Anna Lou Castoldi: “The criticisms that don’t hurt anymore”

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Dice Anna Lou Castoldi that her make-up and her way of dressing always reflect the emotions that that day could awaken them. When we talk on Zoom, she appears with green hair tied in a ponytail, a pair of hanger-shaped earrings, an electric blue eyeliner and a dark blue blouse with small white motifs drawn on the front: “They say that blue is a sad color, but for me it is nostalgic. Today I feel like this, a mix of happiness and sadness together “ explains Anna Lou lying on the bed in her bedroom, the only corner of the world in which she feels truly protected.

Behind the keyboard as black as the sheets, dozens of photos, posters and cinema, theater and concert tickets dominate, occupying almost the entire square: «These are things that make me feel safe. This room has been like this since I’ve been in junior high, it hasn’t changed much. I know that sooner or later I’ll have to leave, but the thought of leaving her makes me a little sad “insists Anna Lou, that on June 20 will turn 20 years old.

In the last year his life has undergone several changes: he participated in the third and final season of Baby on Netflix enjoying great success with audiences and critics and began attending the first year of Audiovisual Theories and Techniques at university, even if Dad has, inevitably, cooled down her approach to disciplines such as directing, scenography, audio-mixing and creative writing. “I don’t feel very involved in the lessons because it’s like following a podcast. On the other hand, there is also a social anxiety that, when the camera is turned on and my turn comes, paralyzes me a little because I feel that everyone is looking at me “says Anna Lou, chosen by AW LAB as the face of the second appointment of Perfect, the digital format aimed at supporting girls in personal growth dedicated to the theme of Hate Speech and Cancel Culture powered by social networks.

Why did you choose to accept the AW LAB invitation?
«The subject of Hate Speech touches me deeply because I have lived it and still live it today. On the one hand it’s something that can help you be stronger, but on the other hand it knocks you down because we live in a world where we are all overexposed and anyone could get a Hate Comment. It is a very widespread thing ».

How do you neutralize Hate Speech, in your opinion?
“I don’t think it can be removed entirely, but you can work on yourself so that comments don’t hurt you too much and don’t ruin your day. Whenever I get a negative comment I think about the person who wrote it and I’m almost sorry: she doesn’t know me, yet she must be so sick that the only thing that can make her feel better at that moment is hating someone else. It would be nice to say not to pay attention and to be indifferent, but the truth is that we are human and it is normal for certain things to touch you deeply. We must try to know ourselves, breathe and, in extreme cases, take certain measures ».

For example?
“File a complaint if you receive threats, obscure words on Instagram, or stand up just for a while like I did. For three months I had a 2007 flip phone where I could only phone and write on the T9, and I was fine. Then, after this period, I returned to this trap ».

Why did she come back?
“Because my mother bought me a new phone to surprise me. I felt torn: on the one hand I was very happy, but on the other I was afraid to take it back. I kept it off for a week, then, since it invited me too much, I went back to the loop, but maybe later on I’ll do another three months without it ».

On her Instagram profile she mostly shares photographs that immortalize her looks, very colorful and artistic.
«Before, I worked harder: in my private life I always try not to share too much. I don’t show the poems I write or the shorts I direct, but the more superficial things like the looks, which is fine since social networks are superficial ».

For her looks, someone defines her as “alternative”: do you see it as a compliment or as an offense?
«It makes me think. We are all, if you like, alternatives, and I understand it if, looking at the look, someone calls me that: I have iron on my face, various colors that are not seen too often. I don’t interpret it as an offense because I simply don’t dress a certain way to be an alternative, but only because what I wear makes me feel good. If I didn’t, I would feel uncomfortable and would not recognize myself. Maybe in 10 years I could also see myself with a natural hair color and without make-up, but now I feel like doing this ».

When did this “transformation” begin?
«Already when I was 6 years old and I happened to see skaters with colored hair outside the car, I told my mother that I would like to do them too. The first color I did in the seventh grade, a blue-black, while for the look I always dressed more or less like this, long before discovering the dark or punk culture. As a child I used to wear makeup for fun, to laugh ».

The first passion you felt, however, what was it?
«Literature but, having grown up on sets, this has become my world even if I have not looked for it. I like art in general, being able to express myself, even if the most appropriate means to do so is still not clear to me ».

As a director would you see yourself?
«I love being behind the camera, in fact I’m carrying out several photographic projects».

He says that his was a road in some ways “marked”. Did you ever mind this?
«No, when you are born it is necessary to take the reality around you and adapt it to yours. I have had a lot of influences and it is normal that my vision and my language derive from the context in which I was born, but I really care about my integrity as a person and the fact that I am not immediately associated with my parents ».

What did she want to become as a child?
“Not the actress. I liked music, I played drums: still today I spend every day looking for rare music, genres and sub-genres. I don’t know how to play or compose too much, but I have a very broad musical knowledge ».

Yet at 13, very young, she made her debut as an actress in Incomprese. What experience was it?
“I was the one who asked my mother to participate and she told me that I would have to audition anyway: it was a good experience, even if my mother on the set was another person, very strict. He didn’t treat me like his daughter, but harshly, as if to remind me that I was there to work. ‘

Success, however, comes with Baby 3 and the comments are all very positive.
“It was an experience that helped me a lot to open up as a person since I’m very shy and anxious: that set helped me overcome many things, I liked the character and mirrored me, I’m just sorry there won’t be any more seasons. “.

What do you expect for the future?
“Don’t use my family situation to get there: it’s something I’ve always told myself. I want to kick my ass, get involved, but first I’d like to figure out which art form does the most for me. Of course, if I get some projects that I believe in, I will accept, in this I am super-open ».

Would you work with your grandfather Dario Argento?
“I love his films, that would be cool, but I don’t know if he would take me. It would never occur to me to ask him, if life took me down that path I would be open to do so. “

Browse gallery

Is it true that children of art have to work twice as much to be taken seriously?
“The truth is that if you have talent, you have talent. You can’t do it just because you have a certain family. Personally it is something that I have never been able to exploit: my person would not allow me to do so ».

Is that why he has a nickname on Instagram without his first name and surname?
“Also. I wear almost nothing of my parents: not because I’m ashamed, but because I don’t want to flaunt it. Most of the people who follow me do it for them, so I don’t put anything on so I extinguish the problem. In general I don’t care about followers, I don’t do anything to get attention. Indeed, if people recognized me on the street I would experience it very badly because it would make me very anxious ».

It’s a shame he doesn’t share his poems on social media, though.
«I have a very private profile on Instagram with only the best friends and I happen to post them there, but they are still immature, I have to develop my style. Throwing away certain things you have inside is, however, really therapeutic. Who knows, maybe one day you will see a collection ».

What do you throw out?
“Things that concern my emotions, heavy things that could help someone to identify and make them understand that they are not alone.”

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