Photography by: ALAN GELATI | Styling: ANDREA SANGIORGI
Hair: UGO LEPRE | Makeup: GIORGIA PALVARINI
Meet Gea Dall’orto, a Florentine actress, who was recently adored as one of the protagonists of the Italian film “Tre Piani”, that was featured in the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. She’s also currently on set as a main character in the series “Light of Your Eyes” for it’s second season. We we happy to have a quick chat with this beauty and got to know her more.
Interview with Gea Dall’orto
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you are from, your background?
I was born in Florence twenty years ago, which seems like a long time ago, and I’m an only child. When I was little, I used to travel all around Italy with my family. By that time my grandfather’s theater company was on tour with “The Little Prince”, a beautiful play that I didn’t act in, but still knew it by heart because I used to watch it almost every night. That’s how I grew up – in between reality and wonderland. My home is in Florence and my heart is everywhere the tour would lead us. Every theater had a different smell and yet the same, magical, set.
You started very young in the world of film around the age seven with your grandfather Italo Dall’Orto? Can you recall that moment? If so, can you share it?
Despite my family being in the show business, I started all by myself, playing for the first time at seven years old in a movie. Of course, it’s not that I did go to the audition by myself, my mom brought me there, and continued to be by my side every step of my journey. To me, that movie was the awakening. I not only learned that I enjoyed acting, but I was willing to commit to it in a very responsible way. It was after a few other experiences that my grandfather gave me the biggest honor. At the age of ten, to star in his new production, “The magic wizard of Oz”. As long as I had prayed for him to act in his plays when I was younger, he did not want me to. Even though you’re having fun, you have to be responsible and conscious of what you’re doing because hundreds of people have come to see you.
Also tell us a little bit more about how you got started?
The time had come for me to go to Rome, in search of an acting agency. Rome is the heart of Italian cinema, if you want to do castings, you have to go there. Fortunately, Florence is not that far and with only two hours by train I could get to a casting without even missing school. I did hundreds of them, and most of the time got “no” for an answer. Anyways, I had a lot of fun and created the best memories running around Rome with my mom. This is without mentioning what those first years of castings had taught me, leading me towards my first successes and appearances in TV shows.
Can you describe what influenced you to pursue a career as an actor? You are born from a family of talented actors, how has that affected your career and do you feel it has influenced or inspired your process as an actor?
My grandfather, is the most influential figure. He’s an actor, a theater director and a huge bookworm. He used to read to me every night. For some reason, I just wanted to crawl inside his stories, as his voice could lead me into another world. I had to be part of a world where the narrator’s voice is that charming and relaxing. That’s how it all started, I then found strength to continue doing what I loved. My mom, my greatest supporter, and in the countless number of films I see at the movies that make me think, I want do something as iconic as that.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the interpretations I get to see, such as Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Adam Driver and the one and only Meryl Streep. But, I’m also a very curious person and I like to observe people in their everyday life. Their expressions, the way they react to the things that happen to them…I think it teaches you empathy, as well as realizing that the way that you approach life is unique, and it’s to keep in mind when your character acts in a way that you wouldn’t do in your personal life.
Besides acting do you have any other talents, interests, or hobbies?
Studying takes most of my time whenever I’m not on set. I’m currently attending a university here in Rome where I just moved in. I’m still trying to figure out my routine, living all by myself, shooting everyday and studying. I’m really interested in art, I like visiting museums and drawing. I’ve danced several years and it is something that I still love doing, whenever I can.
What steps do you take to fully understand the importance of your character to the story? What techniques do you use to create a believable character?
I’m really into studying new techniques. I think taking lessons is fun and challenging, in spite of what point you are in your career. I’m also very young and I know there is still a lot I have to learn, so I try to experiment as much as possible. Even though I already found great coaches whom I want to maintain a relationship with, such as Alessio Di Clemente, I’m not ready to stop my research. Every time I get a new project I attempt to study it with a different approach, so that I can understand what works best for me and also because every project is different and requires a different approach. Nevertheless, there are a few basic steps I always take whenever I’m starting a new project. Understanding the character’s needs, their background and their relationships with the other characters. Most of the time the work is connected to my personal life – the right amount that isn’t dangerous, and I also think music is a great helper as it naturally takes you to emotional levels that could be difficult to find in the first place.
List some of your accomplishments in the field of acting. What was the last project you worked on? What new roles or projects are you working on? What can we look forward to seeing in the near future?
“Six characters in search of author” by Pirandello was my debut in theater, joining the company of Branciaroli by Teatro Carcano di Milano, I then starred as Dorothy in my family theater company who produced “The magic wizard of Oz”. Theater had been my home and my passion, but I had already started dreaming about cinema. My first role in a movie landed at the age of seven for the docu/film “Le Piccole idee” by Gioco Faenza, my mother had bought me to the casting just for the fun of it, but I immediately felt in love. We were told to look for an agency by the D.O.P. and that’s when it really took off. A lot of castings – yet mostly “no’s” for answer! And then the first “yeses” and a new agency – TTAgency – of whom Alessia DiTuri, my agent, is still working with me to this day. As my first experiences I had portrayed minor roles in Italian notorious pictures as well as independent movies, up until 2019 when I participated in the picture, “My brother runs after dinosaurs” by Stefano Cipani. Meanwhile I was shooting Chiara Malta first feature, “Simple women”. This two movies were very meaningful to me and helped me get noticed a little more. Moreover, 2019 was the year I was casted as Francesca in “Tre Piani”, the newest picture by Nanni Moretti, who I had the honor to join to Cannes Film Festival 2021. As I was shooting “Tre Piani” I started to work on the Rai production, “Gli orologi del diavolo”, for my first time in a leading role. A year later I starred in the Mediaset TV series, “Luce Dei tuoi occhi” (the TV series has been so successful that I am currently on the set of the second season). During the last year I’ve worked a lot on my acting and I’m very grateful to have been able to show it. I ended 2021 losing myself into two very diverse leading roles, with such a sensitive issue as “Rinascere” – a movie by Umberto Marino and “Cabala. Le Vergini di fuoco”, a new anthological TV series for Rai Play, written and directed with an extremely contemporary point of view, both of them being launched a few weeks ago. That’s it, for now. You’ll see me again on Canale5 this autumn and hopefully soon at the movies.
Also share your opinion and thoughts about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the film and entertainment industry.
Movies have a crucial role in our society as they are possibly the most influential media the human being has ever created. Not only do they reflect trends, cultures, ideologies – they have the power to create them. It’s what a film is made for – to make a reality come to life, and I’m not only talking about science fiction films – even though they are equally influential – I’m talking about everyday life. A film is not like a mirror: it is always an impartial, subjective way to see life. Producers have to be very careful about what they choose to portray in a film. Diversities have to be represented in order to be recognized, minorities should be seen more often in film so that the world can acknowledge their presence and become more open-minded and respectful.
Can you share with us a special moment when you experienced something from another culture that inspired you or came to deeply appreciate? It can be a place, art, film, music, food, or anything.
I’m really fond of French artistic cinema. I’m referring to the group of the Nouvelle Vague, active between the end of the 1950 and the beginning of the 60s. Their cinema really inspires me: they value cinema as a form of art and make me appreciate my job. In a whole other way, I love how high budget Hollywood films can create a never-seen and absolutely original image and it would be a dream to be able to participate in such an impactful movie, that’s the reason why I studied English, accomplishing the C2 level last year.
Is there anything else you want to share for us to include or to keep an eye out for?
Always keep an eye out for the health of our planet! Unfortunately, sets are not the most ecological environments. A lot of energy is needed as well as disposable objects. We are always trying our best as there are more and more sets who are sensitive about the topic. I always bring my refilling water bottle to work and I would like that everyone could pay attention to such a serious issue as global warming is.
Follow Gea Dall’Orto on Instagram.