Theater, TV and cinema. Nicasio Catanese received his diploma at Accademia d’Arte del Dramma Antico dell’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico in Syracuse in 2015, but even before he started working on some important stages such as the one of the Greek Theater in Syracuse, with some national and international directors. He was one of the main characters of the TV series RAI ‘Il Cacciatore’ awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, and recently we saw him also at the cinema playing the role of Bernardo Mattarella in ‘Il Delitto Mattarella’ directed by Aurelio Grimaldi. Sicilian Secrets had a nice conversation with him.
Q: How did you take your first steps in show business, so becoming an actor?
A: It was something natural. When I was a child, I used to invent stories and then to play them in front of my family. At high school I attended some drama courses to learn acting and never stopped. The years at the Accademia were intense and happy, I had the opportunity to turn my passion into my job.
Q: Nicasio Catanese, on the stage and in front of the camera for the first time. Do you remember the emotion of that moment?
A: My first time at the theater happened when I was a child. But if we talk about professional experiences, the first time happened at the Greek Theater in Syracuse. I remember my first performance there: I had to walk on the stage and raise my head, so look at the audience. There were six thousand people. I felt dizzy for a second. In that moment I understood how it was crucial to be brave if you really want to do this job.
Q: You played in the movie directed by Aurelio Grimaldi ‘Il delitto Mattarella’, tell us something about this adventure you shared with some famous actors.
A: To be part of this ambitious project was an amazing opportunity. It’s a beautiful film dedicated to an honest man who was left alone and then killed. It’s about history, we all should know it especially young people who never lived those tough years. To be on set made me learn a lot. Our job means experience and you have to ‘steal’ from your colleagues. Moreover, Aurelio Grimaldi – thanks to his enthusiasm and intelligence – was able to give the right tools to the actors, I have to say thanks to him.
Q: According to you, does to be Sicilian risk to block an actor in a cliché?
A: I think that the dialect is a plus, is a music we keep inside and can be useful. For example, I often think about what I read on the script in Sicilian dialect, even if I have to say it in Italian. It’s an idea to become familiar with the screenplay in a natural and quick way. Any actor can risk being blocked in a cliché, but if they studied, they would have all tools to perform in every role.
Q: Is there a place where you would like to film a movie or a theater where you would like to perform?
A: I would make a movie basically everywhere. I had the chance to work in some gorgeous places in Sicily, Lazio and Tuscany. Italy is beautiful, wherever you go, you can imagine a possible movie set. Regarding theater, I would like to go back on the stage of the Greek Theater in Syracuse where I was artistically born, and to Piccolo Teatro in Milan.
Q: Nicasio Catanese as… What’s the character you would like to play?
A: There are many characters I’d like to play. I think that it would be nice to tell the story of Florios, an ambitious Sicilian family that became a legend. Moreover, I dream to play the role of a herald that is an important character in many tragedies. At the cinema I would like to get an emotional role and on TV it would be nice to be part of a high quality TV series like I did when I was in the cast of ‘Il Cacciatore’.
Q: Can you tell us an anecdote from the set?
A: On set we always work a lot but it’s fun as well. The pace is crazy, sometimes time runs and some other times it’s definitely slow. I remember that when we were shooting the first season of ‘Il Cacciatore’, we had to film in the wood during the night…there were even wolves. The director asked me to be hung on the branch of a tree. They lifted me up and made me wear a safety harness. It was supposed to be a quick ciak but because of some planes that were disturbing the audio, I was hung up for about two hours. When I was back on the ground my legs were numb and of course, no planes around. Totally silence, classic.
Q: Do you have any imminent project and some professional dreams you want to make true?
A: Everybody should have some dreams. For example, I wrote a script and who knows, maybe one day it’ll become a true show. I have just to wait. Moreover, I dream a role in an auteur film, a sort of milestone for every young actor. They are dreams, but as Calderon said: ‘life is a dream’.