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Margherita Buy director of Volare. The interview

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Margherita Buy director of Volare.  The interview

Volare, the title of first film as director of Margherita Buy, says a lot, but it doesn’t say everything. He says of theaviophobia of the author, certainly not inclined to sing “happy to be up there”, takes the viewer into never frequented areas of Fiumicino airport (where the courses for the anxious are held)gives two shots of the ugly statue of Leonardo da Vinci (the author was the sculptor of Bulgarian origin Assen Peikov) which welcomes the traveler who goes to the airport of the same name.

However, he doesn’t say about a very tasty part of the film, the one that tells the story of the world that Margherita Buy has inhabited for three decades, Italian cinema, and Roman cinema in particular.

Because the protagonist of Volare (in theaters from February 22nd)Anna B., played by Margherita herself, is an actress, a little different from her (she works in a successful series in which she plays a graduate of the Guardia di Finanza, and if she has to go up in a helicopter she calls a stunt person) , but who – like her – works with figures very similar to those she surrounded herself with in the screenplay.

Margherita Buy and that fear of Fly

First works often tell of what you know well, and in fact you have made a film (also) about cinema. The role of her sidekick was given to her agent, played by Anna Bonaiuto. Once figures who worked in the shadows, drew up contracts, agents are now thanked in the actors’ official speeches. And a cry of alarm came from America: the excessive power of the agents must be limited!
My agent in the film is a funny figure, at least that’s how I wanted to tell it, even if it’s clear that she tries to force me to do or not do certain things. It’s true, agents intervene a lot in our careers, in their opinion for your good, but often for theirs too. The border is thin. And it is true that they become life companions, for better or for worse they are confidants, they tolerate moments of stress, frustration, they are also a bit of a psychologist. There are those who prefer relationships to be more familiar and those who instead rely on lawyers who are more detached people. Luckily, I get along well with my agent, the real one, with whom I have had a thirty-year relationship, even if sometimes… And I made her understand it a little with this film (laughs). But she was a big fan of Volare, she was often on set, she supported me, she had fun and it must be said that for an actors’ agent it is not convenient for the client to become a director. More time is wasted.

Margherita Buy in Volare.

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A film without stress, without anxiety

And you earn less…
Well this movie took me five years. An unprofitable choice. But I wanted to talk about an agent that isn’t mine, also to talk about this excessive power that the Americans talk about. When they make “packages”, “I’ll give you this, but you have to take this too”or when they say: “now I’ll convince them”, they make big strategies with producers that you never know anything about.

It shouldn’t be nice to find out that they took you because you were in the “package” of Alessandro Preziosi or Terence Hill…
Maybe it happened to me, but I don’t know. I just wanted to laugh about it.

Entering the hell of directing a film with all the responsibilities that entails will not have been a walk in the park. Since she seems like the type who avoids anxiety-provoking situations if she can, she could have stayed calm in the dressing room waiting for the call for the scene.
But my job doesn’t make me anxious. I really like it, it makes me feel good when I feel that I’m in a project that’s right for me. Telling this story then moved me a lot, I was always excited when I went to set, when I was with the actors, to study the scenes. It didn’t give me stress, I was happy to accomplish something I had been on for a long time.

Maybe it also says how personal this film is. In the past they had given her the label of “neurotic actress of Italian cinema”. And she even got a little angry. She has now decided to expose her fragilities in a healing way.
Probably yes, maybe staging something that doesn’t directly concern me – because Anna B. isn’t exactly me – it did me good. But the greatest pleasure it gave me was to bring my way of thinking, joking and speaking into my writing. All the characters in the film come closer to who I really am, and how I see life. Which is not that of a neurotic person walking on a road full of nails and pins. It was nice to let myself be known a little through the characters that I created for once, after so many alter egos that others have created for me.

Elena Sofia Ricci in Volare. Giuseppe Piccioni is the hair stylist in the background.

It is the dark side of the coin of a life spent offering itself to the gaze of others. However, there are many true things in the film, which you often told. For example, that her career was limited by the fear of flying…
Look, I didn’t make a big deal out of it…

In Fly there is also an insufferable critic

Of course, he then had an incredible career in his homeland. But he had done a couple of things in France. A film with Nicole Garcia, another with Nae Caranfil… How was that small fraction abroad?
I think I’m a slow person to make big changes. I need time. I was happy to be outside, but on that occasion I had moments of fragility. It’s part of my character, to feel good I have to feel protected. And that wasn’t my world. So I preferred not to put myself back into certain situations anymore, I like staying at home more (laughs).

In the film there are stones that are thrown away – an unbearable film critic – but also affectionate choices, such as giving it to Giuseppe Piccioni, who is a friend and who directed her in many unforgettable films (Ask for the Moon, The Marriage Condemned, Hearts broke, Out of this world), the role of her hairdresser.
He was very worried, Giuseppe! He wanted to check the footage: “Show me how I did.” Even though I never ask him to review what I’ve done. Giuseppe is not an easy director, he is very demanding. He presents himself as a nice, affable person and he is in life, but in his work he is very tough… So I told him: “Now it’s your turn.” And I put it under.

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And who inspires the critic?
Well, when the male critics met again at the screening of the film, they weren’t exactly happy… But to that critic in particular I wanted to give a fragility that redeems him, is also tender, is contemptuous towards the popular actress, who he’s on TV, but he’s also frustrated: in short, I used clichés about some figures we know well.

Margherita Buy, a celebrity at the market

Her character as a popular actress shares with her the torture of always being recognized. Is being a celebrity a bother? Always having someone come up to her, perhaps at the least suitable moments, to say: “Well done, I saw you, you know, in that film…”
These aren’t annoying things. In fact, I like it when someone recognizes the work, it’s good for my soul, it’s never been a problem. Like Anna B., I too go shopping at the market and while I buy oranges and artichokes, the seller tells me: «But I don’t understand Moretti when he does…». The market is a place where you find humanity, conviviality, that very special moment that I really like, where people love each other, give each other advice on what to buy and how to cook.

VOLARE is a Kavac Film, Maremosso, IBC Movie, Tenderstories production with Rai Cinema, in collaboration with ITA Airways distributed by FANDANGO.

Was having your daughter Caterina on set also part of the affectionate circle created by the film?

Margherita Buy photographed by Luisa Carcavale. Styling: Valeria Papa. Makeup: Irene Legramandi. Hair: Stefano Venzi. Total Dior look.

The decision was immediate, “who better than her can be my daughter, can she look at me with that slightly severe look?” I told myself. But then I asked myself: «Will she take me seriously? Will you recognize the authority in me? It took a while, but it worked, it was very nice to work with her and every time I see her on screen I get emotional. Already mother-daughter relationships aren’t exactly simple for anyone, then we put ourselves in an even more complicated situation: she who is eager to be herself and surpass her mother, which is a natural thing, while there she was forced to deal with a situation in which I was the supreme authority. There was a moment when I got a fever of 100 and the assistant director had to finish a scene. Then I said to her, “Go with him,” I handed her over. But we had a good time, and I’m happy that one of her first experiences was with me, she had only done Vita da Carlo with Verdone.

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Is there really a rivalry between the actresses you stage (Elena Sofia Ricci took the part from you in a film by a South Korean director)? And in this moment in which you are a small handful, do you, Cortellesi, Ramazzotti, pass to the other side of the camera, do you instead feel a solidarity of category, a common cause?

I’m more terrified than envious, Paola has created a crazy precedent with her film. But I don’t make it a gender issue. I was also overwhelmed by Matteo Garrone’s skill and I find his idea of ​​staging a story like that of I Captain so incredibly right. But the best thing is that people are returning to the cinema.

The support of Nanni Moretti

Isn’t cinema dead, as people periodically say?
No, he’s half dead.

In the film the producer is not seen, but she has an important one in reality, Marco Bellocchio…
Marco was one of the film’s biggest fans. He gave me a lot of advice, he was a good producer. I never expected to be able to make a film with him. I didn’t know him, but I wanted to work with him for a long time. And finally we did that wonderful thing that is External night (Buy was Eleonora Moro, ed.) and then joining a project so far from him, who doesn’t do comedies, was a real gift.

And Nanni Moretti?
He supported me a lot. She read the script, told me “you have to do it”, came to the set…

Didn’t he make quick interventions like in Il Sol dell’Avvenire where he occupied a set for an entire night because he was annoyed by what was being staged?
No, it was very respectful. He encouraged me. «The scene was very nice, well done. Oh well, maybe, good no…”.

The stage photos are by Anna Camerlingo


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