No divas here: These Italian women are an inspiration to us all.
Seven time Best Actress winner Margherita Buy’s brilliant career isn’t just special because she’s won more David Di Donatello Awards (Italian Oscars) than Sophia Loren, and not because she’s worked for about every important director in Italy. Margherita Buy isn’t just special because of her dozens of roles spanning three decades and because she’s still getting the sexy ones at 55.
La Buy, #16 on the 2016 Ciak Magazine, is one of Italy’s greatest living actresses because she’s talented, works hard, and is as humble about it all as anyone could possibly be.
“I’ve been able to play women who evolve and change and I was able to evolve with my characters. I’ve always felt close to the women I’ve played,” she says.
Lovely Alba Rohrwacher looks like she’s stepped out of a Botticelli painting but as an actress, couldn’t be more contemporary and her roles couldn’t be more diverse. The 2009 Berlinale Shooting Star has made good on the promise she showed, starring as a mentally unbalanced “crunchy” mom in Saverio Costanzo’s English language film Hungry Hearts, a Albanian woman who lived as a man in Laura Bispuri’s Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin), and a naive young wife in Paolo Genovese’s hit comedy Perfetti Sconosciuti.
Alba’s graceful and generous spirit is apparent in every part she takes, seeking to make her characters as human and three-dimensional as possible. Of her role in Sworn Virgin she says, “The beauty of the film is that it is without judgment. It’s reality with a delicate touch, and it doesn’t demonize this reality. It looks at the phenomenon in a very loving way”.
If Italy has a sweetheart, it’s Number 13 on Ciak’s Power List Paola Cortellesi. Besides starring in dozens of films since the beginning of the millennium, the love her fans have for her ( and obviously hers for them) is unmatched. Paola starred in 8 films in the last 3 1/2 years and still manages to stop and talk with and get to know her throngs of admirers. She’s the inspiration for the community, No Perditempo, a group of devotees, mostly women, who are passionate about not only her acting, but her character. The young women couldn’t have chosen a more worthy role model.
For those of you who think that Micaela Ramazzotti is where she is today because she’s married to one of Italy’s most powerful directors (Paolo Virzì) think again. Micaela has been proving herself over and over, taking some of the most challenging roles in contemporary Italian cinema.
At #14 on the Ciak Power List, Micaela has portrayed everything from a fragile and suicidal mental patient (La Pazza Gioia, Like Crazy) to the quintessential woman scorned (Ho Ucciso Napoleone, I Killed Napoleon) to a divorced mom looking for love (Qualcosa di Nuovo, Something New). She’s gorgeous, but she’s not afraid to take on the unattractive roles and dives into them whole-heartedly.
Down to earth, modest, and unpretentious aren’t words that come to mind when thinking about famous directors, especially if they come from film industry royalty like Cristina Comencini. The daughter of the legendary Luigi Comencini has created one hit movie after another and still doesn’t even think of herself as a director.
First and foremost she considers herself a writer. “Everything is created first in writing. What I love is to sit down with a pen in my hand and at my computer and to write and invent characters, to build characters on paper before they become alive on stage or in a film.”
Having received dozens of prizes, awards, and other forms of recognition for films like Oscar nominated La Bestia Nel Cuore, Don’t Tell , we think it’s time she embraces her role as top Italian director.