He’s an actor, an impressionist and more. He’s an artist. Manlio Dovì was born in Palermo in 1964, the first huge step of his career was when in 1986 he arrived on the stage of Fantastico, hosted by Pippo Baudo. But the true fame happened when he became part of Bagaglino, created by Pier Francesco Pingitore. Over the years, he impersonated many characters, from some famous politicians such as Cossiga and Sarkozy to Prince Charles and Valentino, Asia Argento and so on. Not only TV but even cinema, on Sicilian Secrets’ blog we tell you everything about his eclectic personality.
Every impression must be original.
Q: How did you get closer to the acting world?
A: I have always loved art. When I was at middle school, my best way to communicate was drawing, I needed to convey a message. Everything used to become a caricature. I was a lonely boy; I was reflexive and in general didn’t like to be part of a group. I decided to study at university because I was in love with a girl that I met at the high school but after a while I left because my first big occasion happened: Fantastico.
Q: Is there any milestone in your life you happily remember?
A: Over the years, I realized that every time I tried to divert from my path, I was more and more aware that I couldn’t do anything else in my life. My idea of art is strictly related to work. I remember that once I arrived in Rome to start performing at Fantastico, I got at Piazza Venezia by car and felt like if the city was hugging me. That world was welcoming me. I lived for a couple of years in a very small room that for me was like home, we Sicilians always look for a hearth.
Q: Manlio Dovì at Fantastico, was it tough to work on TV? What happened since that moment?
A: I was pushed to do the first audition by one of my best friends, Nicola Farruggio. I passed the selection in Bari, then in Rome but as my father taught me, I never considered all of this expected or predictable. Fantastico 7 was a crucial edition of the show and among the authors there was even Marco Risi who noticed me and wanted me to make his movie Soldati (Soldiers). Unfortunately, because of some very bad events I missed many opportunities such as to work with Nanni Moretti in the movie Palombella Rossa or to be part of the cast of Mery per sempre. In the end, it provoked a lot of bitterness in me…
Q: Actor, comedian, impressionist. And of course, a career that goes through theater, TV and cinema. What do you love the most?
A: Honestly, I’d like to do everything! Lucio Caizzi, another actor and friend, understood my personality and said that after a while, I get bored. The truth is that every actor continuously wants to play in a movie, cinema means life. To play in a theater is beautiful if you are able to be different every day, if every performance changes. I recently took part in a show at Teatro Antico in Taormina for a charity event with Mario Biondi, Anna Tatangelo and some other artists. In that case, in front of about 5,000 people, it was a very emotional moment.
Q: Manlio Dovì as an impressionist, is there any character that you played and still love? On the other side, is there any character you would never impersonate again?
A: For sure, Cossiga was relevant for my career because the ‘original Cossiga’ appreciated my impersonation, invited me at Quirinale and since that moment my name has become popular. When I was working at Bagaglino, together with Pingitore, we found some amazing characters. Every impression must be original, I have been inspired by the caricaturist Giorgio Forattini who was a master for all of us. I really like Vittorio Sgarbi, Luca Giurato, Mattarella and there’s no character I would never play again. Thanks to each of them I tell stories like if they are my puppets.
Q: How do you show off your being Sicilian on the stage?
A: When I perform, I bring the energy of being Sicilian on the stage…whatever it means! Who comes from Sicily is melancholic and is so connected to their origin that when they leave, it’s like if they die a little bit. We Sicilians would never leave our land, we’d like to have the gift of ubiquity. Sicily and family.
Q: Which are the future projects of Manlio Dovì?
A: Now I cannot say anything but for sure there will be some news soon!