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VENISE 2019 Hors-compétition

Paolo Sorrentino • Réalisateur de The New Pope

"John Malkovich est la version peuple du Pape"

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- VENISE 2019 : Paolo Sorrentino parle de son retour à Rome pour la deuxième saison de The Young Pope, qui change de nom pour s'appeler The New Pope et choisit John Malkovich comme souverain pontife

Paolo Sorrentino  • Réalisateur de The New Pope

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

Born in Naples in 1970, film director-screenwriter Paolo Sorrentino made his first appearance at the Venice Film Festival in 2001 with his feature-length debut, One Man Up [+lire aussi :
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. Since then, he has established himself as a world-leading auteur with a list of critically acclaimed and award-winning films: The Consequences of Love (2004), The Family Friend (2006), Il divo [+lire aussi :
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(2008), This Must Be the Place [+lire aussi :
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(2011), The Great Beauty [+lire aussi :
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(2013), Youth [+lire aussi :
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(2016) and Loro [+lire aussi :
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(2018). For television, he created and directed The Young Pope. His latest, The New Pope, is the second season of the hit show and screened out of competition on the Lido.

(L'article continue plus bas - Inf. publicitaire)

Cineuropa: What was it like to return to the Vatican? Was it easier to write because you were more familiar with the characters?
Paolo Sorrentino: It was not easy. I wrote the first draft, and I didn’t like it, then I wrote a second one, and I didn’t like it, and finally, the third draft was a good one, as far as I was concerned. 

Why was it such a long process? Were the expectations too high?
Not because of the expectations, but because when you write the first season, you are fresh and every idea is a good idea because it’s the first time you are doing it. With the second season, the new ideas have to be compared to the first season, so it’s harder, but I am thrilled because I believe that the second season is better than the previous one. Why? I don’t know; I just did better.

It’s a genius idea to put John Malkovich into season two as the new Pope. Did you immediately think of him?
It’s not so genius an idea, because John Malkovich is a famous actor, everybody would love to work with him, and he was perfect for the show. First of all, he’s so iconic. There’s even the film, Being John Malkovich – so few actors can have a movie with their name as part of the title. Of course, the Pope has to be iconic, so John Malkovich is sort of a Pope for all actors, don’t you think? He’s the lay version of the Pope. He’s iconic, he’s distant, and he’s a world apart from everybody. He’s exactly like the Pope. He’s wise and he’s ironic: it was exactly what I was looking for in this character.

Ironically, you have an American actor playing a British Pope, after having had a British actor play an American one. Was that done on purpose?
That happened by chance. I chose Jude Law, and then I chose John Malkovich, because they were the best actors for the roles, not because of where they come from. I didn’t intend to play with their nationalities; that was an accident.

Do you like writing about a fictional Pope more than real Italian prime ministers, as you have done with several of your films?
It’s easier to write about the Pope, as writing about the prime minister is a little bit hard because the relationship with reality is too close. Everybody knows what the prime minister does, and it’s a real name used in the film, but here, everything is invented, so it’s definitely easier to write.

Does the current political situation across Europe and in Italy give you the impetus to write another film about politics?
I will never do another political film in my life, never! That’s the only thing I know for sure. It’s not worth it. The real-life politicians at this moment in time are not good characters for movies.

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