Wednesday 26 September 2012

Exclusive Interview With Claudia Gerini, Star Of TULPA

Claudia Gerini

It is an understatement to say that neo-giallo TULPA made a big impact at its word premiere at Frightfest in London at the end of August, polarising the audience and offering us a film so visually inventive and, I have to admit, utterly bonkers in parts, that it found its spot on my top 3 films of the festival. You can read my round up of the day of its screening in Frightfest here.

Whatever you opinion of the film might have been, it is undeniable that its lead actress, the Italian star Claudia Gerini, gave an inspired and committed performance for what was a very challenging part. And she has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions:

Claudia Gerini TULPA

FilmLand Empire: Were you familiar with giallo films before doing Tulpa? And if so, what is your favourite?

Claudia Gerini: I am quite familiar with giallo films and my all-time favourite is PROFONDO ROSSO.

Are you a horror film fan in general?

No, not really but I have my favourites. WOLF CREEK, MARTYRS. and THE WOMAN. I prefer horror films that have a strong psychological backbone. I’d like to see Jennifer Lynch’s CHAINED.

With Tulpa, this is now the second time you have worked with your husband, director Frederico Zampaglione. Would you say it is easier to be directed by your husband, or harder? And are you already planning a third film together?

For me it has been easier. Federico and I are good friends first of all, and we are very creative together on set, totally connected. He has a very strong personality and I just try to “live” the character in the most authentic way. On set we are just actor and director. At the moment there are no plans for a third film, but you never know!

Giallo films were often criticised in their heydays for being misogynic, but TULPA marks a departure from this aspect by having a strong female character as the lead. Is 
it what attracted you to the script?

Yes, absolutely! Lisa is a strong woman. Even though she lives a sort of double life, she likes to be “in control”, but when things start going crazy she get fragile and confused and then lost. I had to go deep chasing my worst fears and demons.


Was it challenging to play such a complex and multi-layered character as Lisa?

Yes, it was challenging. Lisa goes from realistic to suspense, from action/running scenes, to dramatic erotism. Playing her has been a deep emotional experience.

The film brings in an intriguing element of Tibetan mysticism, with the concept of the Tulpa. Are you interested in this sort of mythology at all?

I love mythology. One of My favourite book is ‘Metamorfosi di Ovidio’. But before TULPA I didn’t know much about Tibetan mysticism. I still want to read more about it.

We are going to be seeing you soon in REALITY by Matteo Garrone, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes this year, a very different film from TULPA! Can you tell us a bit more about it, and what part do you play in it?

I play just a cameo as the TV show presenter of Big Brother. I have to say, I loved this movie, Matteo Garrone is a contemporary poet and a good friend of mine.

TULPA does not have a UK release date yet, but it will be in official competition at the Sitges Film Festival 2012 and I encourage you to catch it there if you can. Clauda Gerini will be seen soon in LABYRINTH, the Ridley/Tony Scott produced TV mini-serie adaptation of the eponymous Kate Mosse best-selling novel.

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