What was it like to work with Henry Cavill on The Man from UNCLE? Any set stories?
Oh, yes I can talk about Henry! What a surprise! Henry Cavill is handsome and charming. He is a real gentleman with everyone. He is very laid back, has a dry sense of humor and he is very generous. As you can imagine, on set he always had a group of women around him, like a cloud, and I am talking about women of different ages and social backgrounds, and I have seen him constantly smiling and engaging in exciting conversations with all of them, neglecting no one.
I would have gone crazy! He really is “Superman”. Plus, did I ever tell you that I am not very fond of Italian men? Of course you can’t generalize but many of them are too narcissistic and too fond of their mamas. So, I prefer British men (they have a great sense of humor and style), French or Americans.
Your character in The Man from UNCLE is listed as the "Countess" on IMDb. What can you tell us about her?
I can’t really talk much about The Man from U.N.CL.E. for the time being, so I will just tell you that I am a glamorous Italian Countess in the film, and that I loved working with such a great director as Guy Ritchie.
You were in 2012’s To Rome With Love (with UNCLE villain Luca Calvani!). Tell us a bit about that experience.
In the movie I play Aunt Joan, a member of the Roman high society, who goes to meet her nephew and his newlywed wife, only to be caught up in a series of unpleasant surprises (Penelope Cruz, a hooker who pretends to be my nephew’s wife) and misunderstandings. I prepared my character by hanging out with some friends of mine who belong to the Roman or Florentine nobility, and tracing their gestures, their postures, the haughtiness of their looks. This inspired me very much and gave me a lot of ideas for my character. The atmosphere on set was great, Penelope in that period was breast-feeding her baby, and she was eating all the time. In every moment she had trays filled with pizza delivered to her caravan, or even on set, and she was constantly eating between takes! I do not know how she managed to maintain that fantastic figure she has in the movie!
You attended a prestigious red carpet at the Rome International Film Festival and were in the cast of 2013’s Romeo and Juliet starring Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Hailee Steinfeld, Ed Westwick. What can you tell us about your character and the shooting?
I have recently realized that I no longer am of the age to play Juliet (a character that I have really never longed to play, ‘cause I much rather prefer clumsy or neurotic characters, hopeless female heroes, lunatics...), so this film came to me as a wonderful surprise. The director, Carlo Carlei, along with the screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Academy Award winner for Gosford Park) wanted to enrich this Shakespeare’s tragedy with a few supporting characters, in order to quench the aura of ineluctability surrounding the story. In fact, I play a noble woman friend of Lady Capulet, who makes subtle yet provocative jokes to the handsome Count Paris during the masquerade ball scenes, and who then remains close to Lady Capulet during Juliet’s death and funeral. I remember working in Mantua (in the north of Italy) in February and getting up at 5 a.m. while it was snowing, and I remember the cold I felt squeezed in those light and accurate period costumes... However the images of the film are stunning, lit by a great cinematographer like David Tattersall (Star Wars). It was great working with people like Carlo Carlei, Julian Fellowes, Damian Lewis or Paul Giamatti, who during the funeral scene’s shooting breaks was constantly telling jokes to me and to Kodi Smit-McPhee (who plays Benvolio), only to regain in a few seconds his convincing mourning behavior… it was fun!
What's next for you?
I am thinking about robbing a big bank, maybe in Europe… do not spread the rumor, please!