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[Interview] – Pasquale Esposito – ‘Gomorrah’ – Sky Atlantic Series

 

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Posted March 11, 2018 by

 
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Award winning Italian actor, Pasquale Esposito, makes his international breakthrough as charming mafia boss, Eduardo Arenella, in the third season of thrilling organised crime drama, Gomorrah, based on the book by Roberto Saviano.

Set in the suburbs of Naples, Gomorrah focuses on organized crime and the relationships of gangsters, drug dealers, and ordinary people. Gomorrah depicts street-level crime and its hierarchical organization from the pavement up to the office chair.

In the role of Gomorrah’s Eduardo Arenella, Pasquale’s Italian charm is perfectly suited to the elegant mafia boss, whose old fashioned sense of etiquette comes into direct conflict with the methods of the younger generation. As a turf war begins, it’s unknown who is destined to come out on top.

As well as being awarded the Premio internazionale del Gallo D’oro for his work on Gomorrah, Pasquale is no stranger to the big and small screen, with credits including La Squadra, the multiple award winning Hidden Children, Vento di Ponente, and When in Rome, starring Kristen Bell. His upcoming work includes Fabio Zito’s Private Notes.

Pasquale’s acting has been profoundly influenced and guided by his Zen Buddhism practice, and he had been invited to speak on ‘Zen in the Arts’ at numerous universities. His passion for research into expression and communication within the performing arts continues to greatly influence him in his work.

Gomorrah airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic every Wednesday at 9pm. US airdates on Sundance TV are yet to be announced.

Interview:

To begin with, you are starring in Sky Atlantic’s “Gomorrah” – tell us, what is it about?

First of all it’s important to know that “Gomorrah” is actually a best seller written by journalist, Roberto Saviano, who spent many years investigating the Camorra, a Campania-based criminal organization that rivals the Sicilian Mafia in terms of power, influence and brutality. The book has been translated into 51 languages and it has been made into a movie and TV series. The story is set in the suburbs of Naples, focusing on organized crime and the relationships of gangsters, drug dealers, and ordinary people. It depicts street-level crime and its hierarchical organization from the pavement up to the office chair. The series has been distributed in 190 countries and in the US will be on Sundance TV during Summer 2018.

How did you come to accept the role?

Well it was one of my auditions and of course this one was particularly interesting. I sent a self-tape from Germany where I live at the moment with my family, and after that self-tape they asked to see me 3 more times. I traveled to Rome for the final call back at the end of which I got the role. It was a really interesting process going through each call back. It took almost two months and it was a chance to get deep into research about this man and take care to not fall in the cliché of just playing a bad guy. I mean ‘bad guy’ and ‘good guy’ are used to define characters, still all of them are human beings, and as human beings there are a lot of hidden sides. So I proposed something they really liked and I got the role.

Tell us about the cast & crew, who is directing and starring in “Gomorrah”? What was it like to work with them?

Nice that you asked me this question because they were amazing. The whole production, the cast and the crew, all of them were amazing people. I developed great friendships during that shooting experience. I would also like to mention the production company, Sky Atlantic in collaboration with Cattleya – they both took a huge risk in investing on a TV Show spoken in napolitan slang and with no famous actors in the cast – and they won. I hope other productions use this as an example and as inspiration to take risks and invest in extraordinary screenplays, amazing actors, directors and great crews to support the entire process of filming day by day. The directors were amazing, too, in taking care with every single scene and detail and working generously with actors. The crew offered so much with not a single complaint when everybody was tired. Just amazing.

What are your influences as an actor?

I started when I was young, studying method acting with Susan Strasberg -Lee Strasberg’s daughter. She came to Rome with Sandra Seacat, brought over by Francesca De Sapio with whom I also studied for years. Then I started to travel, I went to New York and studied with Greata Seacat and Susan Batson, and I later met Dominique De Fazio with whom I spent many years and I had a great collaboration. I can proudly say that he is my teacher in the arts and I have a lot of gratitude. I also taught for him at his studios in Italy, Germany and Los Angeles. The great moment was when I left and discovered that the most important and urgent point is to walk with my own legs and no path, with a revolutionary sense of truth!  To develop a sense of wonder and pioneering. Discovering is the basic principle of the Company (Research Company art and Awareness) I founded and direct. What is true today can be false tomorrow and so the most important thing is to be aware of how the mind works and the phenomena of expression and communication. Ultimately it’s fundamental to keep listening for what is new and original.

What advice would you give any up-and-coming actors/actresses, trying to crack the industry?

First I would say get grounded in the craft of acting and at the same time be clear on if you really want be an actor or just be famous. This is an amazing profession that requires great passion and energy; many people just want to be famous.  Without any judgment against being famous but, it’s important to be clear on what you want. The craft of acting can open up a new way to live life if you get involved in the study of expression and communication and in the art of telling a story.

I would also invite people to find a teacher or schools, which you feel, is right for you and go deep into that, ground yourself in that.  Then I would invite you to leave it and discover your own way, which should be original, fresh, new and make a difference in how we tell stories.

When can we watch “Gomorrah”?

You can watch it on Sky Atlantic. At the moment it’s on in the UK each Wednesday at 9Pm, and it will be on in the USA on Sundance TV during the Summer.

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other films / TV shows in production?

There’s an amazing, beautiful project that I am proud to be part of. “Private Notes”, written by Fabio Zito and produced by GIKA Production SRL. It will be shot this coming summer time between Los Angeles and the very south of Italy, Sicily. Private Notes is a romantic comedy about a famous writer who in the peak moment of his carrier, having just won an award for his last book, loses his family. He then decides to leave for a small village on an island in the south of Italy to be in isolation. Here he meets the inhabitants of this magic place with no road, no electricity and no media of any kind. Through the confrontation with these simple and amazing people, he rediscovers his passion for life and the vitality of love for life and writes his new book. I will play the commandant of the boat who brings people in and out of the island.

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Interviewed By:

Adam Snowden
@FilmDebate
Company Founder & Managing Director

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