04 December 2016

Riccardo Scamarcio

Blue-eyed dreamboat Riccardo Scamarcio (1979) is one of the leading stars of the contemporary Italian cinema. He is known for successful Italian films as Romanzo criminale/Kings of Crime (2005), Mio fratello è figlio unico/My Brother Is an Only Child (2007) and Mine vaganti/Loose Cannons (2010) but also works abroad. He is also a film producer.

Riccardo Scamarcio
Italian postcard in the Collection Cards series, a supplement to the weekly Cioè.

Fodder for the gossip magazines

Ricardo Scamarcio was born in 1979 in Andria, Puglia, Italy. His mother Irene is a painter.

At the age of 16, he left school and went to Rome to train as an actor at the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema. His acting debut was in the TV series Compagni di scuola/Classmates (Tiziana Aristarco, Claudio Norza, 2001).

In 2003 followed a part in La meglio gioventù/The Best of Youth (2003), a four-part mini-series directed by Marco Tullio Giordana that covers expansive times of Italian history through the story of one family. The series was presented at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Un Certain Regard award, and was then given an international theatrical release.

Scamarcio’s first lead role in a feature film was in the teen romance Tre metri sopra il cielo/Three Steps Over Heaven (Luca Lucini, 2004). His role as a handsome bad boy made him immediately a sex symbol in Italy. He co-starred with Italian-Greek actress Valeria Golina in Texas (Fausto Paravidino, 2005). He fell in love with his 14-years older costar and their affair was fodder for the gossip magazines and made him well-known.

He then starred in the criminal drama Romanzo criminale/Kings of Crime (Michele Placido, 2005), with Kim Rossi Stuart. In this highly acclaimed portrait of a Mafiosi community in the 1970s, he played a monosyllabic, enigmatic thug. In 2006 he acted in the TV Mini-series La freccia nera/The Black Arrow (Fabrizio Costa, 2006), adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

He played one of two brothers coming of age in a small Italian town in the 1960s and 1970s in Mio fratello è figlio unico/My Brother Is an Only Child (Daniele Luchetti, 2007), based on the novel Il Fasciocomunista by Antonio Pennacchi. Brothers Accio (Elio Germano) and Manrico (Riccardo Scamarcio) embody and celebrate opposing political stances, but share an impassioned love of the same woman that threatens to drive them to blows. Luchetti's political comedy observes the brothers over the course of 15 years, against the ever-shifting backdrop of tumultuous Italian sociopolitical history.

Scamarcio played in the local box-office hit Manuale d'amore - Capitoli successivi/Manual of Love 2 (Giovanni Veronesi, 2007), a romantic comedy with Monica Bellucci. Then followed Ho voglia di te/I want you (Luis Prieto, 2007), a sequel to his breakthrough film, Tre metri sopra il cielo/Three Steps Over Heaven (2004), and Go Go Tales (Abel Ferrara, 2007), starring Willem Dafoe.

In the following years, he made the thriller Colpo d'occhio/At a Glance (Sergio Rubini, 2008), the comedy Italians (Giovanni Veronesi, 2009) with Carlo Verdone, and with Luca Argentero Il grande sogno/The Big Dream (Michele Placido, 2009), set at a Roman university in 1968. Scamarcio played an illegal immigrant-cum-innocent abroad in Eden à l'Ouest/Eden Is West (2009), directed by celebrated filmmaker Costa-Gavras. Scamarcio's partner, Valeria Golino, played his sister in the comedy-drama L'uomo nero/The Cézanne Affair (Sergio Rubini, 2009).

Riccardo Scamarcio
Italian postcard in the Collection Cards series, a supplement to the weekly Cioè.

Riccardo Scamarcio
Italian postcard in the Collection Cards series, a supplement to the weekly Cioè.

A gay son of a conservative bourgeois family

Riccardo Scamarcio was very successful as a gay son of a conservative bourgeois family in the comedy Mine vaganti/Loose Cannons (Ferzan Özpetek, 2010). The film was highly praised by film critics and got nominated for thirteen David di Donatello Awards, the Italian Oscars.

In France, Scamarcio appeared in the drama Polisse (2011), written, directed by and starring Maïwenn. The film centres on the Child Protection Unit (Brigade de Protection des Mineurs) of the Paris Police.

Woody Allen directed him in the magical realist romantic comedy To Rome with Love (2012), set in Rome. He had small parts in the British biographical drama Effie Gray (Richard Laxton, 2014), featuring Dakota Fanning, and the British-German-American romance Third Person (Paul Haggis, 2013), starring Liam Neeson.

Back in Italy, he starred in the comedy Una piccola impresa meridionale/A Small Southern Enterprise (2013), written, directed and starred by Rocco Papaleo. He reunited with Willem Dafoe and director Abel Ferrara for Pasolini (2014) about the final days of film director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Scamarcio starred opposite Sharon Stone in the comedy-drama Un ragazzo d'oro/A Golden Boy (2014), written and directed by Pupi Avati. Then followed Maraviglioso Boccaccio/Wondrous Boccaccio (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 2015) loosely based on stories from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.

He got a David di Donatello Award nomination for best actor for the romantic drama Nessuno si salva da solo/You Can't Save Yourself Alone (Sergio Castellitto, 2015). Other recent films in which he appeared are the Italian drama La prima luce/The First Light (Vincenzo Marra, 2015), the American drama Burnt (John Wells, 2015), starring Bradley Cooper, the romantic comedy-drama Io che amo solo te/I only Love You (Marco Ponti, 2015) – a box office hit in Italy, the Italian crime-drama Pericle il nero/Pericle (Stefano Mordini, 2016) and the upcoming American action thriller John Wick: Chapter Two (Chad Stahelski, 2017) in which Keanu Reeves returns as hitman John Wick.

Since 2006, Riccardo Scamarcio is engaged to Valeria Golino. In 2010 they set up the film production company, Buena Onda, with Viola Prestieri. Scamarcio produced Golina’s euthanasia-themed directorial debut Miele/Honey (Valeria Golina, 2013). Scamarcio and Golina live in Rome.

Trailer Mine vaganti/Loose Cannons (2010). Source: peccadillopictures (YouTube).

Official Trailer Burnt (2015). Source: Movieweb (YouTube).

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia (Italian and English), and IMDb.

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