The Chimera: meeting with Josh O’Connor, Isabella Rossellini and the remaining circus family from Alice Rohrwacher’s film

The actors of Alice Rohrwacher’s film The Chimera form a cheerful and happy community to have spent time together. They too arrived at Cannes, happy to support the director in the competition.

Speaking of his poetry, Alice Rohrwacher he explained that his films are also a way to reach the things in life that keep eluding us. More than having a meaning in themselves, for her things acquire meaning when they have a link, a relationship between them, often in a game of opposites: high/low, past/present, visible/invisible, local/foreign. When she tells a story and therefore moves between an element and its opposite, Alice he pays great attention to the choice of his travel companions, preferring little-known or lesser-known faces to stars. Then there’s always his sister Albache ne La Chimera plays a small but vital role. Instead, the protagonist is Josh O’ConnorEnglish actor who starred in The Crown. Finally there are the Brazilian Carole Duarte e Vincent Nemolatowhich we enjoyed in Everything asks for salvation. On closer inspection, however, in the third Italian film in competition at the 76th Cannes Film Festival there is an icon, and not just a cinematographic one. AND Isabella Rosellini.

He cast from La Chimera accompanies Alice Rohrwacher in Cannes. Next to her, in the Salone Marta of the Italian Pavilion, he is seated Josh O’Connorwho learned Italian during filming and who explains that his “chimera” is his own Alice. His foray into the existence of grave robbers was sensational, as he himself recounts: “It was certainly an adventure with Alice, who managed to create a group of people that almost formed a circus family. We spent several months all together and it was a very special occasion, definitely my most unique cinematic experience, the most unique of my entire career. La Chimera it is a film that I love very much and of which I am particularly proud. It gave me the opportunity to work with amazing actors.”

Josh O’Connor plays a young English archaeologist who loves the artifacts that grave robbers steal and tries to get in touch with his great Italian love, a girl who is no longer there. Josh in reality he is not an archeology expert, but his grandmother is a ceramist and therefore he felt at home despite coming from another country. Someone asked him if he was sorry to abandon the character of Arthurand he replies thus: “I consider this film a real gift. I wanted it to never end precisely because of the sensitivity of my character. Every time I leave a character, the moment of farewell is accompanied by a regret, a pain, a because you don’t just leave behind the character, but the experience of the set in its entirety Aliceit was a particularly deep pain, because I don’t know how many more times she will be able to imagine an English character that she could call me back to work with her”.

The other foreign de La Chimera And Carol Duarte. Alice Rohrwacher needed, in the film, another “run away from home” (besides eg Arthur) and chose the actress after a pleasant conversation on Skype. In a slightly shaky Italian la Duarte expresses her joy for such a fruitful collaboration: “It was wonderful. I am very happy to be here with all these people who I find fantastic. For me, as a Brazilian and I went to Italy to make this film, everything was magical, starting from work with Isabella, Josh and the grave robbers. It was a dream come true.”

Enthusiastic about the way Alice Rohrwacher directs the actors and the atmosphere on the set is also Vincent Nemolato: “It was so much fun and beautiful to shoot La Chimera. It’s definitely a fabulous way to work, also because it was brand new for me. We had to rely on instinct to try to forget that part of the actor that is seriously harmful to health. It was the cinema that I have always been looking for, in which the human being is at the centre”.

Every time we observe Isabella Rosselliniwe are enchanted by her grace, her elegance, the irony that characterizes her and her kindness. Alice she wanted it from the first moment and when, one day, in a pile of magazines brought to the set she found one with a photo of the practically newborn actress on the cover with her sister, she realized the humility and simplicity of a woman who has gone through the cinema of many countries, working with great directors.

“I’ve done a film before with Alba” – explains the Rossellini. “Era The solitude of prime numbers. We made friends and he introduced me to her sister, I have seen all their films and I was mesmerized by the talent of Alice, so I’m so glad you called me. The set was beautiful, I remember that Alice she had to go away by car, otherwise the dog would follow her. Neither La Chimera feels the life of AliceOf Alba, of how they grew up, of their beekeeper father. I love their knowledge of peasant life, of agricultural life, which was a life that was forgotten and even a little put aside, and which is now being brought to the surface by our film.

If the chimera of Rossellini is to work more and meet other artists, that of Alba Rohrwacher almost moves. “My chimera” – says the actress – is trying to be Josh, Alice, Carol, Isabella, Vincenzoand the never really grasped constant effort to stay here”.

Alba closes the meeting with the actors and is keen to talk about the happiness of returning to work with his little sister: “As he says Josh, my sister was able to start a circus family. I was born into this family and therefore I have the privilege of being able to combine my professional choice and the passion of my life with my roots, with my origin, which is Alice”.

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