by Fica Bălăncan & Ioan Dăescu
There is a lot of acting in modeling and you took things further planning to become a full time actress. The bags you design have a little piece of cinematography in them – it seems that you love cinema very much, because we see it in small details everywhere we look around you.
My relationship with the cinema began quite late. The first movie I saw was when I was 16 years old. As I began traveling and working in modeling, I began to discover the cinemas of the countries I visited. Of all, the Italians are the closest to my heart – Fellini, Vittorio De Sica and Pasolini. It was a time when I continuously watched over and over again three movies by Fellini starring Giulleta Masima – La Strada, Cabiria’s Nights and Giuleta and the Spirits. It rouse in me some very powerful feelings that haunted me for days and made me relentlessly dream at night of Giulleta.
This year we`ll be able to see you in “Tale of Tales”, a movie directed by Matteo Garrone. How was it to work with such great actors as Vincent Cassel?
Vincent Cassel is an exquisite professional. Everyone on the set loved him for his openness and willingness, precisely because he always found time to speak to as many fellow actors as possible, as his equals, whether it was the machine operators, or the director. He loved to spend a lot of time with the team, he didn’t retreat to his trailer but had lunch with everyone.
The movie was a huge challenge for me, because I’ve had to do an erotic scene. I wasn`t afraid of it at all when I read the script, but after we did it I fully understood the fright and discomfort actresses experience in such scenes. In Tale of Tales, there is a scene where the fire of passion bursts between two courtesans – one of which is played by me, and the king of Strongcliff – played by Vincent Casell. We`re all in a carriage, on the way to a funeral. The director, Matteo Garrone, gave us free hand with our interpretation and Vincent Cassel was the one who guided us and kept the scene under control. He instilled the confidence and comfort one needs to finalize the scene, as natural as possible. As an actress, you never know if you’re uninhibited enough until you play an erotic scene in a movie or a play.
You were a ravishing presence on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Were you there to present this film?
I was present at the official projection of the movie, but the reason I came to Cannes was to promote a project very dear to me, the short film L’erorre, directed by Brando De Sica, the nephew of the great director Vittorio de Sica. The movie is a drama with a large dose of suspense, produced by Catherinelle. It is filmed in Rome with Romanian actors and it is spoken in Romanian. The action takes place in the `60s-`70s, it is partly filmed in color, and I play the main role. It’s a story about a 10 year old girl who is forced to flee her home village due to poor living conditions and to continuous bickering between her mother and father. She then arrives in the West where she becomes a famous actress and, after many years, she returns home, shy, but well intended. I won’t tell the whole story of the movie, I will leave you to discover it yourself, on the Internet with a simple search, L’errore Brando de Sica. In addition to being a very brave artistic project, I intended the movie to be also a way of promoting my bags. When returning to her home village the main female character wears a Catherinelle bag that awakens her parents’ interest.
I was extremely happy to find out that the movie was selected to be screened at Cannes Festival within a segment of screenings dedicated to Italian films presented by RAI Cinema. The film was bought by RAI 1, who decided to project it at Cannes within this program. I am quite happy with this achievement and especially with the positive feedback of the people in the industry.
You plan to open a cinema in Rome. What was the impetus for this project and what do you want from it? What types of movies will be screened in this cinema?
In Italy there are increasingly fewer independent neighbourhood cinema halls. Movies are consumed at the mall. Along with my fiancé, Massimiliano, we will reopen a former cinema hall, Carravagio, which we will completely redesign from scratch. Our inspiration is the famous and luxurious Electric Cinema in London, with its huge armchairs and leather sofas. The cinema was rented for 20 years, it will have 200 seats and it will project especially copyrighted films that stir up the festivals’ world. Obviously, we will also project Romanian films.
In your latest series of paintings the keyhole was a central element. What have you sought to convey through these paintings?
When I began to work on these paintings, I was very interested in the theme of voyeurism. Who hasn`t looked, as a child, through the keyhole of their parents’ room? Who wasn`t curious to see what they did in their privacy, when all they said was “Don`t bother us”? I have created nine canvases with nine keyholes through which the viewer captures nine stories. I started from voyeurism in order to achieve discussion topics that were debated at that time in the Italian society. For example, I caught the pharmaceutical scandal using the focus on two hands holding two medical records and I rendered the accusations of pedophilia, faced by the members of the Catholic Church, using the silhouette of a little girl that is guided by the hand of a priest. The collection is called “Decipher” and it was featured in an exhibition dedicated to Italian culture, at the Princesse Grace Theater, in Monte Carlo. The collection was highly appreciated by critics.
At the end of this interview, we would love it if you`d let your imagination go wild and tell us – If you would have been born in the middle of the last century, who would have been your friends and why?
I would have liked to meet and spend some quality time with Marlon Brando – the man that could cast his spell on me and make me listen to him forever, recounting amazing past experiences in the film industry; with Clark Gable, that handsome devil, I would have gone dancing and with Sophia Loren I would have shared the latest gossip in the industry.
You can read the inteview in Cockaigne Magazine #6. Unique signed Polaroids are still available.