Italian star comes again for Beijing film festival
Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta talks with CRI reporter Sam Duckett. [Photo: China Plus]
In spite of an impressive resume in her native Italy, actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta is most famous in the international arena for a role back in 1999 as a ruthless assassin in the 007 adventure The World Is Not Enough. She was also a guest star on the iconic drama The Sopranos.
The actress is now in Beijing, at the invitation of the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival. She recently sat down with our reporter Sam Duckett, sharing her thinking mainly on the film festival, Chinese film market and international movie productions.
Let's have a listen.
Sam: One great thing about the ongoing film festival is I think it is a fantastic platform to allow us to better understand Chinese films.
Maria: Of course.
Sam: On that note, what are your general impressions about Chinese movies?
Maria: At the beginning talking about 11 years ago, it was a little bit difficult to understand. Now they change completely in the last five years, even the young movie directors are different; they are more international. Maybe I'm getting used to it. And a movie is always important because you understand more about culture and their point of view. And it's a way to learn about the Chinese culture and their way of living.
Sam: Have you recently watched any Chinese films? Is there any one piece that has really caught your eye?
Maria: I've seen so many. But just few stay in my mind. I watched and love Grandmaster. I think it's a movie that can teach you a lot about the Chinese culture. I really like the Partners too.
Sam: For me, the Grandmaster was one of my personal favorites. I always love story of Yip Man, who is the Chinese martial art master from Canton province.
What do you think of the international productions with Chinese actors and actresses involved, ---I know that, Chinese actress Jing Tian has a role in Kong: Skull Island.
And Chinese pop star Jay Chou also cast In 'Now You See Me 2', have you watched these movies?
Maria: I think when you have local actors, it's a way to make the audiences immediately connect with this international film, because you recognize something that belongs to you and it's a way to get international; even for the Chinese actors to get more international. Here you have some great talents but of course it's still very rare to see Chinese films outside of China, so it's important even for the Chinese culture because every time you go out of China, you take a piece of culture outside of China.
Sam: Do you yourself have an interest or would you like to work in the Chinese film market?
Maria: I already did four Chinese films.
Sam: Oh, tell me about them.
Maria: The last one is called "Into the Rainbow". There is a young actor Wu Lei and Joe Chen is the actress. I don't remember her Chinese name. It's always a challenge when you get to work with them, because it's a way to learn even more when you work with them. It's not just seeing a movie; you are in the movie and you were working in their way and it's a challenge.