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'I Think of a Dream Like That' Paolo Stella
Here is the charming, cute and clever Paolo Stella, actor of my favorite underdog indie film of the year, the Italian breakout film, ‘Penso Un Sogno Cosi' (I Dream A Dream Like That) (2010) by visionary director Marco de Luca. Paolo is here to speak about his film and his career as an actor in Rome!
I met Paolo in Aruba at the Aruba International Film Festival and our first words were my interview of him on the red carpet before the Aruba premier of their film and then the following day in an interview at the Hyatt under sweltering heat with all of us sweating while trying to remain composed. [See clips of that interview attached (Getty Images)]. Bear with me, as I have translated the interview from Italian to English.
ME: Thank you for this interview, Paolo. So happy to interview you again, and this time about you the actor as well. Can you tell us how you got into acting?
PAOLO: I always wanted to be an actor. At age 13, I made my first school play and it was the first moment extreme happiness of my life. I understood then that my place was on the stage. Then, for various reasons, I found myself doing architecture at university, but always with the desire to act. The occasion arrived when I wsa 22 when I was selected to enter a talent show to perform. I entered to be part of the actors. We were two men and two women, selected out of 32000 people. Then I understood that maybe I had some fortune and from there I started to base all my life into acting.
ME: That's amazing, Paolo! 4 people chosen out of 32000? That was for sure a sign! Can you tell us about your acting career from that moment?
PAOLO: The last thing I did was a TV series but certainly the experience of which I am very proud of and the film of Marco de Luca, Penso Un Sogno Cosi. I am very proud of this film because it was an independent film, courageous, and extremely personal. We had no producers to support us, which often can impose and push their own choices and decisions for economic returns. We were free to express our creativity purely and simply, a sensation extremely satisfying.
ME: I remember you guys saying that from our interview in Aruba. Miraculously, the film was only made for 9,000 Euros! And you guys were so passionate about the film that you couldn't afford to eat! Can you share with readers about how it was to make a film for passion instead of for money?
PAOLO: To shoot a film with only 9000 euros has its positive and negative sides. The positive was like I said before, the extreme freedom of expression that comes; however, the negative was evidently the lack of tools. Sometimes also sustenance! In all, we were 14 people working on the film, actors and technicians and the moment of dinner was a little bit like a fight. But I must say that no one ever felt the weight of not having a huge production to support us. We were so moved by enthusiasm that the fight against the cold and hunger, also against environmental catastrophes. And we got it! A flood (during the shoot you can see and for the film budget it was perfect because it added to the drama) made a wall collapse from the fence, destroying the assistant director's car.
ME: I think it's an incredible story about the film. And then you premiered in Aruba at the first ever Aruba International Film Festival! Can you tell us about that?
PAOLO: Aruba Film Festival was not the first film festival that we have participated in with our film, but surely it was one of the best, where we had noticed the most enthusiastic comments. And for us that we see this film almost like a baby there could not be a greater satisfaction. Plus, to travel to such a beautiful place with colleagues that are great friends was the best!
ME: Aruba was indeed amazing! Such a great festival and you guys looked fantastic walking the red carpet! You were the highlight of the event! How has your film been received in Italy?
PAOLO: ‘No one is prophet in their own country!' said the Romans. Paradoxically we hava had more difficulty in Italy than abroad. From the beginning our compatriots were a little cold when the film came out in theaters, then with word of mouth the people began to come to the theater. The critics on the other hand, that alone are terrible, had immediately appreciated the film and had spoken very well in the newspapers, which was another great satisfaction!
ME: I love that saying. It's true. People are more appreciated abroad than at home sometimes. Some actors love certain types of film genres more than other. Do you have a favorite genre?
PAOLO: My favorite genre is...change the genre!!! I don't have a favorite genre; I had just finished a comedy series and now I'm going to shoot a horror-thriller. And I must say that to shoot a horror is one of the most fun things I have ever done.
ME: Im sure horror is the most fun. It's the most cathartic. In America, my favorite holiday is Halloween for that reason. It must be all the hyper-drama and all the blood! HaHa! So, you are also modeling these days as well?
PAOLO: Hahah! Modeling? Noo! I made just some turns for fun. I just came back a few weeks ago from Paris where I made a long set of fashion for Luis Vuitton for the magazine Slurp. I had a lot of fun, a huge production, but I am not a model. My only true passion is to act, but I have had to throw away a thousand of other experiences. In May I was a month in Indonesia to design my first collection of clothes, which are called ‘P.S.' which will come out next year, but I am not a designer either. I am a ‘yes-man' with life. I don't know how to say ‘no' to new experiences. But I remain focused on my acting carrier. I have just been to Boston to shoot my first American film and as you know... I cannot say anything!!!
ME: Thanks, Paolo for that enlightening chat and also for the grand opportunity to practice my Italian! Can't wait to hear more about your next films and to see you soon! Ci vediamo presto!!! ;-)
**Read my other page on the film here, with more interview from cast:
actor Paolo Stella
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