Ippolita Baldini he has no doubts: «Making people laugh is not easy, it is a gift. Only those who have it can do it. ” It is certainly a natural gift that belongs to her. She sensed this when she was still a very sensitive child who used laughter to react to anger, discomfort and fear. She has demonstrated this over the years in the theater, on TV and in the cinema, where the Italian public has known her above all for the role of Dodi in Welcome to the North. And he confirmed it with the debut a Zelig last November 18, when she took the stage of the Arcimboldi Theater, once again playing the role of her beloved character Lucy, a very wild and always enthusiastic single. The first special episode of the historic Canale 5 broadcast, also conducted this time by Claudio Bisio and Vanessa Incontrada, marked the audience record with 22.3% share and peaks of over 5 and a half million spectators.
«It was extremely exciting – says the Milanese comedian – I think the two years of lockdown and restrictions also weighed: I was like an untrained athlete, but luckily the body always remembers everything. I was expecting a difficult audience, but Arcimboldi was like a hug ». Bisio and Incontrada also made her feel at home in the Temple of Laughter, which «for me they were two headlights. They are great. Vanessa helped me a lot: on stage I created a friendship between her and Lucy, my character, a sort of Chiara Ferragni from the discount, which allowed me to be immediately welcomed by the whole audience. Claudio is brilliant, a war machine: he leaves a lot of room for improvisation. When you bring a piece you don’t know exactly what you will do, because it always takes a new turn with it ».
The inspiration for Lucy? A holiday in Greece
The prime time broadcast of Zelig it was not actually the debut on the small screen of the volcanic Lucy: the character of Ippolita Baldini had already made himself known in Colorado in 2016. And, even before that, in the Zelig Laboratories on Wednesday, evenings designed to be a real workshop where comedians and comedians can experiment with new ideas and characters in front of a real audience, with the contribution of the artistic direction of Zelig. «I went to do the first evening of the Laboratory in December 2015. Since then I have always been back, almost every Wednesday, to try the pieces».
The creation of Lucy took place above all in this “construction site” of laughter: modeled on the basis of the spectators’ responses, perfected with the fundamental collaboration of the authors. But the first spark ignited in Greece, during a summer vacation with friends. “I was 31 years old, I had been single for a long time and I was in the grip of that anxiety that takes at some point some women who feel they have to make the turning point, but do not have the man to do it with. At that point, anyone is fine: just breathe – says Hippolyte laughing – I was with a group of friends, all in the same situation, all excited, always enthusiastic about even the most horrendous things that typically happen on vacation. At one point I had the grace to see myself from the outside. And I said to myself: what is happening? From there I made him a character ».
So does Lucy the single in some way resemble her? “Yes,” he admits, “but it’s a small part of me, the most festive one.” A trace of this affinity also emerges in the name of the comic actress, who at the registry office is Roberta Ippolita Lucia Calcagno Baldini. Lucy was born from Lucia, while Roberta is the protagonist of two theatrical monologues by Baldini, My mom is a Marchesa e A Marchesa in Assisi.
From theater to cabaret, and back
Even if from the audience you would not think at all, the cabaret that shaped Lucy and in some way also a stage like that of Zelig, where the script can turn into a wonderful and unpredictable flow of comedy, take Ippolita Baldini out of her comfort zone. «Coming from the theater, I have a discipline marked by little improvisation. It’s a mental beauty difficult to defuse. I am also passing from cabaret to make myself known by a large audience, but I mainly define myself as an actress of comedy. I think of Angela Finocchiaro, Marina Massironi, Lella Costa … These women too have passed from cabaret but, they told me, with difficulty, not lightly. On the other hand, also playing with the spectator and improvising is a gift: I have colleagues who always succeed divinely. I often succeed ».