In January, presenting his second directorial work Tre sorelle (after the 2020 Italian-style lockdown), Enrico Vanzina – with out turning round – he mentioned: “I tackle the duties of a person who makes a movie about ladies, however I actually don’t undertake to say something about them in any respect. In that case, I am speaking to 3 ladies. That is all (they had been Serena Autieri, Chiara Franchini, Giulia Bevilacqua plus Rocio Muñoz, ed.).” Nonetheless, excess of people who Enrico Vanzine and his brother Carlo (who died in 2018 on the age of 67) needed to face in the midst of extraordinary lives – theirs and the lifetime of his father, the good Steno – all within the identify of cinema. Names like Faye Dunaway, Daryl Hannah, Laura Antonelli, Stefania Sandrelli, Elsa Martinelli, Lauren Hutton and lots of extra.
We’re speaking concerning the ladies in his Roman classroom, at Parioli, the place he writes and performs the piano amongst outdated books, pop-art work with images (Wanzina additionally dated Andy Warhol), hidden among the many cabinets of a political science diploma, two Telegatti (for boys 3C 1987). Enrico opens the door barefoot, smiling, with the standard hairdo of an Indian chief. Then he sits down, appears to be like on the picture of his brother Carlo and assaults: “He has at all times been an ideal discoverer of magnificence. In 1956 my father filmed My Son Nero with Alberto Sordi, Vittorio De Sica, Gloria Swanson and a really younger Brigitte Bardot. At some point, Swanson invitations us house and offers us the armor of the traditional Romans. I used to be 7 years outdated, Carlo 5. I’m an excellent boy and I thanks instantly, he’s not like that. Mother tells him to be good. Something. Dad scolds him. Dumb. Dad is indignant. And Carlo: I need Bardo!
And who did she need?
“At that age, I used to be loopy about Marisa Allacio.”
As a toddler, what number of instances did you fall in love with an actress?
“I had a number of tales, however zero love. I see them as too self-referential, they see themselves as the middle of the world. I am speaking concerning the stars, after all. Suppose I’m interested in cashiers, saleswomen, bizarre ladies. Nonetheless, it is usually true that the primary character of the movie should really feel the respect of those that selected and put her. Carlo and I at all times satisfied the actress that she was essentially the most fascinating on the earth. Magnificence issues on set.”
How a lot? Greater than expertise?
“As many as you want. Alberto Arbasino as soon as within the Fifties requested Gary Cooper: what does it take to change into an ideal actor? And he, smiling:” This one, pointing to his face. That is proper. To achieve success, expertise just isn’t sufficient, you want presence. Some nice actresses have the magical capability to make everybody consider they’re extremely stunning, even when they are not.
Who do you imply?
“Betty Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep … They conquered the world, however they weren’t invincible beauties.”
The prettiest you have ever labored with?
Virna Lisi. He at all times managed to attach the fantastic thing about her face along with her coronary heart. After which she was stunning in all ages. Distinctive lady.
Essentially the most superb?
Faye Dunaway. In 1988, we filmed The Recreation along with her. It was unbelievable: he felt the sunshine. After they discuss and transfer, actual stars at all times handle to make one of the best reflection good. Monica Vitti was like that too.”
And Isabella Ferrari?
“Once we forged her in 1983 as Selvaggia in Sapor di Mare, a task she hated for years, we knew instantly on set that we had chosen the proper lady for these years. It was sufficient to take a look at it. The identical in 1987 with Sabrina Ferilli, employed for the fellows from 3C: the mixture of magnificence and sympathy was spectacular. It was clear that she would change into very fashionable.”
Is it true that in 2000 for “Christmas Trip” you had been pressured to mannequin Megan Gale, the one from the phone advert?
“Yeah. And the primary time she got here to the set, at daybreak, with out make-up, we stayed like that for a bit…”.
In addition to?
“At all times stunning, however completely different. After which very excessive. Fairly women must be like Liz Taylor: babes.”
In 2001, for South Kensington, you employed Australian supermodel Elle MacPherson named Physique, 1 meter and 83 centimeters…
“Properly, she ought to have been thrown to the bottom. Like Carole Bouquet (the protagonist of Mystère in 1983, ed. be aware) and René Simonsen (star of Nothing Below the Gown in 1985, ed. be aware): by no means noticed a appear to be hers once more. Carol Alt, alternatively, supplied me Irish espresso.”
What does it imply?
“The primary time we had lunch collectively, whereas filming on Through Montenapoleone in 1986, he solely ordered Irish espresso. I requested her why. And she or he: “As a toddler, I used to be fats and ugly, and at college I used to be bullied. Now I’m stunning and I wish to keep that method perpetually.”
Somewhat not possible.
“Already. Magnificence can typically be a hoax, as a result of many, together with males, have no idea easy methods to handle it. Greta Garbo, for instance, was shocked. Excellent was Valentina Cortese or Giovanna Ralli, nonetheless incredible.”
What does it take to handle actresses with such vital character and wonder on set?
“Endurance. From make-up to jokes, they at all times should really feel comfortable, in any other case they do unhealthy issues.”
What about nude scenes?
“Plenty of endurance. Until you are working with Monica Bellucci. As a producer in 1991, I labored with Dino Risi on the tv movie Life with Son and Figs starring Giancarlo Giannini. In Pavia Risi earlier than the scene wherein she needed to lie bare in mattress, instructed her to crawl underneath the sheets. And she or he: “If I’ve to undress, no downside.” And with unprecedented confidence, he utterly undressed in entrance of everybody, crossed the workplace and received into mattress. Loopy scene. We misplaced the present speech.”
Are there normally issues?
“There are those that requested for an empty set, like Carole Bouquet, bandages like … Within the movie with Baldy and De Sica, Megan Gale didn’t wish to act and for the bathe scene we used an understudy. On the premiere, he began yelling “Cease the film!”. It was black. He thought it was her.
The primary love?
“Barbara Mastroianni, Marcello’s daughter. We had been 16. He actually preferred it once I was round in his villa in Castiglioncello, he lived surrounded by most of the ladies of his household.
When did your spouse, German Federica Burger, meet you?
“In 1975 in a bar in Porto Ercole. I noticed her and instantly spoke to her: she was the good love of my life.
However a few years in the past you broke up and she or he moved to Milan, proper?
Sure, however it was a mistake. After some time, I lied to my girlfriend to see my spouse, so after a 12 months and a half, I went house. It was the luck of my life. She by no means interfered with my work and at all times gave me the proper recommendation once I requested her. We received married in 1994 after we realized that, underneath Italian legislation, the absence of marriage is of nice significance.”
It wasn’t the primary time for her, was it?
“In 1974 I went to Bangkok to work on my father’s Bigfoot movie in Hong Kong. I met Tukata, a neighborhood lady from an excellent household, I fell in love, and shortly we received married in a Buddhist ceremony. At the moment I used to be a vegetarian, I had brief hair…”.
“I attempted to reside in Bangkok for a number of months, however it was a catastrophe. Then she got here to Rome, and it was even worse there. We parted with out drama. My mom did not prefer it very a lot.”
How was your relationship along with her?
“Difficult. He had bipolar dysfunction and we skilled quite a lot of stress, which, happily, was eliminated earlier than his dying. He by no means preferred the world of cinema and needed us to be diplomats. We did one thing else.”