I met Carlo Carere in Rome a few years ago. I had a book in his hands – “Acque Letali – which told a true story about the trafficking of toxic waste. “Before the day is over”: inside me that phrase echoed. It was actually one of his scripts thanks to which, in 2008, he won the Endas International Screenplay Competition. Since then Carlo has gone a long way, in fact he currently acts and produces his scripts in Los Angeles. In this interview we will talk about his path, certainly difficult, but full of satisfactions.
Carlo Carere: Italian winning icon who finds “luck” abroad
Carlo we can say that you represent the prototype of an Italian who realizes his dreams abroad. In this case in America. How correct is it to speak of “luck”?
“Behind that word, “luck”, there is a lot of work, commitment, sacrifice, the desire to emerge and never give up. Here in the USA there are many opportunities, of course, and there is meritocracy. It does not mean that succeeding in my work is difficult, very difficult, even more so for an immigrant like me who has to deal with a language and culture that is not his own and overcome these disadvantages in the shortest possible time. Add to this that every actor and screenwriter goes meeting a huge dose of waste, which is almost daily. At the various auditions done over the years I have heard everything. I was not too high or short for the part, I was not beautiful enough or I was too much, or that I had an excessively clean, young face etc. I heard myself say everything and more”.
“The competition is fierce, out of a hundred auditions maybe one is good. And for every 5000 screenplays written – it takes a year to write a single valuable screenplay – only one is sold and becomes a film. Never in my life was I ventured into something more difficult to pursue. I have learned, however, that the important thing, even more than studying and constantly improving, is being able not to let yourself be beaten down. Being able to never look back and continue for the their own path without fear. Bringing with them the awareness that there is no challange that cannot be achieved if you really want it.”
Carlo Carere: from Captain of the Carabinieri to actor and screenwriter
In your previous life, in Italy, you were a Captain of the Carabinieri. When did decide to leave and act?
“It happened gradually. My passion for acting has distant roots. I discovered it when, in the fifth grade, I was chosen to play the role of Jesus in the performance of the school on the life of Christ. Later, life led me to make different, diametrically opposed choices. However, the artistic soul has always coexisted in me. Even at the Military School “Nunziatella”, the “Alma Mater”, where I completed high school. Although it lived in military style, poetry and writing were important, pampered aspects. That’s where I started my first novel. It was about a young man in the dark years who decided to challenge the system and free his lover, unjustly accused of witchcraft, from the deadly clutches of the Holy Inquisition ” .
“Then I entered the Army, where I lived intense, long years, full of work and total dedication. And all my gratitude goes to those years because they contributed to making me the man and the artist I am. In spite of myself, I have slowly became aware that in that institution I would not have had the opportunity to express the best of myself. I felt that my qualities could also aspire to something else and that there were infinite opportunities. So, the artistic soul that had always harbored in me has surfaced, ending up taking over. The novel that started in high school, however, I have never finished it… “.
Carlo Carere, a pleasant combination of writing and acting
How do you manage to combine writing and acting?
“I think that scripting is easier if you can also act. Especially when the dialogues of the protagonists of a story are created. The key lies in entering into their psyche, living their emotions and desires, as if it were the writer who has to interpret them. Writing and acting are two sides of a coin and combining them comes by itself. Obviously, when I have an audition or I work on a set I stop writing for a while. However, the great thing about writing is that you do it at home, when you want, and you can organize yourself as you wish. Unless I write under contract, with urgent and pre-established deadlines. I must say, however, that most of my scripts have so far been written “on speculation”. As they say here in the USA. That is, I created them independently and then sold and/or produced them later”.
Collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola
Tell us about your experience with Francis Ford Coppola …
“It was very edifying. Francis, like all giants, the real ones, is a humble, calm and compassionate person. He is able to get the most out of actors and crew through kindness, respect and authentic charisma. On set he treated us like brothers and sisters, and after communicating precise instructions, he gave us space and left us to improvise. Trusting our creative flair. The dream of every actor, I think”.
“I worked with him on a TV movie called “Distant Vision”, in which he used a revolutionary technique, the so-called “Live Cinema”. It is about making the best of theater, cinema and live TV and putting them together So as to produce a hybrid that is all three of them. Basically, about fifty cameras filmed us while we rehearsed all the scenes of the film. At the same time, the crew practiced filming us, as we do on a normal movie set.”
Filming with Coppola…
“Francis, in the control room, did the editing sitting immediately as if it were instead a live broadcast. On the last day we repeated the same operations. With the difference that the footage was broadcast via satellite, live, throughout America and parts of Europe. “Distant Vision” romance the story of Francis’ family, whose vicissitudes intertwine with the invention of television. I played the role of his uncle. Francis also wrote a book by the same name title, and in which I figure, which testifies to his experience in the preparation and completion of the film. Did you know that Riccardo Nuti is his cousin? He told me on the set”.
Move to Hollywood
For an Italian, what was it like moving to America?
“It’s as to start from scratch. For the second time after undressing the uniform. I found myself catapulted into a different universe, where little was how I had known or learned it. New language, new customs and different rules. I arrived here at Hollywood without knowing anyone and without support, but armed with enthusiasm, self-confidence and a good English course purchased online. Like every jump in the dark it was very tough at the beginning. the feeling, which then became certain, that here I would have the opportunity to show all my qualities on the basis of my work alone. And without having to compromise.”
Film and TV series
Can you give us an overview of the films and TV series you took part in?
“My first appearance on TV was in the television series “Don Matteo”, and I was part of it for the entire sixth season. I also worked in the miniseries “Tutta La Verità”, “Rodolfo Valentino” and in other fiction. Small parts, but continuous, which I obtained in a few months after hanging the policeman’s uniform on the nail. These allowed me to acquire the experience of operating in front of the camera. And even more, they confirmed that I felt comfortable. In this regard, allow me a brief digression: I noticed that sometimes the actors are downsized and criticized as people who are only good at pretending to be someone else. They are approximate conceptions. Emotions, feelings and vulnerabilities are part of our humanity. Yet each of us tends to contain them, to hide them behind a mask dictated by culture, social conventions and the instinct for survival “.
“Questi moti interiori, invece, rappresentano un bagaglio per l’attore. Quando si recita, la maschera cala, le barriere crollano e si mette a nudo l’anima. Recitare vuol dire vivere. Attore non è chi finge di essere qualcun’altro, ma è chi, nei panni di qualcun’altro, è davvero se stesso. Tornando a noi, qui negli USA, oltre che nel film di Coppola, ho recitato nel mediometraggio thriller “Near Death”, di cui sono pr Xotagonista. Il film sta andando attualmente in onda in tutto il Nord America su SHORTS TV, emittente televisiva che trasmette via cavo e via satellite”.
“These inner motions, on the other hand, represent a baggage for the actor. When acting, the mask falls, the barriers collapse and the soul is laid bare. Acting means to live. Actor is not someone who pretends to be someone else , but whoever, in the role of someone else, is truly himself. Coming back to us, here in the USA, as well as in Coppola’s film, I starred in the medium-length thriller “Near Death”, of which I am the protagonist. currently airing throughout North America on SHORTS TV, a television station that broadcasts via cable and satellite. “
Collaborations and films in Italy
“They tell me that the ratings are high and that we are about to land in all the other English-speaking countries of the world. Including India and the Netherlands. Recently I was also hired for an Italian film: “La Battaglia di Gorthene”, in which I play with Franco Nero. Filming has already started, but was then interrupted due to the ongoing health emergency. “
Future and present projects
What are you currently working on?
“On the co-production of a thriller that I wrote myself, to which important producers have added. “Time Zero”: it addresses the terrorist risk related to the management of nuclear weapons, the lie of the political pact and the theme of all through a race against time that takes place in one location! And therefore with minimal cost. The protagonist will probably be a TV and / or film star and I will also be part of the cast. I can’t say more. The production of another screenplay of mine, “Mindgate” will finally start in 2021. I say “finally” because although it ended a long time ago – I even conceived it when I was still living in Rome – it took years of development and hard work to sell it.”