Acting as an impulse to change her life. This is how the career of Lucia Sardo began: she’s a Sicilian actress starring in several film and television productions. She was the face and soul of Felicia Impastato in ‘The Hundred Steps’ directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, now she is one of the protagonists of ‘From Scratch’, a Netflix series with Zoe Saldana inspired by the book by Tembi Locke. Sicilian Secrets interviewed her.
Q: Your career is full of successes and important productions: how did you understand you wanted to become an actress?
A: My career started almost by chance in the 1980s. I attended a theater workshop in Treviglio, in the province of Bergamo where I used to live, and at the end of this path the group I had followed the workshop with asked me to join them. In three months I totally changed my life: I quit my job, I left my boyfriend and I started to devote myself to acting because that was what I was most passionate about. I was unhappy emotionally but also physically, my body couldn’t tolerate the lies I had told myself and a change was essential. Obviously, you have to be ready to welcome the news, with the theater I transformed my illness into something good.
Q: We could say you left your stable life for the unknown…
A: I grabbed this opportunity because I had nothing to lose. I jumped into the void and in a short time I was ‘healed’, and despite not having any financial certainty, I realized that this was not what I was looking for. I was interested in the certainty of my soul, my heart, my energy… I came back alive, strong, cheerful and determined, practically everything I hadn’t been in the last few years. Poison must be turned into medicine. The greatest fear that the human being has is to change, this leads us to be tied to those small deadly certainties that give us neither joy nor serenity.
Q: Lucia Sardo and Sicily, what is the bond you have with your native land?
A: My work is told through my roots and vice versa. Without roots you do not fly, you can spread your wings when you deepen your origins and strengthen your bonds. Today I am citizen of the world!
Q: ‘The Hundred Steps’, directed by Marco Tullio Giordana in 2000 and dedicated to the life of Peppino Impastato, made you have a nomination for the Nastro d’argento. What does this film mean to you?
A: From a professional point of view, it was the film that launched me. While I was filming ‘From Scratch’ in America, one of the producers of the series told me that for him ‘The Hundred Steps’ is one of the best films ever and that he loved me in the role of Felicia Impastato. I felt so grateful and satisfied, this movie has given me a lot also from a human point of view.
Q: In this movie you are Felicia Impastato, tell us more about this role, please…
A: It was something very strong, I told the story of a real person by embodying a woman to whom many people now link my face. I met her, we became friends and we met even after the film. I often carry around a show dedicated to Felicia, I created it for a very young audience because she was the ‘mother’ of many young people, she used to welcome them from all over the world into her home. I believe it is important to make known the strength of this woman, a normal, natural, ordinary strength that symbolizes the strength of all women.
Q: Something curious from backstage: is there an anecdote from one of your sets that you remember and want to tell us?
A: Speaking of anecdotes, I remind a moment lived on the set of ‘From Scratch’, a scene that aroused great emotion even in the operators, we were all crying… being an actor is not easy! Also from this set I remember another one, a scene in which there was the actor playing my son lying in bed. I started playing with him by saying a phrase in Sicilian dialect that is usually said to children when they are a little angry and you want to make them laugh, tickling them under the throat. I was improvising, but in the meantime the director was watching from the monitor. At that point she left everything, she came to me, she knelt down and took my hand and kissed it. ‘I am the luckiest woman in the world because I have the honor of working with you,’ she said. Well…I discovered that in her previous film she had directed Colin Firth, I was shocked…’Lucky me’, I thought!
Q: ‘From Scratch’, the latest Netflix series starring Zoe Saldana, is your latest work. What did it mean to be part of such an important international production?
A: Taking part in this project meant pure joy and I understood that there are no limits except in our mind. I never imagined shooting in America for three and a half months, and even in the studios of Charlie Chaplin. Things happen, life is much more imaginative than our own imagination!
Q: Lucia Sardo and the future, what are your next projects?
A: For next year I have three very beautiful projects in the pipeline. They are different from each other, one is a comedy that will also involve an international star but for the moment…top secret!