Soon we will see you in the cinema in the sequel of “Milano Calibro 9” and in the new film by Checco Zalone entitled “Tolo Tolo”, but Barbara Bouchet is an icon that is and she’lll be carved in huge characters in the public’s imagination thanks to a vast filmography and an ethereal beauty. We met her during a press conference held at the 14th edition of Cortinametraggio, where she was the guest of honor of a rich and varied parterre de rois.
di Francesco Del Grosso
You started very young, but when did you realize that acting could be your way and that you could live off this job?
There is no a right moment, I started acting very early and without acting studies behind me, but I loved the idea of doing it and when the opportunity arose to realize my dream of going to the United Sates (to be precise in Los Angeles), I did it. There I started going to the casting and meanwhile I kept doing other jobs in shoe shops or restaurants. At the time. I didn’t imagine that I could have done it. I wasn’t sure I would have made it, but luckily I succeeded in it.
A few years ago, you complained about the lack of suitable roles for actresses of your age. It is still so?
My dream is to be able to make films with roles suitable for my age, possibly far and different from those made previously. We are many to do this job but the characters that really represent us are few. I repeatedly said that it does not matter if they depict me old or ugly, but it’s important that they are roles where I can put personality. Now I really like to play characters that are the opposite of what I’ve been in the past, a sex symbol. For example, I think of Charlize Theron who, to be recognized as extraordinary actress, she had to make ugly and self-produce the film that won the Oscar, “Monster” by Patty Jenkins. And maybe it is that kind of role, of the bad one, what I look like and I hope someone will entrust me one day.
Thinking back to the clamor due to Weinstein and the case of harassment, have you ever come to terms with this type of situation?
I found my Hollywood in Rome. I arrived in Italy with a long experience in the United States and I had a preferential entry. Producers and directors never dared, because I was not a young novice actress who came to Italy and needed to work, I was not unprepared. So, nobody tried to take advantage of me. I was lucky. But these are things that can happen in all sectors, not just in cinema. However, they are individual choices: to accept or not, to propose or not.
In the seventies you were one of the main interpreters of the first generation of the sexy Italian comedy, did you happen to shoot more daring scenes that were then censored?
I don’t remember censored scenes, so most of those that were filmed then came to the big screen. In general, I am very proud of the films I made at that time, I never denied them, in fact I always claimed them because I think they were not in any way vulgar. Even today the people I meet compliments me and many of them come from women. If those films had been vulgar, I don’t think I would have had female fans, instead I have many who follow me and respect me. This gives me great pleasure.
Do you miss the past and if yes, what?
I have a lot of nostalgia for the past. To stay on set made me feel like a super-woman who could do anything, even those that scared me in everyday life, such as swimming. Now in Italy a lot of films are produced less and those few are given the opportunity to stay on the screens for a short period of time. The cinemas are mainly occupied by American films and those of Italian production are overshadowed.
The set that you remember with more pleasure?
In my career I have had the opportunity to work on many sets and some I remember them with great pleasure. Among these, a place of special importance is certainly that of “Per le antiche scale” by Mauro Bolognini, ennobled by the beauty of the costumes and scenery by Piero Tosi. But it’s cinema in general that has always thrilled me. Nevertheless, I never wanted to mix the set with private life and for this reason I have not cultivated over time, with very few exceptions, any relationship with the people I worked with, including the directors. The only one is Mauro Severino with whom I made two films: “Amore vuol dire gelosia” and “Tutti possono arricchire tranne i poveri”.
What don’t you like about the job of an actress?
That of the actor is a life of expectation, the expectation of the next film that does not necessarily mean it will arrive. If I have to be honest, many times I accepted roles that I didn’t like, but I had to do it to guarantee business continuity and not risk long stops. So, I finished shooting one on Friday and I started another one the following Monday. And they were in the vast majority of cases Italian comedies, in which I always played the sexy girl. Consequently, in the pile of photocopies characters instead stood out those works that gave me the possibility of giving back to the public different nuances: I think for example of the television miniseries in two episodes “Scarlatto e nero” or “Per le antiche scale”.
What are your next commitments?
With “Metti la nonna in freezer” and “Easy” a new chapter of my career began. Soon I will be in the cinema with “Calibro 9” by Toni D’Angelo, sequel to “Milano calibro 9” by Fernando Di Leo, in “Tola Tola” by Checco Zalone, out at Christmas, and finally in a movie for American television titled “Rome in Love”, a remake of “Vacanze Romane”.
Credits Ufficio Stampa Cortinametraggio: Lionella Bianca Fiorillo – Storyfinders