La Ragnatela News
By Eva Forte
July 23, 2018
Charismatic, beautiful and in Western style. So we meet Yassmin Pucci, grandson of the last shah (Italian Shah) of Persia, on the set of Oro e Piombo, the first spaghetti western thirty years after Sergio Leone's last film. A bet, a revival of a genre that is disappearing. We interview her at the end of the day, at Cinecittà World where they filmed in the Far West for three days with Greg (by Lillo and Greg). Now they are at the final stages and at the end of August the shooting will end, to then continue with the promotion and release in theaters in Winter. As we talk together we discover that behind that beautiful face there is much more: actress, screenwriter and with a book in the drawer that we hope to read soon. It will be the story of his family, with curiosity and background by the nephew of the twin sister of the last Shah of Persia. But let's leave the word to her and conclude with a video interview at the end of the article ... not to be missed.
1) Tell us something about you ... I read that you lived in America for five years. What prompted you to return to Italy ?
My life in New York has not always been easy as you can imagine ... the lack of Italy I often felt ... not only for the affections but also for the inhabitants, for the climate, for the evenings in Campo de 'Fiori, for the classic films they gave with Alberto Sordi or the Magnani on Rete Quattro ... it was the late nineties and I had just discovered e-mail ... there were no video calls and so many comforts that today when you travel or you're out for so long you can take a piece of "home" with you without too much trouble ... I wrote and received letters, from the beautiful ones with the perfume above ... then my roommate opened up a new world to me ... that of e-mail ... makes me smile all this ... it's like I've lived another life ... the Yassmin who lived in New York is very different from today's Yassmin ... and I miss that life a bit. But I did not return to Italy for nostalgia. I had returned to spend the summer with my family ... I had a return ticket for September 20 (I still remember it) and in October my courses would start again. But September 11th changed everything ... for everyone ... I stayed in Rome to avoid my parents being too worried and then a series of situations made me lose the train back to the Big Apple and I stayed in Italy.
2) Your grandmother, besides being a famous person, has had an important role in your life but also in your career?
My grandmother is a woman I loved from the first day I met her ... and I was 14 years old. She is Ashraf Pahlavi , twin sister of the Shah of Persia. If they are written of beautiful and ugly about her but we all agree on the charisma, intelligence and elegance of this woman, despite the austerity that emanated. My grandmother was mainly a human being who preferred simple things, absurdly, but the environment and the people who always surrounded her were very far from the simple term ... all taken to set a tone and make themselves beautiful in front of her to enter in his graces ... how many I could tell (and I will) but the times when I saw her really serene was when she played cards with her personal masseuse or when she spoke with our cook or when I told her about what happened to me at the university and of what I did after school. When I told her that I worked as a barman in a restaurant she laughed for hours, but then one evening she came to see me without telling me anything and seemed to be suddenly in the movie "the prince seeks wife" because no one in the restaurant where I worked expected a Persian princess to arrive with all his followers ... with my grandmother, when he moved even to go to the cinema, at least 14 people were mobilized between company ladies, right arm, driver and body guards.
My grandmother was a lover of talent, of everything that was art ... she always supported me in my choice to be an actress, but she never gave me the so-called spintarelle ... in this she was against it. He paid for my studies at the Actor studio ... he provided me with the means ... but the rest I had to do by myself.
3) Have you done all your artistic studies in America? How did you live this part of your life?
Studying and living in America is an experience that I hope my children will also do. New York then especially is the least American city ever. You meet people from all over the world and immediately become "family" when you study abroad and you don't have your family next door; the friendships that are created become an integral part of your life, share everything and remain in your heart regardless of the time spent. my New York family is in my heart and I still hear them often.
4) What was your first film and what will you always carry in your heart? At what age did you start in the entertainment world?
My first film as a protagonist is called Replay, directed by Giorgio Grasso, a very young boy at the time but with very clear ideas. I was unripe and scared but a good movie came out with a beautiful photograph and excellent and highly qualified adventure companions; then the films with foreign productions arrived, speaking perfectly English it was great to shoot with them. I did with the same director who later became a great friend Giovanni Pianigiani, three thrillers and so on what was born what and I made my way step by step, knowing so many people with great passion and talent. But the film that I will always carry in my heart is this that we are shooting now, Oro e Piombo , not only for the genre, so niche and so inspiring, but because now I see it as a creature of mine, I wrote various screenplays but here I do not there is only my hand in collaboration with that of three other formidable people, Emiliano Ferrera, Igor Maltagliati and Tiziano Carnevale , but I took possession of the whole package looking for myself the costume designer, sponsor and collaborations, I got involved in everything and everything in this film, taking care of every little detail with the director ... I tried to help him where and how I could and the results are showing ... I'm very proud of the film and the team that Ferrera has put up, with faces perfect, great actors and stunts, the atmosphere is always a thousand.
5) Gold and Lead: we enjoyed watching the filming inside Cinecittà World. A step back in the past but also a leap back in the genre of filmography that we had not seen in Italy for 30 years. What do you expect from your product?
My first steps in the world of entertainment I moved to the tender age of 18 when we were not yet pestered by reality shows and talk shows and to move in this world it was rightly necessary to make a mess. I have drawn it all out with patience and tenacity without ever lowering my head ... and I am proud to be where I am, having to thank myself only.
From our film we expect recognition ... ours could be a war against windmills but we are ready to face everything because we believe in it. The public is not foolish, it never has been, there is a need for a breath of fresh air, new faces, different genres ... the western will be great again and will not only appeal to the nostalgic. After the film of gold and lead we will shoot the TV series and there will be even more to indulge in, we will perhaps open the doors to more prominent characters, but we will always aim and focus on new faces, we have so many actors and actresses of thick and of talent ... we want to give space to these professionals without having any imposition ... we want a free show, we want to break down some clichés, the films can be done well and they can like and collect even without a known face.
We firmly believe in it. It will not be the public that will certainly penalize us, perhaps more the production houses to which we could step on our feet unintentionally.
6) Can you tell us some anecdotes about the shooting of the film?
On the set of gold and lead they have happened to every ... so that if it depended on me I would have put some backstage scenes on the credits ... it is not said that I cannot convince our director 😉
Ferrera seems a serious man but in the end he is the craziest of all. We have not filmed a simple film, we are living it ... living together for a long time with an artistic and technical troupe among splendid animals even if they are trained is not easy, they are still instinctive animals. Working with a stunt horse coordinator like Antonio di Santo, stunt coordinator for the fight scenes like Tiziano Carnevale and learning to use guns of the time as if I had always done this with a master of weapons like Marco Fanciulli, is priceless. The western movie takes you to a unique dimension right from the preparation. Then you finish everything with wonderful costumes thanks to the Costumepoque tailoring with the great Rosanna Grassia and daughter Laura, put on a soundtrack made by a band of absolutely incredible musicians like the Dollar of Honor ... put the collaboration of a great sound professional like Lorenzo Lombardi, and that of cinecittà world, put the dubbing edited by a master like Stefano De Sando (official voice of Rober De Niro and many others) and the games are made, at least the commitment is at its maximum and if we fail we will not we could never blame ourselves for anything, that's for sure.
7) Scriptwriter, actress and now also a writer. Tell us about your project?
I don't feel like a writer, I don't have the title, but I am very keen to tell the story of my mother born and raised with a woman so important and tough as my grandmother. The book will start as a beautiful fairy tale but not all that glitters is gold ... there are so many uncomfortable stories, so many dark sides, conspiracies, injustices that will surface ... from the book I will pass to the script because we will make a film.
8) We also talk about you as a woman. How do you reconcile your work with everyday life?
I am a mother of two wonderful children, if I can take time off and do my job lightly I do it thanks to my husband who, besides being a great father, is also a great shoulder. We know how to organize ourselves perfectly, we are now a good team. When I'm not on the set, I work from home on my screenplays and I enjoy being a 360-degree mum, and if I walk around in Rome I always go and see my children on set at least once ... I love having them around. They are my charge of positivity.
9) How long do we have to wait before we can see the new western movie? Surely we will be waiting for many in anticipation ...
We expect to finish shooting the first week of August. We should arrive, if everything goes as we wish, on the big screens this winter ... without excluding the various festivals to which we will propose ourselves. The film premieres on September 26, 2019 at the Terra di Siena Film Festival.