Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher’s double wonder

Rohrwacher, who was at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for screenings of Hungry Hearts and The Wonders, plays two very different mothers in the film.
The director Saverio Costanzo and the actress Alba Rohrwacher. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
The director Saverio Costanzo and the actress Alba Rohrwacher. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Winning Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival this year clearly has not gone to Alba Rohrwacher’s head.

The Italian actress was praised by judges for her unnerving portrayal of one-half of a young married couple in Saverio Costanzo’s challenging New York indie Hungry Hearts. Rohrwacher’s other-half was played by Adam Driver – who also picked up Best Actor in Venice.

“It was a real and wonderful surprise,” says Rohrwacher, who attended the Abu Dhabi Film Festival with Costanzo, where the film screened twice. “Because it’s a movie made really by three people, it’s really important we received an award for Adam and me.

“It’s a movie about a relationship, a love story, so they recognised the two sides of the relationship we tried to build up, which we really believed in.”

Rohrwacher had previously worked with Costanzo on the acclaimed 2010 release The Solitude of Prime Numbers and Hungry Hearts marked the first time the Italian director had shot in English and in the United States.

Amazingly, there was no time for rehearsals – shooting on Hungry Hearts began one day after Rohrwacher wrapped up shooting on another movie, The Wonders.

A drama, The Wonders tells the story of Rohrwacher’s upbringing and was directed by her sister Alice. It also screened at ADFF, where it took the Black Pearl Award in the New Horizons Competition.

“I think doing a movie is about trust,” says Alba. “With Saverio, I really trust his vision of the story, working with him is like making an adventure, where anything can surprise me.

“And with my sister, the trust is something inside my blood – it was very simple.

“I’m very proud [of both films] – two mothers, very, very different mothers. The two sides of love – one dark and deep and very mysterious, the other open and sunny, a simple way to love the family.”

In addition to the forthcoming American release of Hungry Hearts, the awards and acclaim have undoubtedly raised the 35-year-old actress’s profile. But she appears reticent about chasing success in the United States.

“It depends – on the director, the story – I’m Italian,” she says, “there are a lot of directors I admire – a lot.”


Updated: November 1, 2014 04:00 AM

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