Acting, acting, acting: the protagonist of our interview and editorial has one big passion, clearly. Gianmarco Saurino is 29, born and raised in Foggia, always smiling. Gianmarco Saurino is an actor, one of the most relevant in the (modern) Italian panorama. At eighteen he moved to Rome where he attended the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia to follow his dream. In 2015, Gianmarco gets his first leading role in the tv-series Questo è il mio paese but it’s thanks to Che Dio ci aiuti (produced by Rai Fiction and directed by Francesco Vicari), where he starred in the fourth and fifth seasons, that he wins notoriety and acclaim.

From success to success, the real consecration comes thanks to the character of a doctor, Lorenzo Sabatini. The series is DOC, the biggest success of RAI1 in 2020 and 2022. In cinema, we saw him in the new-queer-cult Maschile Singolare directed Matteo Pilati and Alessandro Guida (2021), in theaters we applauded him in L’uomo più crudele del mondo and Blue Thunder (just to mention the latest pieces).

Gianmarco was also the face of several campaigns for Amnesty International and Mediterranea Saving Humans.

We met him a few weeks ago to discuss work and new projects, life and passions, and here’s what he said to us:

Hi Gianmarco, how are you? In your opinion what is art today and do you think the approach to and the perception of art have changed over the years?

Hi Luca, I’m fine! This is a strange era and to find a personal balance in the midst of the events occurring every day is very difficult. I am one of the many who have a strong sense of social responsibility and dealing with it is not so simple. Art, quoting Artaud, has the duty to give vent to the anguish of its own age and whoever does not deeply welcome their own age is not an artist. I think that today we all forget to open the doors of our creativity to the reality we live in, as we are caught up in building our careers. And I think this has changed: our job is many things together, many. It is a profession, precisely, it is a service, it is a political act, it is a business and so on. Each of us gradually chooses among these infinite facets. I do choose balance, but there is still a long way to go.

What characteristics must an actor possess to be “effective” in 2022 and which one do you think you have?

I don’t think I have any particular characteristics. It still sounds crazy to me to be where I am now. Perhaps this is my best feature: to think that I haven’t reached a good level yet, to think that I do not deserve all this in order to do whatever it takes to really deserve it. In 2022, I believe actors must have the same characteristics they had 2000 years ago: open heart and ears.

What if you hadn’t been an actor?

I would probably be doing what I have done for so many years: working in tourist villages, entertaining people, and getting to know their personal stories. I would have liked to be a writer, but I have never tried my hand at doing that as I have much respect for books to think of writing one.

Popularity came thanks to the series produced by RAI, Che Dio Ci Aiuti (May God Help Us) where you starred, among others, alongside Elena Sofia Ricci and Diana Del Bufalo. How did you come to play the role of Nicodemus Santopaolo and what did that experience represent for you?

To me, Che Dio Ci Aiuti has given much of what I have as a professional and it was a great opportunity. To cover for one of the most famous Italian actors such as Lino Guanciale, at the age of 24, was an honor and a ‘heavy load’ at the same time; it really gave me confidence in the fact that working with dedication, with the ‘tigna’ (stubborness) as we say in Rome, is worth the pain. Although it is commonplace to think that tv series has very little appeal, I have personally worked in the only way I know, that is to my best. And the dignity that everyone gives to the projects they commit to is the only way to be satisfied. To conclude, the world of tv series is a gym for actors ’cause they can gain a lot of experience.

Your fame came with another series, once again produced by RAI: Doc – Nelle tue mani (Doc – in Your Hands). You are a doctor and with your colleagues Luca Argentero, Pierpaolo Spallon, Giovanni Scifoni, Alberto Malachino you work at the Ambrosiano Polyclinic. An adjective to describe your character.

Lorenzo Lazzarini is protective. And anyone who has seen both seasons knows that this is the perfect adjective.

Why was the series so successful and why did the role you played meet the public expectations?

Lorenzo is a wonderful character both for me and for those in the public who can identify with his story from the very beginning. Ignoring this year’s finale, Lorenzo makes mistakes since his first year, and those who make mistakes, those who don’t have the right timing, those who just don’t do things “as they should be done”, sometimes find the public’s affection because we all are often mistaken in real life. And then the finale of the second season shows us a man who is hopelessly devoted to his job. The story of Lorenzo is the story of hundreds of doctors and health workers who put patients’ lives before their own.

Spoiler alert! Does your character die in the second season? Why this choice?

As I declared, the choice has been made in recent years. I really felt the need to change direction, to make new experiences, even if, as I said before, all the projects I have embraced gave me a lot. In addition, I was convinced that in the first season Lorenzo had already completed his journey and there was no need to drag his story out.

As I wrote, in Doc and earlier in May God help us you act alongside Pierpaolo Spallon who is a great friend of yours. When and how did your friendship start? and what is it like working with a friend?

Well, working with a friend is beautiful, especially in the case of Pierpaolo, because we both know where we started from, and looking at each other with the eyes of “professionalism” sometimes makes us laugh. This reminds us of the playful part of this job and we realize that we have chosen this path also for the fun.

Maschile Singolare (Male Singular) is the film directed by Matteo Pilati and Alessandro Guida and produced by Amazon Prime. The film sees you co-starring with Giancarlo Commare. Do you think it was the first step toward an international career?

Maschile Singolare is a debut film written, directed and performed with very little money and a lot of heart. If this might sound like a beginning of an international course, I could not be happier!

In Summit Fever by Julian Gilbey you are Tino. Who is Tino and which characters are you most attracted to?

The characters that attract me much are those where I have to dig deep to find their fragilities and invisible scars. I like to observe them from the outside and then get familiar with aspects that even those who wrote the script had imagined.

More cinema or more TV in your future?

A lot of cinema on the horizon but also a television project. In general, projects in which I feel that there is the right energy, characters that fascinate me, and directors and colleagues that I respect.

We also know that the passion for acting derives from the passion for the theater. For many, theater is the purest form of acting, the primordial core. What does it represent for you and which work or play do you feel most connected to?

Someone said that theater belongs to actors and cinema belongs to directors, and this has always made me feel infinitely free when I go on stage. But, for as much as I like the atmosphere on the set, and sometimes I miss it when I am not filming, theater is a very serious and wonderful art I can’t do without for a long time. I grew up watching and memorizing the lines of all Eduardo De Filippo’s plays, and his Natale a casa Cupiello is one of those I watch at least a couple of times a year.

After L’uomo più crudele del mondo, in which you act with Mauro Lamanna, and the Blue Thunder tour, what’s next?

We are working much. 2023 will certainly be an important year for us, and with ‘us’ I mean the acting company I founded with Mauro Lamanna, DIVINA MANIA. Blue Thunder will end this summer, accompanied by a reading on the migrant issue that is called Rotte (Routes) – Stories and Migrations. For the next year we are simultaneously working on a re-adaptation of Shakespeare and a contemporary drama, let’s see which of the two will be the first to be presented.

If you should give some advice to your yesterday’s self and to your future self what would it be?

To who I was I would say “you’re doing great so take some time to breathe, to look at the landscape without fear of being left behind”; to who I will be I would say “watch your back because we are coming full of vim and vigor”.


PHOTO: GIUSEPPE VACCARO @gvcr_photographer
Special thanks IVANO MANSUETO @ivanomansueto_ & YARI FIOCCA @bestyarity &
TWICE VINTAGE SHOP @twicevintageshop