Luca Calvani: “The Courage of Amber Heard”

AleUka Kalvani It describes the stage of life in which it is in the form of a large and lush garden. And diverse too, because the projects it is involved in are many and varied. directorial debut Cassio with Pear For example, released in cinemas last March. or podcast B U – thoughts are echoing, Dedicated to inner well-being. Of course, Le Gusiane, the farmhouse where the actor and host moved in with his partner, Alessandro Franchini. When he speaks, Calvani gives the impression of being exactly where he wants to be. He also expresses peace and lightness when remembering the times he spent with his colleague Amber Heard, a “wonderful person” with whom “a beautiful friendship” was born. The tone cracks only once during the interview, showing irritation: when, still talking about Ember, the discussion ends on those who evaluate her based on hearsay, often with violent terms. are, and those who attack him as well because instead, he personally defends them after they meet. The reference is apparently to the process after which the American actress was sentenced to pay damages for defamation to ex Johnny Depp and since then, the discussion has never really stopped. Calvani and Heard met on the set in the fireThe film, directed by Conor Allin, will be released next autumn. This supernatural thriller is set in 1890 and features a staged conflict between science and religion embodied by two characters, Grace and Father Antonio, played by Amber Heard and Luca Calvani, respectively. The antagonism between them – or rather, the development of their relationship – is one of the central points of the plot. Grace is a psychotherapist and is approached by a woman living on a farm in Colombia, concerned because her son Martin is disordered. The local priest, Father Antonio, as well as the farmers living in the area, are convinced that the boy is possessed by the devil. Therefore, when a psychiatrist arrives at the scene, she will try to help the boy by protecting him from the anger and fear of those around him. The film was shot between February and March 2022 in Puglia and Guatemala, therefore shortly before the trial in Virginia involving Heard and Depp, which began on April 12 of that year.

What was it like working with Amber Heard?
“Amber immediately surprised me with the questions she asked: It was clear that she had documented herself a lot, that she was cultured. When we found ourselves in Puglia, it was love at first sight. There are actors who work on themselves, who identify themselves with the character as soon as they step out of the dressing room. On the other hand, I studied Meissner (A Special Approach to Acting Developed by Sanford Meisner, ed.), a technique based on observing and observing other’s behavior and which, as I later learned, Ember has also studied. This gave us the opportunity to create scenes together, to watch them grow and blossom. Working like this makes us very excited. And it’s fun too.”

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Is it common to find this kind of tuning on sets?
“First of all we need a director who allows it, who involves the actors and makes them feel part of the creative process. Connor Allin is like that.”

You have experience with Italian and American sets. Is there a different approach?
«There’s a great democracy on British and American sets: we live together, we work together… It’s cool, because we really know each other. There isn’t the hierarchy sometimes seen on Italian sets.

returning in the fireHow was your experience working with Amber Heard off the set?
«We spent time together, we talked, we went for a walk in Antigua, Guatemala… We also organized dinner: I cooked and Amber, who is a foodie and wine lover, selected some wines, including Their origin, scent and suggestion were explained.

Shooting took place in Virginia shortly before the trial, while the film premiered at the Taormina Film Fest last June and was Heard’s first public appearance since the trial. Do you find it changed?
“There was a certain tension during filming and for that reason we tried to create moments of distraction. Testing will begin in Virginia in two weeks and the cloud will be visible from afar. In fact, I followed the process very little, because it was painful. But I heard myself and I expressed my closeness to him. I was glad to see her confident during the promotion of the film in Taormina. I am very proud of him and his courage. Also because some people on the internet still write horrible comments. I mean, what should it do? Lock yourself in a cave and never come out of my cave again? Right or wrong, it was a process. Carry on”.

Even on his Instagram profile, there are offensive comments and haters under the posts that attack him for his respect for Amber. Do you have any idea why the story gets heard so much?
“It surprises me a lot. When I returned to Italy last year after shooting the film, I received all kinds of comments for a few weeks: “You and your dogs die”, “Bastardo”… Absurd. I spent two intense months with Amber, there was great sharing. A beautiful friendship was born, also because we had many things in common: we have different parents, we have an open sexuality… It’s absurd to think that someone who is thousands of kilometers away from me can connect to the Internet. Could and write to me everything what do you think about my relationship with this woman who apart from that is not a normal person but is really generous, kind to everyone… I have felt that I have met an amazing person and I truly believe that I am. I am free to have my thoughts about him, get to know him and spend time with him.’

Clash of ideas is one of the themes of the film. in the fire, It seems to me that the experience you are narrating is also related to current events in general.
“The film is about perfection, about polarisation. It is a phenomenon that has already changed politics and the fortunes of entire countries, but we also see it on social media and there is no possible mediation. In the film, Grace represents science, which is the only new approach in the rural society in which it falls. Others think the child is evil, possessed by the devil… She is the only one who talks about mental disorder.

Talking about health including mental health, he recently launched a podcast B U – Echoing ThoughtsPrecisely devoted to inner well-being.
“I have changed many forms during my life. Our journey as human beings is a journey of expansion. Sometimes we face obstacles, but they help us discover other parts of us. If things had gone differently for me, if I had become a different person, I might not have had the opportunity, the time, and the curiosity to explore something else right now. Instead, the garden of my life right now is very diverse and I’m proud of it.

Are there any other projects in sight?
«The Le Gusiane estate, which I opened with Alessandro, continues to evolve. At present I have a few film projects going on abroad as well. I am writing a book about the transformation of my life at the farmhouse. And then I’d like to work with Amber again: We talked about it and we have some ideas that we can develop together… we’ll see. I’m definitely in a good chapter of my life. Last year I came out, although in reality Alessandro and I have never been in hiding. I love enjoying my home, sharing it with other people. I love being with my daughter. I confess that this pace suits me: I gravitate towards my world, my roots.

After Heard, is there any actress or actor you would like to work with?
«Of course Joaquin Phoenix, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard… and then Cate Blanchett: I love her sense of humor, she seems to me to be an actress who gets her hands dirty, who builds the ground for a story. It would be great to get my hands dirty with him.”

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