by ANDREA SCARPA - Photo by ANDREA COLZANI
I LOVE THIS CITY
I love Milan and I hardly complain about it. So much so that I almost never go away for the weekend… It is the city where I grew up, the city that gave me success, where I met extraordinary people with whom I grew as a professional and as a person.
Amazing things have happened here. Being here is always magical.
Until my twenties I lived in the Sempione district, then I moved when I started working professionally as a musician, after winning the Sanremo Festival I moved again and now I live in the Solari-Darsena neighborhood.
MY MOVIE THEATRE
I often go to the movies on my own, I usually go to the Orfeo that is very big and historic, it even resisted the bombing. It has a special history and atmosphere.
RHYTHM AND MAGNETISM
It offers a lot, it is a demanding city, with a very strong rhythm and magnetism. I always find it hard to leave Milan.
THE TEMPTATIONS AND ROCK’N’ROLL
In a city like this there are different kinds of temptations… Me, lost? No, it is difficult. I’m not that way, I had some rock’n’roll moments but they were very short… I’m pretty much a stakhanovite, as they say.
In a city like this you tend to have many expectations, here it is easy to want to be successful because the city inspires you that way. There is nothing wrong with it, of course, but sometimes too much expectation makes you miss out on the enjoyment of the moment. I am a reinvention fanatic.
REINVENTION AT 40 YEARS OLD
I find it exciting, more creative, better so than to keep following the usual paths and comfort zones one’s used to.
FROM SINGING TO ACTING
I trained during the last 6-7 years to become an actress. Acting now is what I’m mostly attracted to. I’ve been working on it for some time now, not only in Milan because I’ve taken several courses and masters also in Los Angeles, New York and Rome, of course.
THE SAME ONE BUT DIFFERENT
There are some enduring traits: sobriety, a certain rigor in doing things, in this Milan is somewhat similar to me.
A CITY TO DISCOVER
It’s the kind of city that doesn’t display everything at once, you have to discover it, you have to understand and detect its value.
FASHIONABLE (AND DARK) MILAN
I like it because the fashion side coexists with certain places that in the evening are less enlightened. It almost changes into a city from the nineteenth century, almost dark, cinematically speaking it is interesting because its face changes…
I’m currently more focused on acting, I wouldn’t want to do too many things at once.
WHY THE VOICE?
Acting has really changed my mentality, so I started with no particular expectation but saying to myself: ‘Now I’m enjoying myself, then I’ll see’.
THE BEST MOMENT
I found the audition with turned chairs highly exciting. Music is always in my life, it is something that I can do also in movies.
MUSIC FOR FILMS
I can’t cut out music from my life because it’s obviously one of my skills. I can still easily do it, but now I love acting. I often train, audition both online and live. In Italy and abroad I’m very busy with it.
OVER THE TOP
I like it because it suits my personality since I’m a sober person. My former job was sometimes too much over the top.
DREAMING OF AMERICA
I’m also working on my visa to be able to work in America. Then I always come back here because my base is in Milan. I would like, however, to do something there.
They are two different jobs. Being a musician implies personality cult, which I let go because I find it stressful. Whereas, the job of the actor can be everything and nothing at the same time, your personality traits don’t necessarily have to be displayed all the time, as if they were your badge. Here, I no longer have my badge.
NEVER ENDING DREAMER
I am a never ending dreamer, a fan of Peter Pan and that type of movies… Therefore I like adventure, so I voluntarily put myself in this situation to see how it goes, to see what my real resources are in this particular time of my life. It fascinates me.
SATISFIED WITH POP MUSIC
Sometimes people talk about ‘closing the circle’, things like that. For me it was as if the experience had somehow ended… In that context, however, I felt I was already satisfied, that I had written the music I wanted to, that I had produced and done everything that felt good to me and that represented me. To go on seemed to continue to trace a done deal. Because I didn’t want to change genre or do something different – I’ve always liked that – I said to myself: ‘Oh well, I’ll start studying acting’.
NO TO PATTY PRAVO
Besides, I was told: ‘Why don’t you try this, why don’t you …?’. Once I was also proposed for a casting for film, a TV series actually, on Patty Pravo. But I didn’t feel ready as an actress so I said no. I am a bit of a perfectionist, right? Like all the Milanesi, and so I wanted to be prepared.
THE BEGINNING AS AN ACTRESS
A few years ago, not many, an international movie was filmed in Milan. It was called International, with Naomi Watts.
LIKE NAOMI WATTS
A friend of mine worked on the technical part of the film and told me that Naomi Watts was there. He said: ‘You know, you look like Naomi Watts’. And the peculiar thing is that I had thought of studying acting, and when he told me that I took the decision and I enrolled in an acting class.
THE SCHOOL NEAR HOME
I had just moved into an apartment near Via Carroccio where there was a film school, look at that! And I said: ‘Ok, this must be a sign of destiny’.
BYE BYE POP STAR
I started there, in the evening. I followed those courses and it was fine because I shed of all my attitudes, I deconstructed myself a little bit. I have a past history as a pop star, but this has to be demolished… To be an actor you have to remove some things and recover the essence of who you are. It was very nice because I was starting all over again, and then – back to what I was saying earlier – Naomi Watts when I attended The Voice…
Naomi Watts and I got in contact on Twitter: she congratulated with me for the Voice… I had started studying acting seriously, I liked all her movies – The Ring, Mulholland Drive, The Divorce… I like everything about her because she is very eclectic. And when she complimented me on Twitter a little dream came true.
I am fascinated by the law movies, with lawyers, and even religious roles.
JUDAISM, MILAN AND I
I believe that (faith) has helped me especially in professional change. I’m not speaking as a Catholic although I grew up as one and then I converted to Judaism… In my opinion what counts is not necessarily religion itself, but the mystical aspect of the connection with an invisible aspect of things. Not always what you see is what counts. What you don’t see such as friendship, love… You can’t see them and yet they exist. I am a bit sentimental, but not too romantic. And I think Milan is the same, a bit rigorous, but always with an open eye to look over things.
I must say that I have a mystical connection with music. Writing a song is something totally inexplicable, something creative that appears in your life just like that… I remember a cute anecdote about Milan: I wrote a song while stuck in Milan traffic.
THE BRAINWAVE OF VAMOS A BAILAR
I was driving, I was going to see my producer at the time, Roberto Baldi, and I was turning into – I think – Via Farini, because he lived in Via Maciachini. He had his studio there, it was just after lunch and I had this urge to go then because I had ideas to immediately put in place. At the time I had a black Mini black and the song came up in my head: I had to stop at the corner. The lyrics came to me, I had already thought of the melody and I had already written it down. I was missing the words that came in five minutes as a brainwave. I said to myself, either I stop now or I’ll forget them because songs go away, you need to write them down right away. It was Vamos a Bailar. It was born in Milan’s traffic… I know that one thinks of the Latin world, of an ethnic world, but I was in Milan… I sat on the passenger seat, with paper and a pen, and then I went to my producer’s. We started to put it down. ‘Come on, let’s make it a bit house, a bit dance. Let’s add some beat…’. And when I started singing we looked at each other and we knew it was a hit. Milan 1998.