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Lorenzo Adorni: on the Libra plate

This interview with Lorenzo Adorni is published in number 36 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until 5 September 2023

When great things like this happen, it is as if a bridge were created: on the one hand there is the point where it all began, on the other where I am today, and crossing it is no longer scary». The point where Lorenzo Adorni, born in 1992, is today is his first Venice Film Festivalwith a film in competition, Slowly by Stefano Sollima. To reach him he says he took several punches. The strongest: «A couple of years ago, when I was stopped for six months due to an inflammation of the facial nerve. Half my face was paralyzed, the left side, from Bell’s palsy. I have lost many jobs, even important ones, and I have had to deal with illness and the anxiety of not knowing if I would be fully recovered».

And is he fully healed?
«In the end I brought home tinnitus and my face lost some symmetries. But I went ahead. Backpack on the shoulder, aware that more punches would come ».

Instead Sollima has arrived, with the latest trilogy on criminal Rome begun by the director with ACAB and continued with Subura.
«To those who ask me who is with me in the cast, I answer: “There’s Pierfrancesco Favino, there’s Toni Servillo, there’s Adriano Giannini…”, and it sounds a bit like the joke “there’s there is a Frenchman, there is a German, there is an Englishman…”. . Actually no, it’s more like it’s a G8 and I’m the statelet that’s welcomed between
adults for the first time”.

What was it like to “be a statelet”?
«I was able to see super professionals at work, I understood how much surgical lucidity there can be in a small movement, without losing spontaneity. Slowly it is an intricate film, a crepuscular noir, there are three worlds in comparison, different generations who find themselves fighting».

What is the soul of his character?
«I would define him stuck in limbo: he is aware that what he is doing is not what he thinks is right, but by now he has established a certain type of bond, above all with
the characters of Giannini and Di Leva, and he can’t get out of it».

Is he a villain?
«I’m not the blue fairy of the situation, but the first thing they teach you in the academy is: never judge your character».

How many auditions did he take?
“Three. The last one with Stefano. He is a very direct person, he gets straight to the point. I think what you see on the outside of him is an extreme sense of precision while inside he has the tidal wave».

Rome is the other great protagonist of the film. You were born in Parma, you have Sicilian origins, but have lived in the capital for several years. What relationship do you have with the city?
«I fell in love with it as a child, when I began to approach cinema. At the same time, as a non-Roman, I suffer from the syndrome of never really feeling at one with this city, which has so many difficult aspects especially for those who grew up in the provinces. It still happens to me to walk around at two in the morning, admire how beautiful it is and think “why are you like this?”. It’s like that amazing friend who makes one mess after another, which you can’t help anyway
at least”.

Have you ever had any perception of Sollima’s criminal Rome?
«Rome has profoundly dark sides: Stefano knows them well and has never wanted to hide them. I like the way he talks about the relationship between Rome and its inhabitants. In Slowly the characters are all overlaid with a certain gloom, and that gloom is so much a part of you that you don’t know where it ends and where you begin».

How was your passion for acting born?
“Like many, at the age of ten I went on stage for a school play. I remember that I immediately loved the idea of ​​having the right to become another person. I started with small roles in local companies, and later, to study, I moved first to Milan and then to Rome. Today what I appreciate most is that it’s never the same job, that I’m never the same person».

Did you have the support of your parents?
«Yes, even if both are very far from the world of entertainment. My father, now retired, worked for a large company, my mother is a clerk, while my sister is a child social worker. When I told them: “I want to be an actor”, they immediately asked me: “And how do you do it?”. I’ve always been good at school: classical high school, high grades, I had also enrolled in university, four years for a course that combined economics and law, but I immediately understood that it wasn’t what I wanted».

Let’s go back to the apprenticeship and the auditions: how many “no”s have you received?
“Hundreds. In fact, the first thing you learn is waste management. Thank God I have never received a violent no, they never told me: “Change job!”. Which then doesn’t mean much, if we think that someone like Gary Oldman heard it. Luckily, I also had some good yeses (laughsed.)».

Like the one for Tiziano «Tio» Falcetti from the Netflix series Astrology guide for broken hearts.
“Before I played him – a star-reading guru – I knew little or nothing about astrology. Today when I talk to a person for the first time I happen to guess the zodiac sign. I’m very well prepared: I’m Libra ascendant Virgo with moon in Gemini”.

From Masculine singularPrime Video production in which your Thomas, your character, falls in love with Antonio/Giancarlo Commare, what memories do you have?
«We became friends with Giancarlo, we are originally from the same town in Sicily, near Selinunte. The film was then distributed around the world, including in Poland in the month in which the government was passing laws against homosexuals. Our photos, in which we kissed, were posted in the Warsaw metro as if they were some sort of poster.

This year Venice arrives in the midst of the American actors’ strike. What did you think?
“I have a deep admiration for the American union: it’s cohesive, and it’s the first time I’ve seen Hollywood go against Hollywood. The film industry, between platforms and artificial intelligence, is changing and there is someone who raises their hand and says: “This is not working”».

Is it difficult to do your job in Italy today?
«Yes, but I have many friends who do other jobs and nothing is easy anymore, no career is linear. It is right to have expectations and set goals, but it is necessary to take into account that it will be complicated and that luck is needed».

He doesn’t have a social profile, either on Instagram or elsewhere. Why this choice?
“I deleted them some time ago. I realized that they affected my ability to concentrate, I was spending time scrolling through something that basically didn’t interest me. Since I got rid of it I haven’t become a better person,
but certainly one who listens more».

Aren’t you afraid that this choice could somehow have consequences on your work?
«I wondered about it, but I see people much younger than me
and much smarter to do without it».

Give me an example.
“Paul Mescal, whom I love madly. He has never had a social profile and yet he remains Paul Mescal ».

When the president of the Mostra Alberto Barbera presented Slowly he described it as “a story of vengeance and redemption”. Do you believe more in the first or in the second?
«I don’t believe much in revenge, because it starts from a pain that one has felt and that one wants to inflict on someone else: pain is always a boomerang. I like redemption a little more, but not because I aspire to the kingdom of heaven: I appreciate the impulse to feel empathy towards oneself and towards others».

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Source: Vanity Fair

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