Sicily has always been a land of artists, theater and cinema. Its wonderful locations inspired many directors and several talents achieved an international success while starting from their island. How does being Sicilian influence the career of an actor? Emmanuele Aita shared his experience with us.
He was born in Palermo in 1983, then he moved to Genoa where he attended the Drama School of the Civic Theatre. He got his degree in 2012 and in the same year, won the Premio Hystrio alla Vocazione for Under 30. His career brings Emmanuele Aita on the most important stages of Italian theatres, on TV and even to the cinema. But what’s the beginning of this beautiful story?
Once I meet Emmanuele, the first question is almost obvious.
D: What encouraged you most to become an actor? When did you understand that you wanted to do this job in your life?
R: I have always loved theater and in general whatever is part of the show business. I started without any school while being part of a nonprofessional acting company. But I wasn’t just an actor: I was a scenographer, a props man, a lighting technician, etc. Passion comes from my grandpa on my dad’s side and of course even from my parents, they pushed me to try.
Emmanuele talks about his childhood, and tells me that since he has been a child, he has grown up while watching on TV the comedies written by Eduardo. «To me, it was a fabulous world», he says. «There wasn’t a precise moment in which I understood that I wanted to do this job, we can say that I always wanted to do it and I had the luck and the honor to succeed».
D: From Palermo to the Civic Theatre in Genoa. How did being Sicilian influence your education and then your career?
R: I think that our own origins, it doesn’t matter if they are Sicilian or not, are fundamental for any actor.
At this point, since we are both from Palermo, I cannot avoid pushing Emmanuele Aita to mention Sicily and the bond he has with it. So, we start to talk about the relationship with his homeland.
«It’s a complicated relationship», he explains. «I love my homeland and every time I go to Sicily, my soul and my heart completely melt in front of so much beauty. Unfortunately, since I have the opportunity to travel a lot, I realized that Sicily, even if it has nothing less than other places in the world, is not able to take advantage of its resources in the best way. It makes me feel angry».
His attachment to his ‘home’ is clear even when I ask him how much of his being Sicilian, he brings to the stage and/or the set.
R: Everything, actually. It’s a too big baggage that you cannot leave. You can play while using many different accents or clothes, but your past is always the same.
D: What’s the experience that gave you more in terms of education and emotions?
R: One of the most beautiful sides of this job is that every experience gifts you an unavoidable plug for your personal and artistic growth. So, each person that I met, each place that I visited, each character that I played has been very important and left me something that I’ll always bring with me.
D: Stage VS set. What do you prefer? Why?
R: They are very different, and I love both. But in this moment of my life I wouldn’t say what I prefer. For sure, theatre gives me more adrenaline, I can feel the breath of the audience and perceive their emotions, I have to do my best because…good first take! At the cinema or on TV, everything takes more time and even in that case, concentration is crucial…you cannot lie the camera.
Since I am curious about his acting dualism, I ask Emmanuele Aita about the most difficult character that he played in his career and why it was so tough. He thinks, takes a couple of seconds and then points out that, as he said before, each character left him something, of course. «Each of them», he says, «had a difficulty. If I have to choose one, I tell you that it’s one of the first roles that I played at the theatre, in other words, the shop boy in the show “Il Macello di Giobbe” directed by Fausto Paravidino. It was very complex and for me, who was a beginner, it was a true challenge that at the same time, gave me the opportunity to develop my skills».
D: Would you like to play the role of a character who is/was strongly connected with Sicily? Which one?
R: Yes, certainly! It would be a great honor. For this reason, I tell you that I wouldn’t choose. If they proposed me to play the role of a character who is/was strongly connected with Sicily, probably I would accept immediately, no doubt! It would be a beautiful opportunity both to work in my homeland and to totally express my sicilianity.
Before concluding our interview, I think that it’s nice to ask Emmanuele something about his future since we recently saw him on TV, in the Netflix series “Suburra” and at the cinema.
«I’m going to shoot the second season of “L’Allieva” very soon», he answers. «Moreover, in a while you will see me even in the second season of “Solo”. In addition, in May we’ll perform again the show “La cucina” directed by Valerio Binasco. There are even other TV series in progress, but I cannot say more at the moment…but look out, I’m working also on a wonderful theatrical project! You will discover it soon! ».