De Cataldo Kim Rossi Stuart froze me on the set

De Cataldo: “Kim Rossi Stuart froze me on the set of Criminal Novel.” With Favino we do the fan gag…

Giancarlo De Cataldo, what did he want to do when he grew up?
“The Formula 1 driver. When I grew up, sometimes I didn't even get a driver's license. I never learned to drive a car well.

In the end he became a judge, a writer, a screenwriter.
“These were all adult decisions. However, as a boy I had a passion for exploring planets.

However, your passion for the planets remains: is it true that you believe in horoscopes?
“As a good southerner…”

As a good southerner?
“You never know.”

Which sign is it?
“Aquarius. It is said of us Aquarians that we are all minds, all dreams, all escapes.

Does it fit?
“Yes, even for escape routes. The idea of ​​the doors being closed, the impossibility of going out, worries me.”

An ordeal you remember?
“The one about Goffredo Fofi.”

What did Fofi do to her?
“What he didn’t do to me.” At the performance of my first play, he didn’t say a word. He sat next to me and shook his head constantly throughout the entire show. No comment, just sympathetic looks. It was 2001, I still remember it.

Crime novel: a book, a film, a series. Practically a brand. How was it born?
“When I wrote it, I was in a kind of trance.”

What does that mean?
“I didn't understand what I wrote. I thought it would be a novel that told fifteen years of Italian history, in the spirit of the 19th century French novel.”

Which character are you closest to?
“You don't ask a father who he loves more than his children. Although I should say the grandchildren.”

“For the Novel Criminal Gang, I am the “uncle””.

Uncle Giancarlo: Are you in contact with this gang of actors?
“Not that we go out for pizza in the evening, but we talk. When we meet with Pierfrancesco Favino we will make fake radio comments about Roma.”

That is?
“He acts like a complaining Roma fan calling on the radio. I'm his buddy. We laugh a lot.”

What memories do you have of the set of this film? In addition to Favino, Kim Rossi Stuart, Claudio Santamaria… were there.
«These are the first days of filming: Kim Rossi Stuart is preparing for the stage, we are in the Madonna del Pellegrino. I approach, I had doubts about the role he was given. I introduce myself: “I am De Cataldo”. He freezes me with a hieratic look. Doubts dispelled: He was the cold one.”

If you were to write “Mystery” today, what would come out of it?
“I couldn't write it. More than twenty years have passed, crime has changed. A group that tries to establish itself like the Magliana gang no longer exists today. The only strategy to prevail today appears to be a head-on collision.”

The Magliana gang in “Criminal Novel”, the crime in Via Poma, the murder of Marta Russo: among the sensational cases in the history of Rome, is there a case that you did not prosecute as a judge?
“Mafia capital”.

But then he told it in Suburra.
“Yes. Even if the investigation ultimately concluded that the whole affair had nothing to do with the mafia.

33 years have passed since this crime, as a reminder: the crime in Via Poma. Will we ever know who killed Simonetta?
Anus. At least from the papers I've seen, it's impossible to determine this.

His books were full of bloody, rude and dark characters. Is that why he eventually invented a gentle, melomaniac detective of noble birth like Manrico Spinori?
“After dealing with headline-grabbing crimes for at least twenty-five years, I needed to breathe a sigh of relief. With him everything is softer, lighter. But that's not the only reason why I created Manrico Spinori.

What need drove you?
“I thought: All crime writers who deserve the name have a serial character. And I asked myself: Why shouldn't I have it?

Yes, it was answered. Does Manrico Spinori look like you?
«I love opera in a special way and music in general. But he is divorced, I was always with my wife Tiziana.”

Do you play an instrument?
“Let's forget it.”

“One of my adult life plans was to play the saxophone.”

And you didn't succeed?
“I turned to the guitar. But I play it very badly. And it's best not to let my wife see me with the guitar in my hand.

Does he have a myth?
“Leonard Cohen”.

Contemporary authors you like?
“It is a devilish decision. I am an omnivore and can find good even in those who are very far from me.” I have read all my Italian noir friends, but I don't want to say who I like the most.

Someone she doesn't like?
“It’s a devilish decision.”

Do you believe in miracles?
“I believe in surprising events. Those who have faith call them miracles. But the concept doesn’t change.”

What makes her happy?
“To actually hold something I made in my hands.” A film, a book, even an article in the newspaper. It gives me a feeling of redemption.”

And one thing that bothers you?
“The extremism of political correctness. I find it unbearable.

What does he mean?
“I’m terrified of the moral police. In Italy we are not at the level of hysteria of the American woke, but too many of us who write are skating because we are afraid to say something that might scare or instill fear.”

A great friend from the world of cinema that you have worked with?
“Mario Martone, “We Believed,” the film about the Risorgimento, was a deeply moving experience that still stays with us today. We still greet each other as Mazzini did with the other conspirators.

What greeting is that?
“They say martyrdom. The other answers: “Resurrection.” We always greet each other like that, even if it's been thirteen years since the film.

Read the other interviews in the “A CHARACTER ONE CITY/ROME CAPOCCIA” series