Since 1991, when she was elected Miss Italy, Martina Colombari has left behind so many experiences in the field of fashion, cinema and television. Now she is a different woman, very committed to social issues and ready to take up a new challenge, the theater. We met her in the shadow of the Dolomites during a press conference held at the 14th edition of Cortinametraggio, where she received an important recognition.
by Francesco Del Grosso
When was your social commitment born?
About twelve years ago I went to a charity event organized by the Francesca Rava NPH Italy Foundation. I remember that I came home with a great sense of guilt, because I realized that I talked about charity but concretely I wasn’t doing anything. With dignity I lent my image for a project, but beyond this what contribution was I giving to others? No contribution.
How did you go from words to deeds?
For talking about a problem, you have to see it with your own eyes and touch it with your hand, so I accepted the Foundation’s invitation to go on mission with them to Haiti before the earthquake. The truth is that you make charity to compensate for a void you have inside, then everything changes and you understand how important it is to help others. We cannot stop just look at the problems only in Tv, but we must realize that if we don’t do something and soon this world will not change. We were able to divide the atom but not the bread for others. This is painful, because each of us should put a hand on our conscience and understand what it is doing to improve. Change starts from us first.
In the past you said you had a conflictual relationship with beauty, is it still like this?
I never said I wanted to be born ugly. When you are a child or when you still don’t have the experience of years of life behind you, it’s more difficult to manage certain situations. And so, you have wounds on you that you carry with you and that poison your existence. Even now the majority of people pay attention to my physical appearance first and then to my words, but over time I have armored myself and I learned to make certain prejudices slip away from me.
Speaking of women, what is your thought about the #MeToo movement?
As in all things there are middle ways and we must be able to find the right measure. Its birth was important because it gave to many women the chance to speak and the courage to do it. But we must pay attention to one thing: we must not think that if a man gives you a compliment he is trying. I had situations that I managed well, but they could have degenerated if I had not been careful, if I had not had an agent or a press office prepared for me and a family education of a certain type, because it is fundamental the place where you come from. In general, however, I don’t allow to pronounce on women who have complained because in some situations I never arrived and consequently I step back.
In 2011 your autobiography was released with the title “La vita è una”. What prompted you to do it and if you had to update it what chapter would you add?
In reality it was an initiative of Rizzoli that surprised me a lot because at the time I was still very young, but with so many experiences behind me, in fact I have been doing this job since the age of sixteen. Now I’m a different woman. Each of us is not what he was yesterday and it is not what he will be tomorrow. If I had to update it, I would probably add the chapter of awareness, consciousness and serenity.
Now what relationship do you have with the passing of time?
To answer I borrow the words of a dermatologist who told me that women must understand that youth must be sought in the years they are living. Every age has its youth, but we must not confuse it with youth because that is a period that doesn’t return. I like me much more now than I before. This does not mean that if I need a facelift in ten years I will do it easily, but always with the intention of making me better and not ridiculous. So it’s about removing some wrinkles, not adding pieces or changing my face.
How and why did you approach the topic of eating disorders?
I was criticized for being a bad example for adolescents and for women for my thinness and my being careful in leading a certain lifestyle. So, I thought that to be able to respond to these criticisms I had to inform myself. Documenting myself, I understood that it is still a taboo. No one understands that anorexia is the end result of another disease that arises primarily in the head and has a psychological character. It’s a difficulty to accept oneself and to find one’s own balance. There are cases of people who have suffered various kinds of violence, but it is basically a wish to prove that «I exist» And it is a problem that does not only concern adolescents, but also many women of my age who may lose their self-confidence or are left behind.
Among your experiences there is also a photo exhibition of self-portraits entitled “Martina_invisibile”, how did the idea come about?
was given the opportunity to tell myself how I wanted. The creators and curators of the project gave me a camera and for two months I got about 4000 shots. That portrayed was therefore a Martina seen through Martina’s eyes. I decided to give myself to the goal when and if I felt like it. I was not just going to photograph the envelope, but moments of real life. From the moment we live it, we all have something to tell, regardless of whether you are a journalist, a bartender or an actor.
Among the future commitments is your first time at the theater, how are you preparing for this adventure?
I’m very excited, I’m very intrigued and at the same time it scares me a bit. It’s an opportunity to put myself to the test again. This is the adaptation of a French comedy entitled “Montagne russe” directed by Corrado Tedeschi. A brilliant but emotionally demanding comedy, with a really strong and unpredictable twist. I interpret a woman who stages four different ones and the last of these represents the key to the whole story.
Credits Ufficio Stampa Cortinametraggio:
Lionella Bianca Fiorillo – Storyfinders
Ph Jacopo Marchini “Cortinametraggio 2019”
La foto in alto a pag. 33 è di Leonardo Puccini