The Heroine’s Journey of Manuela Grippi

What is the best thing that I love about my work? When I chose to become an actress, I did it because the perspective to reinvent myself every day made me feel alive. Each woman I play in my job leaves something within me that improves me as a person. Being in charge of myself makes me feel more responsible, and increases my ambition. If things do not go as I would like, I cannot blame anyone, and this motivates me to strive towards my personal improvement .I have no regular schedules and I can choose and change the way I lead my job, my staff and my goals every day. This is priceless to me.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?Quite simple: sit in front of a winter sunset on a deserted pier, surrounded only by water and sparks. The right person at my side, a good book and a glass of good red wine.

What is my greatest fear? Disappointing myself and the people around me. Mischievious people without a cause scares me too. A lot.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I have too many flaws. I hate mediocrity and I therefore ask full commitment to those around me, often more than I deserve or can aspire to achieve.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Apply only ones still alive?Monica Vitti, above all. If I tried to list all the reasons why I admire her, I would write a book. I love her in all her forms and steps of her career. Serena Dandini, with whom I had the great chance to work. She is a strong woman, ironic, and has been able to convey socially useful messages through her work. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi: I love her grace, her iconic and explosive femininity that does not scare the other women, making it in my eyes the perfect blend between Marilyn, Audrey and the legendary Monica.

What is my greatest extravagance? I like singing while I am riding my bicycle on the streets. People often give me the dirty look, but I zip along and continue as if nothing had happened…;

On what occasion would I lie? I hate lies, even for a good purpose. I would not lie, but I would omit a truth only just to avoid someone’s pain.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Have no certainty, no safety net. Not being able to “save” the results achieved as in video games or even in normal jobs where, after a level crossing, you cannot get back down. In my work, you constantly have to prove to new people who you are and what you can do, and accept the waste as well as the victories as part of the game.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Brussels 2013, Theater Saint Michel. I played a woman who told the audience the heinous last minutes before she was killed. A text without rhetoric, emotional but at the same time ironic. It was part of the Serena Dandini’s project against feminicide , “Wounded to death”. I was there to represent Italy with the famous italian singer Malika Ayane. It was a wonderful and very moving evening.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would often like to be less impulsive and passionate in my reactions. I am not fond of my naivety either, as well as my capability of managing my priorities (always too hedonistic and not too logic)

What is my greatest achievement in work? I feel like I have achieved something great when I receive emails and private messages on Facebook from women of all ages, but especially from ladies younger than me who have shown me their appreciation or asked for advice. Knowing that there is someone that sees in my job a model of personal improvement is a great result for me and pushes me to improve further.�

Where would I most like to live? I cannot imagine myself fixed in one place. I like great cosmopolitan cities, so full of events and stimuli, everything at hand. However, I often feel the need to spend time in quiet and smaller places, a bit “primitive” if you like, ” where I could regenerate myself, far away from it all. It is even better if those places do not offer WIFI: I am a WIFI-aholic, and I am well aware of it!

What is my most treasured possession? My tiny, quiet, worshiped penthouse in the historic center of Turin overlooking the Mole Antonelliana and the mountains.

What is my most marked characteristic? Creativity. Not only at work: in the kitchen, furnishing, organizing theme parties or surprises for friends. I like to mess around and I am always inventing new things and new “myselfs” to avoid boredom.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The long pedestrian stretch of Turin from the center along the river Po to Sassi on the one hand, and on the other the Valentino Park. I go running there almost every day. It is a moment for myself only, a moment of great inspiration. I always try to go there at certain times in which I know that the light is more “magical” (very early in the morning or at sunset)

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? On Saturdays, I love to lunch at “Gallina”, a tiny but precious fish tavern in Porta Palazzo. I also love to brunch at “Perosino”, right at river level. In “happy hour” i like spending time with friends in a small winery bar, called “Cuite” and then dinner at “Cianci”, which is in Piazza IV Marzo. On special occasions, I use to delight my palate at “Scannabue” in San Salvario or “Oinos – the sushiliano” (sushi prepared in a Sicilian way) in Via della Rocca. Unmissable.

What books influenced my life and how? Not a book in particular, but the great heroines of writing: Dacia Maraini, Natalia Ginzburg, Oriana Fallaci, Nothomb and poets like Woolf and Merini. Their works inspired feelings of rebellion and feminine revenge and pride. They also determinated in some ways my aesthetic sense. It was my father, a bookworm, that introduced me to reading since i was just little child. I read hundreds of books, locked in my room dreaming that in the future I would be a woman who would write something great.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? The air of the Gipsy mezzo soprano Azucena in the opera “Il Trovatore” by Verdi, called “Stride la Vampa”, which is apoignant, vivid account of a woman on fire because she was accused of witchcraft. Every time I hear it, it stirs deeply within me.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? The “brilliant friend” Lila. She co-stars with the narrator Elena (Lenù) in Elena Ferrante’ famous saga. A multi-faceted and magical character, that captures you among the pages of the book. She is so real that you end up envying her, hate her and love her completely as if it she was your real best friend.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? A real character who I respect a lot is Michelle Obama. A great example of “graceful woman with balls”. I do not know how it sounds in English this phrase, but I assure you it is a cool thing.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The South-Korean romantic drama “3- Iron”, directed by Kim Ki-Duk. A great, delicate movie that makes you think about running away, but also on finding a necessary solitude and poetry in the small things of every day.

What role plays art in my life and work? I am looking for forms of art in every moment of my day. It may sound strange, but I feel that my life and my work coincide. I consider my “free time” as a formative time, because the artistic recreation is part of it. I spend a lot of time listening to music, reading, watching movies or going to art exhibitions. I consider it a ”training” time, not a distraction.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family has always supported me, as well as friends. Often they truly overestimate me, I know, but thanks to that I always try to improve myself further so I will not disappoint them.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? In Italy I would like to work with Sorrentino, with Virzì and Archibugi. I think they have a rare sensitivity. They are also capable of bringing out the best in actors.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?
I would like to know the authors of the TV series “Black Mirror”. The first seasons of this tv project are absolutely mind-blowing.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?
I just got a script for a very interesting new movie, but I am too superstitious and I’d rather not talk about it. Have I ever told you that being too superstitious is one of my flaws?

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? This is an absolute truth. Passion never retires, but the strength to support it can give in to the misfortunes of fate. Each time I I got down because of difficulties, shortly before giving in, there was always something unexpected, something that made me start stronger and more determined than before. What I wish for myself is to continue to find reasons why I should never give up and should push me forward.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Vanessa Marenco, she is a travel blogger and photographer. A real unique, clever and sensitive woman. You can take a look on her brilliant work here: http://www.skandorinasdiary.com

How can you contact me? My email address is manuela.grippi@gmail.com or you can find me on FB profile with as Manuela Grippi.

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