VALENTINA BELLÈ IN CONVERSATION WITH GUIA ORTOLANI
GO Hi Valentina, how are you? What were you doing before this interview?
VB Hi Guia, I’m good thanks! I just got back from the basketball court near my house, I’m not good at all eh, I’ve never played, but I like it and it relaxes me to go and shoot a little bit… In summer Milan it’s so good, and it’s easier to find free courts.
GO What made you decide to pursue an acting career? How do you feel when you play a character?
VB It all started with a theater class at school, and I think what made me fall in love was the feeling that on stage anything was possible: reality always bored me a bit, and theater, acting, give me the illusion that I can expand it. The concept of time itself is transformed, cancelled, it is something miraculous that everyone should experience at least once. Each character is a different journey… Every time I hope to “feel” and “hear” like them, and when it happens I surprise myself, I expand and capture everything about them: the desires, the hopes, the pains. Perhaps somewhere in the act of acting I feel immortal.
“I just finished a film that I loved deeply, La Vita Accanto, by director Marco Tullio Giordana, who for me is one of the last poets. I was very lucky to meet him and assist at his creative becoming.”
GO You have just been awarded with Nastro d’argento as Best Supporting Actress in The Good Mothers. The series tells a true story of three women united by courage. What has been the most courageous choice in your life so far?
VB I am so happy to have received this Award for a project that I really loved! The Good Mothers tells the stories of Lea Garofalo, Denise Cosco, Maria Concetta Cacciola and Giuseppina Pesce, and how they tried to emancipate themselves from the violent and strongly patriarchal reality of the calabrian ‘ndrangheta. Their Courage comes from a suffering that I could only sense; I believe it is closer to the survival instinct than to the heroic idea we associate with this word. As for me, I have to arm myself with Courage every time I start a project, appeasing the insecurity and the fear of not being able to serve the stories as they deserve. I need to be brave even when I drive for miles… As I’ve been afraid of highways since I risked a bad accident when I was eighteen. It also takes courage when I still have to choose and sometimes to give up jobs, while waiting for stories that I sincerely love, risking months of emptiness. I could go on… In life courage is needed even for the little things.
GO You have repeatedly shared that it is crucial for you to cut out moments of solitude. How do you handle, on the other hand, the adrenaline of the set?
VB I love solitude! I need it precisely to find my center again after the adrenaline of the set. I am tireless when I work, I have so much fun and would go for days without sleep, I forget about everything else.
“I wait for Matthieu Blazy’s collections with the same burning curiosity with which I wait for films by great directors; I think Bottega Veneta is raising the bar for the whole fashion world.”
GO What are the aspects of a film that make you think it is a good one?
VB The script is the first thing, in other cases it’s the director, other times the actors, but I realized that without a great script or a good director the whole journey is compromised. Then when the stars align for everyone…. Well, it is the most beautiful job in the world.
GO You look beautiful in Bottega Veneta’s latest collection, that you wore for this Cover Story! I guess your Venetian roots, being born and raised in Verona, naturally brought you closer to the brand…
VB What can I say about Bottega Veneta: every time I try on a piece I feel like I’m wearing not a dress but a work of art. I wait for Matthieu Blazy’s collections with the same burning curiosity with which I wait for films by great directors; I think Bottega Veneta is raising the bar for the whole fashion world. And yes, it pleases me that I share the same origins with the brand.
GO The first time I saw you on screen I was at home with my dad, we were watching Principe Libero, a film about the story of De Andrè. We were truly captured, involved by the very tender and deeply emotional relationship between Fabrizio De Andrè (Luca Marinelli) and Dori Ghezzi (Valentina Bellè). I found out that you and Luca are also great friends in real life and collaborate on various social causes.
VB How nice that you saw it with your dad! I am very fond of Principe Libero, it was the first big turning point of maturity in my profession, and the whole team was extraordinary, starting with Luca, a brilliant and generous actor. Yes, with him I am part of the non-profit organization Pen Paper Peace, founded by Alissa Young more than ten years ago, for the past few years we have been working together on the Buddy Project, whose purpose is to give free emotional and educational support to middle and high school children. Since Covid, along with the growth of economic poverty, there has been an increase in educational poverty with serious effects on learning and dropping out of school. Our desire is to ensure affordable help for everyone.
Read the full interview on Muse September Issue 62.