Here’s a little gangsta appeal for the red carpet at Cannes.
The Italian actor who is already making waves for his memorable performance in the festival entry film Reality, will not be present to promote his film. Is he tied up, or committed elsewhere ?
Committed? In ways. Tied up? Shackled is more like it.
It’s sorta’ difficult when you are Aniello Arena, the key actor of a buzzing festival flick who needs to serve two decades of prison time for a double murder. In fact, Arena was excused just to star in director Matteo Garrone’s film during daytime and had to return back into his cell at nights. Excused? We thought that kind of favoritism and treatment was only reserved for badly behaved Hollywood stars.
According to Forbes, Arena is currently serving a 20-year-to-life term in Italy for double murder.
In Reality (the movie) ,Arena plays a Naples fishmonger who is determined to participate in an Italian reality show that’s the equivalent of Big Brother on our U.S. television. So far, Arena’s portrayal has been called “riveting” and a real breakthrough performance at this year’s festival.
Director Garrone picked the inmate/actor after discovering him in a prison theater group, while they staged performances across Italy. The director told reporters that he had pursued the actor earlier for his 2008 crime drama Gomorrah, but the judge did not agree on it. Is there a big shortage of good actors in Italy?
The slick P.R. folks for the film seemed to be OK with the gangsta-chic bio released at Cannes stating that the actor “began his acting career at the Volterra Detention Center with the Fortezza Theater Company in 2001,” but otherwise, keeping mum about the nature of Arena’s crime was the other smart thing they did.
The film will screen on Friday in a darkened movie house while its star spends his time in a similarly dim space, the big house, locally known as di carcere.
CLICK HERE for complete Forbes story.