Anna Mazzamauro: «Village called me” toilet “on TV. But before she died she told me: How beautiful you are “

“Miss Silvani” tells herself. Fantozzi’s intelligent cruelty, her rivalry with Pina, her laughter with Filini. And then real life, with a man who deceived (and robbed) her

Anna Mazzamauro lives in Rome. We speak by phone. Late morning.

Anna, good morning.

«Good morning to you, awakening is always tragic for me. I do everything at night, except love because I am alone ».

Have you been alone for a long time?

“The man I loved was close to me for twenty-five years, then he couldn’t take it anymore: he died.”

Is it so difficult to be close to Anna Mazzamauro?

«I don’t tell her. If I don’t go up on stage, I’m nothing, I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what to do. I am 83 years old and I have already told my daughter that for my coffin they will have to use the wooden boards of the stage ».

In fact, she is still working, on tour with a show inspired by “her” Miss Silvani, the woman loved by Fantozzi and perhaps one of the most transversally popular characters in Italian culture.

“But do you know that I had done the audition to play Pina?”

But no.

«I knew Luciano Salce, the director. They were looking for a very ugly woman and he remembered me. The problem was that I didn’t know they were looking for a cesspool, indeed, a “beautiful atypical”, as I say, and so I showed up all dressed up, with a bonnet of curly hair, heels and a tight red dress. Salce looked at me puzzled and said “Anna, I remembered you more ugly”. I was about to lose the part when Paolo (Village, ed) approached and whispered to the director: “No, we need a woman who makes Fantozzi fall in love. This one is full of defects but she wears them on her heels “. And so my life changed forever ».

“Signorina Silvani” was born, with no first name. She is not beautiful but smart, lonely and desperate, that she says yes to every man she meets. Because?

«You said well, ‘lonely and desperate’. I wanted to create a prototype of a woman who hid a great misery behind the continuous stories of sex she was looking for. When she is elected Miss Fourth Floor of the Megaditta it is because she has actually given herself to all the men on the first, second and third floors. But this is not enough to fill that loneliness. Even when they marry her to Calboni, poor Miss Silvani always remains for me, who has to pretend to be pregnant with Fantozzi, in short. A tragic character who, however, made entire generations laugh ».

And then there was the office: the figure of the clerk was born, company flirtations, desk friendships.

“I was copying everything from my mother, who was an employee at the Ministry of Finance. The silk blouse under the sweater, the high-heeled shoes tucked into the bag and the comfortable ones for going on the tram. A type of woman who transforms herself when needed, who knows how to do metamorphosis well. And so Miss Silvani was holy and demonic according to the situation. The little hearts, the cheap necklaces, the spit in the blush: those were my inventions because that woman must have been terrible, the only one that Fantozzi, in his moral and material misery, could wish for ».

You have worked with Villaggio for twenty years. Have you become friends?

“Never. When I asked him why we weren’t dating off set, he replied, “I only hang out with the rich and famous.” I never knew when he was joking or when he showed the harsher side of him. Like all extraordinarily intelligent people, Paul knew how to be cruel. In addition, it must be considered that he had emerged late, at almost forty: he was pervaded by a touch of resentment for all that he had had to overcome before success ».

But then success came for him.

«Yes, but Paolo was not happy. Once we were shooting in Courmayeur; he came up to me and said: “Strehler wants me with him in the role of the good soldier Svejk”. I replied: “Excellent, you are the good soldier of the Megaditta. You will say yes, right? “. He didn’t answer. Then nothing came of it: I understood that it was enough for him to have received that proposal. He was sated only because a great director had called him. At work he was a very respectful man: it was he who came to my trailer to review the part, it was he who asked the director to re-do a scene because I had not emerged well ».

In private, however, it was freezing.

«I’ll tell you this anecdote. Shortly before his death, with him already in a wheelchair, we went to Barbara d’Urso’s television living room to tell Fantozzi. When the host asked him how she had chosen me, he did not get upset and replied: “How do you choose a toilet”. I then retorted dryly: “But with that toilet you have earned a lot”. She didn’t reply. We left the television studios. I walked over, took out my checkbook and said, “Can we be friends now?” He did not speak for a few minutes. Then he looked at me and said: “How beautiful you are.” They were the last words that Paolo said to me and I understood all the greatness of him, his humanity perhaps hidden under an apparent cruelty. We are actors, we always act ».

And with Milena Vukotic, that is Mrs. Pina Fantozzi, are you friends today?

“No not at all. First of all we were rivals, because she was the wife and I was the lover: of course, she acted herself, but she didn’t inspire me with a real desire for friendship. In reality, no one could be friends with anyone on that set. And do you know why? Because Fantozzi’s films are extraordinary in transforming the office, family, emotional relationships and friendships into great Dante circles. You ended up afraid of being sucked into that hellish vortex and so you carefully avoided all your colleagues. Only with the accountant Filini I laughed a lot. But exclusively between one scene and another, not off the set ».

The great Gigi Reder.

«I called him Gigi Rider because we looked like two middle school kids: we made jokes, commented on the scenes with dirty phrases, in short, we had fun. And Paolo looked at us smiling, in my opinion with a touch of envy: he was already a star and could not afford the excesses of old theater actors ».

And Mariangela, that is the actor Plinio Fernando, how is she?

“Bizarre. She sometimes she was left with child’s clothes between takes and the other only to be picked up by some unsuspecting extra who had not noticed that she was cuddling a little girl but a mature boy. And very cunning! “

Anna, who was the great love of your life?

«Nello Riviè, whom I had known from my university days but at the time I wasn’t spinning. We met later and stayed together until his death (in 2002, ed.). It was a great love, even if I have never said “I love you” in my life, every time I hear this expression I feel like I am in a poor film ».

Have you ever betrayed him?

“No, but while we were together in my life a man appeared. And then I made the mistake that many women commit: I believed that behind the taciturn nature of this gentleman there was who knows what moral depth. Only later did I realize that he was silent because he had nothing to say. So at the beginning a kind of addiction started: I was trying to interest him by giving him books, theater tickets. He did not shorten the distance, he remained closed in his impenetrability. Until he started asking me for money on loan: first six million (of old lire, ed.), then ten. In short, I found myself deceived and robbed. I went back to Nello ».

Did he understand?

«Yes, because he understood that I” had made a film “, as they say in Rome. I had simply played the role of a woman who loses her head to a mysterious figure, nothing more. I was an actress, I’m an actress. Point”.

She also played Cyrano.

“Because I think she is very female as a character. She suffers from her nose, but she knows well that with other qualities, the inner ones, unexpected goals can be reached. What happens to me on stage: I feel beautiful, sensual, free. It has never occurred to me to touch up my nose or pull my face: I have a much more powerful cosmetic surgery, theater. I can be anything, saint and whore, good or bad, beautiful or ugly. When, even today, I feel that the audience finally explodes in thunderous applause, I think I did really well to be an actress. And don’t talk to me about death: I’m an atheist, heaven and hell are beautiful tales, but I also know how to recognize Dante’s talent. Every other story is a badly written story. “

May 2, 2022 (change May 2, 2022 | 09:30)

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Anna Mazzamauro: «Village called me” toilet “on TV. But before she died she told me: How beautiful you are ”

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