The Heroine’s Journey of Virginia Risso

What is the best thing that you love about your work? Being an actress gives me the opportunity to experience being “in your shoes”, to understand characters’ qualities and flaws. This job allows you to study the reasons underneath their actions. Actors have the chance to be more open-minded and to be closer to people who are very different from you, so that you give up judging and you start understanding other people’s point of view, emotions and sensitivity. empathy makes your life better. who is empathetic doesn’t judge, but understands the reality surrounding him/her.

What is your idea of happiness? My idea of happiness consists in reaching a inner state of peace and joy, which arises from a strong self-consciousness, that gives you the strength to face difficulties in life. Happiness that you feel when you reach your goals is very fragile, as it depends on something which is continuously changing. Both sorrow and joy are part of our lives, but the most important thing is pursuing a strong personality, capable to face all the challenges.

What is your greatest fear? Pigeons.

What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the events, and I am not able to promptly react.

Which living persons in your profession do you most admire? I adore Meryl Streep. She’s 100% perfect. Being as versatile as she is, should be every actor’s aim.

What is your greatest extravagance? I think that artists shouldn’t be afraid of showing their extravagance. This doesn’t mean acting like a fool, or forcing you to be bizarre, but it means not being afraid of other people’s judgment. Nietzsche wrote: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

On what occasion would you lie? I have given up telling lies, lies are harmful in every context. I just avoid telling the truth, if truth can hurt someone.

What is the thing that you dislike the most in your work? Envy, hypocrisy, insincerity. Unfortunately, it is quite common to cross the path of people who spoil the beauty of Art. I think it is better to get yourself away from this kind of negative people.

When and where were you the happiest, in your work? I’m always happy when I work. From the first rehearsal from the last encore performance. The moment I love the most is the one before entering on stage. In that moment i feel like Goku when he’s becoming a super Saiyan. However, I am able to be calm during the play, despite the adrenaline.

If you could, what would you change about yourself? If we talk about my body, I’d change everything. If we talk about my personality, I would like to be less resentful.

What is your greatest achievement in work? I consider a great success every applause, compliment, review, and award that I receive. Actor is someone who shares emotions, and convey an emotion, even to a single person in the audience is a huge satisfaction. During the lock-down I gained the first and third prices in two national awards of dramaturgy with my play Il meglio deve ancora venire – The best is yet to come – a play that I love and gaining those prices was really gratifying.

Where would you most like to live? I would like to live in an utopian Italy, where meritocracy, honesty and respect are part of every-day life. As it is not possible, I’d like to go to US.

What is your most treasured possession? My family, my best friends and theater.

What is your most marked characteristic? People tell me I have got a peculiar laugh, that can be easily recognised.

What is your most inspirational location, in your city? A garden in Rome, on the Colle Aventino, which is called Giardino degli Aranci. It is a tiny and full of magic place, one of the best panoramic viewpoint of the city. It’s name is due to the orange threes in there. A legend tell that these fruits have miraculous properties.

What is your favorite place to eat and drink, in your city? Pistacchio ice cream in Gelateria dei Gracchi is amazing.

What books influenced your life and how? The book that mostly influenced me is 1984, by George Orwell a warning against abuses and mental subjugation. Another novel that I love is Crime and Punishment, by Fedor Dostoevskij, by means of suffering man can save himself, thanks to the contrast between one’s inner self and the surrounding reality.

You Only Die Once. What music would you listen on your last day? Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, Melanie Safka, Rolling Stones and Vasco Rossi.

Who is your hero or heroine in fiction? Jane Eyre, independent, strong and determined. I think that she can be inspiring for women who have sense of justice and self-respect.

Who are your heroes and heroines in real life? Luckily, history is full of heroines and heroes. We should consider them as examples and pass on what they teach us, always keeping in mind that what we have today is the result of struggles in the past. I’m thinking about Emmeline Pankhurst, the founder of Women’s Social and Political Union who struggles for women’s rights, or even Rosa Parks, the american activist, who has become a symbol of the struggles for civil rights. Every person who reminds us to live in a world free from discrimination, should be considered and heroine and hero.

Which movie would you recommend to see once in a lifetime? It is hard top pick up just one! Casablanca, Philadelphia, The Green Mile, The Godfather, Sleepers, The Devil’s Advocate, Brokeback Mountain, The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert. The filmography of Hitchcock, Kubrick, Tarantino. There are too many movies that I think should be seen!

What role play stories in your life and work? Stories are essential. Every moment of our lives can be inspiring for the artist.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to you? We are responsible of our life and destiny. We are able to change the events.

Who is your greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I’m very lucky, as both my family and my closest friends support me.

Which people or companies would you like to work with in 2021? I wish I can go back to theater as soon as possible, both on stage and in the audience. I hope I will act in movies also!

Which people in your profession who can make a real difference in your creative career would you love to meet in 2021? There are many artists I would love to work with. I am strongly convinced that is really important to share experiences and opinions, and to mix different ways of working . By the way, I’d love to work with Umberto Orsini, Eros Pagni, Massimo Popolizio, Ferzan Ozpetek, Pupi Avati, Paolo Virzì.

What project, in 2021, are you looking forward to work on? I’m working on two main projects this year. The first one is a new play produced by Teatro al Femminile, which focuses on the gender gap in our society. The other one is a project that mixes theater and TV called NUTRI-MENTI, created by Sarah Falanga, a great artist. It is an honor for me to work with her.

Where can we see you or your work in 2021? I hope as soon as possible, both in theater and on tv.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to you? Everything you do with passion and commitment will be a success.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Zehra Dogan, kurdish artist and journalist. She’s known because she was arrested and convicted after posting on social media a painting showing the destruction of Nusaybin after the conflict between police and Kurdish people.

How can we contact you? Who is interested in my work can follow Teatro al Femminile

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