave. What kind of support do you need?

I was lucky because my career explosion coincided with my first pregnancy. So I never stopped: I took my son everywhere, on the set. However, there are many actresses who are afraid of facing motherhood and with good reason: they are not protected in any way. If you are expecting a child, you cannot, for example, do the auditions and also getting the maternity money is not easy. I didn’t have them myself because I didn’t have a sufficient number of days to count … I won’t go into details, the concept is so clear: an initiative like Red Armchairs is welcome.

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At the end of November he returns to the theater with a show against violence against women: Taddrarite (bat, in Sicilian dialect, ed). Where are we in terms of protection?

There is still a long way to go and the numbers say it. The pandemic also did not help because it exacerbated the sense of anger that coursed through society. We need greater protection for women and above all faster times: too much time still passes between the complaint and the judicial measure.

Speaking of the pandemic, how did you experience this period of isolation?

The world stopped fiercely, without warning: we all found ourselves at home, together with our loved ones. I must say that I have accused the post-pandemic more than the “during”: it was strange to return to reality, to resume one’s normal life. I don’t know why but it’s like I had a backlash and it took me a while to metabolize …

Cover photo credits
Photo Maddalena Petrosino
Look Fendi
Styling Allegra Palloni x Valeria J Marchetti
Make up Simone Belli team
Upgradeartist production

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The reasons why we are madly in love with Claudia Potenza are many and (many) in this interview