Interview with Gianfranco Gallo



Interview with Gianfranco Gallo (Actor)

How did you get involved in the project? How was the casting process? I had a meeting with another director, Giuseppe Gagliardi, for the SKY series entitled 1992. That occasion he asked me if I had been called for Mafia Millionaires, he knew the screenplay and was convinced that there was a role suitable for myself. I was then contacted by the casting to which Gagliardi had called and I auditioned for the role of Don Carmine, an audition that then saw the director Alessandro Piva who chose me.

How did you prepare for the role of Carmine? Did you contact real mafia bosses or criminals to get some insight on that life?
It was not the first time I played a Camorra boss. Usually I was preparing myself studying videos, collecting news, trying to get to know relatives who could tell me about those characters in their private life. For the role of Don Carmine was different, I knew who was he inspired on, but I had no videos to watch, nor many stories to listen to. So I started from his biography and he seemed to me an interesting character, from a Shakespearean tragedy, a king of evil that abdicates because of disappointment rather than winning it all. Disappointed by the same world he had created. A kind of voluntary exile, a character to be grasped in his silences more than in his actions, in the deep looks with which he questions his men, his affections, himself. That study also helped me a lot in the construction of Giuseppe Avitabile, the role I played in the Gomorrah series.

The film is quite violent at times, does that portray accurately the reality of the mafia in southern Italy?
Unfortunately, I think all the mafias are violent, the South American more violent than the Italian one, at least in style. But ours, until the time when the film stops, was a pyramidal structure, this made it unique and almost unquestionable.

In your opinion, what makes of Mafia Millionaires different from other movies about the Italian mafia?
Very often in Italy they make films on the mafia with a documentary approach, with actors often taken from the street, we pay in some way the neorealism of the past. Mafia Millionaires, instead, is an art film, thought and written for actors, also very important interpretations. It is something closer to Goodfellas than to Gomorra, so to speak, not in the means, of course, but in the intentions.

What did you find more challenging while filming the movie?
Being a character that spans decades of life, makeup has been one of the most stressful things. I think the make-up artist Puccio Desiato did a great job. Towards the end when I watch the film, I hardly recognize myself.

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