Passion, commitment, courage and a healthy dose of lightness. In life, on set or on stage at the theatre. Marco Acettiwho has been working as a firefighter for 18 years in parallel with his acting profession, talks about his professional beginnings and how necessary it is to preserve one’s identity roots in order to face exciting and different challenges in front of the camera and on stage where he is, today, in dictate “The rules of the game” that give the title to his latest show.
When did you realize you have the sacred fire of art?
«When I was very young, I started with photo novels at 16-17, I was already thinking of pursuing an acting career and so I understood that it was my calling. From there, then, I attended an acting school».
Do you live in Ciampino, your identity city?
«Actually I was born in Marino, but I live in Ciampino. But I consider myself a genuine Roman, I spend almost every day in Rome. I have experienced several times the emotion of visiting a place and the perception of having lived there in another life. Perhaps, that was the destination where I would be at peace with myself. IS happened on the island of Favignana, in Puglia and in Salento, in particular in Punta della Suina and, obviously, it happens in the capital which, however, gives me a mixture of sensations mixed with work stress, traffic and daily worries. While the others, where people usually go on vacation, give me a sense of tranquillity. I have Sicilian origins, my mother and grandmother are from Marsala».
What does it preserve of the territorial identity?
«The truth and veracity of the soul, the typically Roman sympathy and spontaneity. Features I’m proud of. Furthermore, the ability to always have a joke ready and to get by in complicated moments, finding a trick as well as an escape route in laughter and goliardia. In Lazio there are wonderful places, I have a motorbike with which I take long journeys, alone or with my partner. I really love Lazio cuisine and wines».
How important is it to preserve one’s culture in the acting profession?
«IS essential, means to have roots. But it is essential to discover others as well because they can be useful for interpreting a part that is distant from oneself. An actor, in this case, takes on a challenge which is to explore distant worlds by finding the right interpretation to face an unedited one, perhaps by empathizing with the local people. The secret lies in being open to any cultural innovation, becoming multifaceted without stopping at what is tailor-made for you».
A firefighter by profession, does acting bring courage and the same passion?
«I am a field operative and have 18 years of service. Growing up, and as I got older, I can say that I brought them on stage and I realized it. The real problem was measuring out the energy which could sometimes be excessive and risk going off the track. Therefore “less is more”, removing one’s own impetus to give space to the role one is called to play».
In Italy, especially in the South in the summer, the plague of fires is the order of the day. In your opinion, are the institutions doing enough to prevent them?
«Prevention in closed environments, such as commercial activities, is quite efficient and the percentage has dropped a lot. On the contrary, for open spaces, first of all it should be cleaned, eliminating brushwood and cutting the grass that grows and is flammable like a match. Greater surveillance would be needed since, often, the fires are arson, self-combustion exists but there are also arsonists. In Sicily, last year, the Zingaro Reserve, in the province of Trapani, was totally disfigured. So the institutions could do much more ».
You made your debut in Fausto Brizzi’s “Night before exams”, what did you learn from that experience?
«My first important film, preceded by “Taxi Lovers” alongside a young Edoardo Leo who was beginning to establish himself in the universe of cinema. I won a pose in the acting class I was attending and Luigi Di Fiore, my teacher at the time as well as director of the film, wanted to reward the most deserving. Then came “Night before the exams”, in which I learned to take up this profession with lightness and bravado in front of the camera: Cesare, my character, had to be a gascon devoid of feelings and dedicated to having fun. I went to the audition, after several no’s which I wasn’t used to because, following “Taxi Lovers”, I thought everything was going downhill. I introduced myself in a light-hearted way and what you see on the screen was not written in the script, the excerpts were different. I put in the middle of the famous series of the hundred reasons why Claudia (Cristiana Capotondi, ed) left me, flour of my sack. Fausto told me I was crazy and I resigned myself to the idea of a really complex job, imagining yet another refusal. But he finally he caught me. In the commitment, light-heartedness allows you to enjoy every moment beyond the responsibilities. It is probably the most beautiful teaching».
In 2019 he starred in the psychological horror-thriller “Lettera H”. How would you describe his character?
«“Lettera H”, produced by Tonino Abballe of SeDici Cinema, is my jewel, my creature. Dario Germani and I created it from scratch, thanks to the screenplay by Andrea Cavaletto, author of Dylan Dog, having completely carte blanche. The construction of the feature film took place brick by brick. Sebastian is tormented, eaten by events and destined to be a victim of existence, of a wear and tear that he has inside and comes from a difficult childhood. He runs away, tries to rebel without success, a message expressed with vigor. The frame is one of the murders of the Monster of Florence, for Seba a mental trip triggered by his car, a second-hand Fiat 127, and he is dominated by this paranoid possession. He welcomes her, receives her convinced that it is the way to go to get better while, instead, she will lead him to her end and to that of Patty (Giulia Todaro, ed), the other protagonist. Dario, who was born as a director of photography, has a brilliant directorial vision, even before shooting he knew what to do and found the missing piece in me, closing the circle that he already had in his head. We managed to complete an entirely Italian and independent work».
A film genre which, apart from the big names like Dario Argento or the D’Innocenzo brothers, has become rare in our panorama.
«Yes, because comedy is easier to write and shoot. And it’s easier for viewers to appreciate it. Niche films aren’t for everyone, making them is synonymous with artistic audacity. Anything done by professionals with heart and determination, giving the benefit of the doubt, is worth looking at. “Lettera H” has its place in cinematography and I’m proud of it, I’m happy with the result. I usually use the example of the wicker basket, the meticulous weaving is the fruit of the wisdom of a craftsman. IS It was shot in the woods of Gattaceca, in Monterotondo, between the dangers and the cold of the month of October. One of the trump cards, by far, is profound silence. There was an atmosphere of tension and fear, I didn’t expect comfort of any kind. Only a make-up camper and special effects curated by Sergio Stivaletti, who trusted us. We have received numerous awards by participating in national and international festivals, from Oregon to Amsterdam passing through the Golden Sanese to Terra di Siena».
Fiction, theater, cinema: what does the future hold for you?
«I have recently finished two theatrical shows: a hilarious comedy, “Quella pazza cosa called love”, on tour for about 6 years now directed by Lillo, and mine, “The rules of the game”, directed by Roberto Belli . We deal with an unusual and undervalued theme, the psychological violence suffered by a man in a couple up to psychopathy, questioning how far a sick relationship can go. An accurate and specific drama that focuses on the story of a person in love, dominated by his woman, who will make him an obsessive compulsive with obsessive attention towards objects with which he will take revenge for the evil she has caused him. In difficulties he has a bodily tic and there is a sort of deception towards the public about his illness, he goes out of reality and enters a psychosis bordering on play and misunderstanding. A beautiful albeit tiring adventure, from 4 to 7 January we will be on stage at the Capitoline theater of Tor Bella Monaca. The future intention, together with Dario Germani, is to create an adaptation for the big screen».