Giulia Petrungaro: telegenic, perfect to be an actress. She is from Calabria but Sicilian on TV. People knew her thanks to the role of Rosalinda in L’Onore e il Rispetto and then as Elena Montemurro in the big family of Il Paradiso delle Signore daily. From the anecdotes on location to her personal story, let’s talk to her in this interview on Sicilian Secrets.
Q: How have you started your career as an actress? What about your experience at drama school?
A: Everything began when I was 14 years old and, in my hometown, they started filming the movie La moglie del sarto with Maria Grazia Cucinotta and directed by Massimo Scaglione. Together with some friends, we went to the auditions for extras and when it was my turn, the director told me that I was telegenic, perfect for cinema. After three years, those words were still in my head, so I enrolled in the drama school Fondamenta, passed the first selection and then went to Rome for the last step. I was admitted and started attending drama school, fortunately my parents always encouraged me, trusted me and allowed me to take this chance.
Q: When did the first great professional opportunity arrived?
R: In summer 2015. I was contacted for L’Onore e il Rispetto. I did the audition, there was even another girl – Carlotta Maggiorana, who won Miss Italia in 2018. They chose me immediately, I remember that when my manager called me to give me the news, I was dying. It was an explosion of joy, one of the best moments of my life. In July we started filming and in September I started studying marketing at university.
Q: Giulia Petrungaro, firstly in the cast of L’Onore e il Rispetto playing the role of Rosalinda. Then Elena in Il Paradiso delle Signore. You are from Calabria, how was to play the role of two Sicilian women?
A: They are two different and beautiful women. I love the characters I play. When I go into my dressing room and put on the costume, I become another person and forget all problems of Giulia Petrungaro. Rosalinda belongs to mafia, speaks the dialect, and says many bad words…she is intemperate! Elena never makes a mistake. She is educated, dreams to become a teacher and everybody likes her.
Q: Elena Montemurro comes from Partanna, in the province of Trapani. Have you ever been in Sicily and in Partanna, of course?
A: I never was in Partanna! But I explored Sicily and discovered gorgeous places like Cefalù. Since I always played some roles as a Sicilian, I was very curious to know more.
Q: How do you show off the Sicilian soul of your characters? Are there some actors that inspire you?
A: I find the best inspiration on location thanks to my colleagues. When we filmed L’Onore e il Rispetto, I was supported by Gilberto Idonea, who was a Sicilian actor…a huge help for me. In Il Paradiso delle Signore I used to take my inspiration from Giulio Corso, so I learnt every day. Calabrian is very close to Sicilian, now I know it very well!
Q: Giulia Petrungaro and her ladies. What are some Elena and Rosalinda’s qualities in which you see yourself?
A: Regarding Elena, I think we share the same kindness toward friends and the same will to help people. Moreover, I’d like to be able to cook like her! On the contrary, Rosalinda is instinctive, especially when we talk about feelings and emotions. We both prove visceral love, in the past it happened to me too. Maybe I would steal a little bit of her egoism…
Q: Can you tell us some anecdotes from the set?
A: I remember something fun happened during a scene of L’Onore e il Rispetto. According to the screenplay, it was supposed to be the moment of a car explosion, but someone told me that everything would have been digitally produced. The make-up artists gave me some earplugs…in a couple of minutes that car blew up and was only about 20 meters away. I was super scared and almost slapped the colleague who told me that lie…while everybody was laughing!
Q: Let’s play: imagine to change the screenplay of Il Paradiso delle Signore. If Elena had not married Antonio Amato, who would have been her partner?
A: Elena without Antonio maybe would have been single, an independent and successful woman. As an alternative, with Rocco or Salvatore (Emanuel Caserio. Ed). Basically, always with someone from Amato family.
Q: Will Elena Montemurro come back in the next season of PdS?
A: Elena and Antonio will come back because they are part of the family! The Amatos are very bound, sincere and for sure there will be the occasion for being all together.
Q: Can you tell us one of your professional secrets?
A: My dream is to be fulfilled, even more than now. Since when I was 18, I did a lot to boost my career, I worked and hope to go on. It would be nice to think about the name of Giulia Petrungaro as a trait d’union to conciliate my current two activities: who knows, paraphs I’ll have a future as an actress and as a marketing manager.