How to define a great theatrical actor who becomes an international star of Italian cinema by playing the role of the Italian that foreigners imagine? Who can associate the sensual and rough voice we have heard so many times in the Italian dub of Ryan O’Neal (“Barry Lindon”), Jack Nicholson (from “Reporter Profession” to “Shining” to “Batman”), Al Pacino ( almost always)? Who can boast of being a brilliant inventor with a lot of registered electronic patents? The answer is only one: Giancarlo Giannini, the brilliant La Spezia (born in La Spezia on 1 August 1942) who on Monday celebrates his magnificent 80 from the top of a career still full of satisfactions and successes as in the recent “I Fratelli de Filippo “by Sergio Rubini in which he plays Eduardo Scarpetta. It became especially popular on TV thanks to “David Copperfield” directed by Anton Giulio Majano for Rai in 1966. And that is the year of the fatal meeting: Lina Wertmueller looks for a suitable companion for the irrepressible Rita Pavone and finds him in Giannini for “Rita the mosquito”. And it will be Lina Wertmuller who will make him the protagonist in 1972 of “Mimì metallurgico” alongside Mariangela Melato.
The success is as unexpected as it is sensational and makes Giannini a new protagonist of Italian comedy. Then Hollywood: it happened in 1975 with “Pasqualino Settebellezze”, nominated for four Oscars and with Wertmuller, the first woman to receive a nomination in the category of directing. She soon consolidated her Hollywood stature with directors such as Coppola, Ridley and Tony Scott, eventually becoming a regular in two Bond films “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace”. She even puts her inventive talent at Barry Levinson’s service by creating the legendary e-vest for Robins Williams in 1992’s “Toys”.
He will be with Luchino Visconti for “The Innocent”, Nanny Loy for an unforgettable “Mi manda Picone”, Mario Monicelli, Dino Risi, Alberto Lattuada and again Lina Wertmuller. He has taught and guided (on the board of directors) the Experimental Center of Cinematography; she has won awards all over the world. In short, he is a complete artist, almost a Renaissance talent. (HANDLE).