On the fringes of the press activities of Slow by Stefano Sollima, Pierfrancesco Favino sparked the first controversy of this Venezia 80, involving the giving of Italian roles to non-Italian actors. “The Guccis had a New Jersey accent, didn’t you know?” the actor joked House of Gucci by Ridley Scott, where Lady Gaga & C. played the role of Patrizia Reggiani and members of the Tuscan high fashion dynasty, amid stereotypes and heavy imitations of the cast’s Italian accent.
“There’s an issue of cultural appropriation, it’s not clear why, not me but actors of that level,” Favino said, referring to peers Slow Toni Servillo, Adriano Giannini and Valerio Mastandrea “are not involved in this type of films, which instead use foreign actors who are far removed from the actual protagonists of the stories, starting with the exotic accent.” If a Cuban can’t prepare a Mexican, why can an American prepare an Italian? Only from us. Ferrari at other times Gassman would have done it, today Driver does it and nobody says anything. It seems to me an attitude of contempt for the Italian system. If these are the general laws, then we also participate in them.”
And the response from Andrea Iervolino, CEO of ILBE Group and producer of the film, arrived on time Ferrari, underscoring the lack of a “made in Italy” star system: “In the last thirty years, Italian cinema has not created a globally recognizable star system as it did in Gassman’s day,” he commented, drawing the comparison with other European industries. “The other non-American countries, on the other hand, have followed a different, perhaps successful approach: Banderas, Bardem, Cruz, Cassel, Cotillard, Kinnam, Mikkelsen, Schoenaerts, Kruger are now international names.” In Italy, on the other hand, in order to promote Italian talent, you have to making international films, with a mix of foreign and local actors in the cast. Only in this way can Italian talent, of which there are so many and not all yet discovered, gain global visibility. Italian cinema must look beyond its own country and realize synergies with the international industry that wants to invest in Made in Italy icons. Films like Ferrari promote Italy and Italian genius in the world, giving prestige and visibility to our country’s true talents.”
And again: “To revitalize Italian cinema, we must make films with stories that speak to the whole world, with international stars who work side by side with our talents and our local workers.” To give just one example: In in our film Modigliani, directed by Johnny Depp, Riccardo Scamarcio will be one of the main protagonists, alongside Al Pacino and many others.”