INSTAGRAM, Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli and physics were all points of discussion as Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge spoke to fiercely talented Italian actor Denise Tantucci about her role in upcoming film Likemeback.
Q: Likemeback recently had its international premiere at Locarno. How have you enjoyed the festival and how has the film been received?
A: LOCARNO festival has a special atmosphere. I really enjoyed the people and I am always interested in learning more about the art of storytelling.
Likemeback received a warm welcome, even if some people did not fully understand the aim and message of our film.
Q: Can you tell us more about the story and what audiences can expect?
A: LIKEMEBACK tells the story of three girls who have just left high school and go on a trip together. It is a film about the passage from youth to adulthood and the difficulties that comes with this transition, this includes a look at the many ways we use and interact with social media.
My character Carla is the nerd of the group and has an obsessive relationship with her phone. Carla feels she needs it all the time to stay informed about what is happening around her.
Q: I have seen a fascinating clip from the film where the three friends talk about the psychology behind Instagram stories. What is your own views on Instagram and the current youth culture?
A: THAT scene was improvised by the way!
I think that Instagram is actually is the highest ranked social media at the moment, it has the strongest impact on the way we see and think about the world around us. Personally I’m not a fan of that because I feel a kind of alienation in all these things. I think that our culture is becoming more and more shallow because of it. We no longer have time to actually talk, search and learn.
Q: On Instagram, you described your character Carla as ‘Confident, charming, sometimes too rational.’ Can you tell us more about playing Carla and how you connected with her?
A: PLAYING Carla represented a challenge because if I share a part of her I have to consequently share part of me. The work that I did on Carla is composed of a lot of sleepless nights and music. I can assure you I thought through everything about Carla shot by shot.
Q: How did you bond with Blu Yoshimi and Angela Fontana throughout the shoot? What was the dynamic like between the three of you?
A: WE did a lot of rehearsals before shooting the movie, thanks to the director (Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli). We all started meeting up five months before the start of shooting to build connections and also to work on dialogue. This process helped us to create a natural rhythm between the three of us.
Nowadays, we are friends with a very special bond.
Q: Being on a yacht with an idyllic backdrop, I imagine this was an incredible shoot. What was it like? Were there any downsides?
A: SHOOTING on a boat in a setting as great as this was amazing. We were transported by that beauty.
The biggest challenge of shooting was the extreme heat. We filmed between July and August, so we needed to be careful about our exposure to the sun – especially in the critical hours (1pm).
Q: This is Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli’s second film to be set on a yacht. What was Leonardo like to work with? How does he interact with the actors?
A: Leonardo is a beautiful person and I really like working with him. He loves his work. He brings a passion and humility to the process of constructing and shooting a movie. His work from the beginning to the end of the day is the fantastic evidence of his incredible, vast vision.
Q: To be working with a director like Seràgnoli already shows your standing as an actor. What ambitions do you have as an actor? Do you aspire to work with any one in particular?
A: AS an actor, I would like to continue the process I started with Likemeback of discovering parts of my own personality through my work. It is not something you can only do in one project, rather it is a long process and I like to do it feeling and listening to my instinct through all of professional and life experience.
It would be a dream to work with Luca Guadagnino. I love his way of shooting and storytelling.
Q: Away from the camera, what are you passionate about?
A: I AM a physics student. In fact physics, with all its mysteries, has always fascinated me through all my life. I feel that physics (in particular the particle field) gives me a lot, especially in terms of focusing and feeling. I know that it sounds weird, but I can assure that it’s a very artistic subject.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
A: IN October I’ll be part in a very dark movie about a family with a very intriguing character. I can not say anything else yet…
A special thank you to agent Roberto Baruch Almagià for this interview.