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Foreign actors are incredibly popular in Russian cinema. Public remembers them very quickly due to their unusual roles, special talents, unique accent, and foreign charisma. One of these actors is Italian Marco Dinelli, who has already taken part in many well-known projects.
In an interview, Marco told VLVmag about his childhood, numerous shootings, working with famous actors, traveling, favorite dishes, creative dreams, Italy and plans for the future. A large and diverse, interesting and informative interview is already waiting for you!
- Marco, tell us about your childhood. Where was it? Did you have hobbies, dreams or idols? Share your memories of the brightest moments of your childhood.
- My childhood was in Italy. Where I lived, there was no sea, but we went to it every year with mom and dad. There were always few people there, because we were heading south in September, but it was still warm.
I also liked to do different tricks in my childhood, like an illusionist, and show them to my relatives. They watched even when tricks did not evoke strong delight. As a child, I always wrote down in notebooks what I had to do, made out plans for my future projects ... I had a fierce desire to know everything and understand everything. I had such thirst for knowledge.
Marco's childhood passed in Italy, photo © dinelli
- When did you realize that you want to become an actor? Tell us about your first role. What was the name of project, who did you play, how long was the shooting? What experience have you gained during this time?
- I met with this world through advertising. I was called to the casting, I did not pass it, but left my contacts. Then after a while, they called me again, and then everything turned out.
Through the same contacts, people found me in order to call me to a large project called “Viy 2. Mystery of the Dragon Seal”. It conquered me! We spent almost three days in the room where we filmed, and during that time, a whole life has passed. I made friends with the actors, we ate together, drank, danced ... I was wearing a wig that tortured me terribly, but I walked like that for many hours because I wasn’t allowed to take it off ... but it was fun.
This life greatly impressed me, and my desire to act has intensified. This was my first small role. It did not even have a text. However, the atmosphere there was special - some kind of parallel reality in which I found myself.
It was a very interesting experience, even from a human point of view. Then they called me to another project, where they offered a more voluminous role: there were cues; the character was recognizable, with a certain name. We are talking about the series "Hotel" Russia. This experience was also interesting, and I will tell you more about it.
I passed various master classes and trainings, especially regarding stage speech, for quite a long time I talked with coach Anton Lande, who prepares actors for cinema and theater. Acting is an endless education. You can get some basic knowledge, but then it is important to be able to put it into practice - on the stage or on the stage. I now realize that the work of an actor is a permanent training.
My education lasts every day. I do not cease to do this, because it is impossible otherwise. As my agent says: "We must always be in good shape, produce fresh material, and be ready for new projects". We all try to work that way. This is the only way to a quality result that brings pleasure to both the viewer and us.
Acting is an endless education, photo © dinelli
- “Eleon Hotel”, “Devil Hunt”, “Billion” - an incomplete list of popular films in which you starred. What shootings did you remember the most? With which famous actors did you work?
- I remember all the shooting, because every time is a separate case, different space in atmosphere and geography. I filmed both in Russia and in Europe ... My memories of all the shooting are still very vivid. Every time I gained experience, plunged into the atmosphere, because all the memories are very warm.
The first shock was when I was called to the project “The Devil Hunt” and it turned out that I had to play the stage with Sergei Bezrukov himself. However, I was still not a very experienced film actor, and I played in the theater then, but cinema is quite another. I have the feeling that it is necessary to act regularly to not lose your skills. They are not forever; they need constant practice and training. The training there was tough. For three nights in a row, we filmed, weren't asleep, we were tired, and here I also had this scene with Bezrukov ... None of the actors dared to approach him, and I’m a foreigner - they will forgive me if I naively go and just talk to a famous actor. Moreover, we talked. About the theater, about Vysotsky, whom he played...
However, the most interesting was the moment when we were shooting for the third night, there was no longer any strength, and I had to pronounce a complex text (at least I perceived it that way). In the end, I could not utter a word. Moreover, when there was another double, I started to panic. I realized that I could not cope in this mode and with such psychological fatigue. It was very difficult to keep everything in my head, I said: “I can’t do it!”... And Bezrukov calmed me: “Do not worry, go on”. It was such a lesson! He is very calm and confidence. After that, I realized that I needed to learn in order to control myself even in the toughest conditions.
Then I had scenes with Danila Dunaev. He is an interesting actor and I rehearsed with him. Danila very professionally approached one very small stage where was Italian talk, and asked for advice. Then we began to communicate on philosophical themes, literary and life ... He is a very interesting person, and this is an infrequent phenomenon. On the set, in general, there was no time to talk, everyone was busy with themselves ... We continued to communicate, because such people are few.
The last memory is about Vladimir Mashkov, with whom I starred in the film “Billion” directed by Roman Prygunov. There I also had small scenes with him, but I remember what is not concerning me directly, - how he kept himself on the set. It was in France, in Marseille. The sun sets, it takes a little time, we need to have time to shoot. Everybody is running around the playground like crazy to end this scene.
There were many technical issues, a lot of tension around - in the cinema this is normal. However, if you are preparing for the scene, you must be ready to handle what is happening around. Actor must be able not to shut down, not to ignore and be a part of it. What happens at the set is not a hindrance, but on the contrary, this is the material with which the actor works. Part of the game. I saw how Mashkov copes with it. He perfectly fit into this crazy space, energetically charged fun and tense. He rehearsed, lived his role right here and now, and it does not matter when he will be shooted - he is always ready. I had the opportunity to watch him, and it was inspiring.
Scene from the Film “The Hunt for the Devil”, photo WEB
- What was the most difficult role for you and why?
- The most difficult role was in the project “Golden”, where I had to play the Italian. Of course, I am Italian, and I played an Italian in the Hotel Russia, but in all other cases, I just played a foreigner. An Englishman, an American, a Frenchman - this is not important, because these are variations on the theme where I speak Russian, but with a foreign accent, which cannot be unambiguously attributed to a certain nation. This is both a minus and a plus. I still can not play the role of a Russian character, but I can play a foreigner. In addition, here I have to become an Italian, but one who does not look like me.
The hitch was that Dmitry Koryavov, the director of the film, saw this character in his own way. Moreover, we argued with him about how to make character alive, but at the same time organic with me. It was a very serious, difficult job, but we must pay tribute to the director. For him, an actor is not just a screw in a mechanism, but a living material.
- Share with funny stories from the set.
- Very funny stories were in Venice when we filmed “Golden”. Italian fun apparently influenced. I had to play a scene where a non-drinker character suddenly decided to drink, and so that the receptors turned on, I wanted to smell the alcohol. We went for a little drunk and the scene went very fun. Just a little bit was enough to feel the right atmosphere.
Shooting of the film “Golden”, фото © kinopoisk.ru
- Now the best role of Marco Dinelli is ... Why this one?
- It's hard to say which role is the best. Let the audience decide this. What the actor thinks when he plays or studies the role is one thing. In addition, the perception of the camera is different. The camera reacts very subtly to our organic. The actor’s view of his own work is very subjective. However, in my opinion, the role that was very organic and voluminous, allowed me to be close to myself - this is the role in the series for the First Channel "I am alive". They hasn't come out yet. I have a big villain role in it. The actor should try to make the character attractive, even when he is not a positive hero, and at the same time maintain the composure and determination that the character needs ... This is a big challenge. When we see the result, we will decide everything together, whether I succeed or not.
- What cuisine do you prefer? Do you cook yourself? What dish of Italian cuisine, in your opinion, should everyone try?
- Every Italian absorbed the ability to cook with mother's milk. Good or bad is a different matter. However, everyone has some basic elements of the cousine, because we see how mother cooks, and if we are lucky, even how grandmother does it. Culinary traditions are transmitted within the family. When I found myself at the university alone, this skill turned out to be very useful. In addition, I made dignity out of necessity, because I had to learn how to cook.
I advise not to try dishes in Italy, but products. Italian cuisine is very simple, and it is based on a harmonious combination of high-quality and fresh ingredients. If we are, of course, talking about everyday cuisine, not about Michelin. I advise you to try real buffalo mozzarella in the south of Italy. There the animals eat the grass that they should eat, and they give the right milk. Moreover, there is a technology, that has been around for a very long time. I remember when my parents and I went to the south; we always stopped by these dairy plants, where you could buy fresh mozzarella, still warm, in milk. Parents immediately gave me just a small piece. It melted in my mouth; splashed with milk ... It is definitely necessary to try. This applies to all products - try them where they are made or where they grow.
Scene from the series “I am alive”, photo WEB
- Is the life in Italy fundamentally different from life in Russia? Where do you like to be and why?
- Regarding Russia - Italy ... I answer this eternal question for 20 years. In principle, people like me, who were born in one country, then moved to another and return home from time to time, always live in two spaces. Suffer in some sort of split personality.
Naturally, there are many positive moments in both countries. In my case, one complements the other. Russia lacks warmth. This I find in Italy. And on the contrary, a certain rigidity (in a good sense), a more decisive and difficult life position, a certain school of upbringing and survival, a formative personality that makes it stronger, more experienced - this I don’t find in Italy, where everything is softer in relations. This is what I find here. It is my choice.
- Your favorite places in your homeland are ...
- This is the sea, naturally. I love the sea, more than the mountains. And cities ... when it comes to small, interesting cities, where you can find, for example, some kind of fresco from the Middle Ages. In addition, not in the museum, but in the church itself, where the artist wrote it. Some kind of organicity in art is everywhere in Italy. Even now, there are many places which I know, but where I haven’t been yet. Each time a new route brings new discoveries - objects, landscapes and even languages. There are many dialects in Italy, many different dishes - the cousine changes every 100 kilometers. I love Rome, Florence; I love the south of Italy. Nevertheless, the pleasure is to find something new every time, discover new places, types, and atmosphere, feel some kind of cultural impulses, vibrations that exist in different places and live parallel to each other. Italy is a small country, but so multifaceted that there is always something previously unknown in it.
Marco in Italy, photo © dinelli
- The creative dream that Marco Dinelli plans to realize in the near future is ...
- Now there is a one-man show, there the actress Anastasia Skibunova plays with me. We conceived it together with the director Arman Khachatryan. My acquaintance with him took place a few years ago in the play “The Inspector General”, Gogol. He is a terrific actor and director. We became friends, began to talk about everything, and he suggested that I choose a text that would be interesting as a one-man show.
There was a thought that it could be connected with Italy or at least with Europe. The first I came up with was Luigi Pirandello's “Trap”. I read it at the tender age of 16–17 years old, and it struck me very much. Then I forgot about it ... But the texts, which were very impressive, eventually float to the surface of consciousness. I showed to Khachatryan a short story, he really liked it, touched by its depth. It was published in 1912, but it is very relevant because it raises issues related to human life, with general philosophical problems.
Marco Dinelli and Anastasia Skibunova, photo © Anna Komyagina
We started rehearsing. Of course, in Russian, because initially the performance was conceived for the Russian public. We rehearsed for a long time because we were in no hurry. Arman is a very sensitive director, who respects the author, so the work connected with the study of the text, with the penetration, with the understanding of it, was very long. Then the rehearsal part began. At some point, we introduced a female figure, and then a wonderful actress Anastasia Skibunova appeared, who joined us in this process. The performance mutated during rehearsal work, became different, and, as a living organism, began to live its own life. We have been playing it for some time at various venues ... We have expanded this chamber and dramatic performance to the space of the house-museum of Burganov. We played it in the fresh air, where the stage scene has changed and it was difficult to play. Especially when, on the project “Night of Museums”, about 400 people gathered in this courtyard. The performance is immersive, so it was not easy to work with so many spectators. I invite everyone to come see our production and comment on this. This is a very unusual performance!
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