“Human life is beyond comprehension.” – Friedrich Dürrenmatt, author and dramatist


The protagonist of the renewal of the German-language theatre, Dürrenmatt has for years dealt with the problems of contemporary society in a grotesque key and has unmasked the hidden meanness of the Swiss righteousness. I have always liked his approach to writing as well as the word ‘understanding’. And I do mean the act and the ability to understand with the intellect, to internalize a notion. An understanding that is not compassion, tolerance or indulgence. Understanding that is- or should be -the ability to find out the uniqueness of each human being, its diversity is a treasure, never a threat. That’s what Ivan Cotroneo teaches with the excitement of Un Bacio, novel, and film. Feisty protagonist of the film (as well as of our interview) is the revelation Rimau Grillo Ritzberger. Indonesian father and Austrian mother, Rimau tell the modernity of a culture that goes beyond the boundaries and conventions. Of explosive energy, the young actor is among today’s young talents of Italian cinema.

We met him in Rome on the set of our exclusive shoot and here is what he told us.

Who is Rimau Grillo Ritzberger?

Rimau is a madman who wants everything but without compromises, a little hedonistic, a dreamer and perhaps a bit too idealistic.


How and when did your passion for acting blossom?

When I was fourteen, my mom decided to send me to do a summer job. My uncle had a small production of TV commercials in Vienna, and I was offered to work for him for a few months. I spent a summer in a dark room to learn the secrets of post-production and video editing. I fell in love with audiovisual media in all its forms. I started taking all the courses that I could attend after school, from video-making to acting in some theatre companies and, in the end, acting won me over.


When did you realize that acting could actually become your profession?

I found the flyer of my first audition around the city. I was in the twelfth grade, and I was going to the school gym with my class, in front of the building I found the advertisement for a casting call. After several call-backs, I finally had a lead role in the Ivan Cotroneo’s movie Un Bacio. I experienced filming as an explorer who discovers a new world. Everything, every person fascinated me, everyone seemed happy, fulfilled and perhaps tormented, but happy to do that job, to follow their passion. Ivan was perhaps the person who appealed to me more, calm and indefatigable, in love with his work. Acting is my passion and, on that set, I realized I wanted to become a professional actor.


You belong to the new generation of actors who have a fresher and more spontaneous approach to the profession. What does it mean to be an actor today and what are the difficulties that you may encounter if you go in that direction?

I believe that the problems of today are not very different from those of yesterday. Cinema is a collective effort and the actor, in particular, is a medium that cannot work alone. As actors, we need a director, a scriptwriter, a producer, a cinematographer and a full crew.

As an actor, it is important to wait for the right project. Sometimes it seems that the right project or the right people to work with never come by but you have to persevere and continue to grow artistically in the meantime. I think that the difficulties of this profession are the waiting and the studies.



What is your reference point or myth?

I have many and I have none. I find inspiration from different aspects of the life and career of many people but at the same time, I try to develop my own experiences, freely, without looking at other people’s lives. It’s sometimes painful having to learn by ourselves but I think this is the only way to be, you know, original and conscious.

If I had to cite a character by category: Keanu Reeves as an actor, Woody Allen as director, Dario Fo as an intellectual.


From the Nico Pepe Theatre Academy to the leading role in the film Un Bacio by Ivan Cotroneo. Tell us the highlight of your career.

The film Un Bacio projected me towards the Academy. Having a theatrical experience of a few years matured into a small theatre group and having to prepare for a specific role Ivan wanted me to take some lessons to get into the character of Lorenzo.

To play that role you took dancing lessons with the renowned choreographer Luca Tommassini. How was that experience? Are you keeping on studying?

A magnificent experience. Luca was fantastic and had an incredible patience, he basically was with me for months only for two simple choreographies and has been able to turn me from a piece of wood into a dancer (almost!). I was going crazy, at night I dreamed of the dance steps.


The film became a modern manifesto immediately, a symbol of the fight against bullying, homophobia, and diversity. Have you ever thought of such a positive feedback?

Absolutely not. I knew the film and the book were inspired by a tragic episode in the US, I didn’t know much of the project that Ivan was presenting in the schools but I didn’t think that through the film we would have been able to communicate with so many people on such a difficult topic to deal with.

How do you deal with these issues? How does your being actor might help the awareness process?

I think you can understand a lot of the society we live in and the condition of many young people. The bullying in schools is the simple reflection of a sick ‘’society of adults’’. I believe that solving the problems of violence starting from this generation is the solution to create tomorrow’s better world.

I think that my profession has a strong communicative power. To share opinions, talking and dealing with certain themes with a significant number of people is, in my opinion, a responsibility that an actor should take.


Indonesian father and an Austrian mother. How have two different cultures influenced your Italian being?

I was taught the cultural nationality. I don’t believe in national distinctions set automatically through the “blood”. Given my mixed origin, I’ve learned to be Italian through the culture and traditions that they transmitted at school. I might define myself as cosmopolitan because I have two citizenships and Asian origins but if I were asked what I feel like, I would say, proudly, that I feel Italian.

What’s your idea of fashion? Who is your favourite designer?


I’m between the classicism of Tom Ford and the eccentricity of Balmain.


What are your hobbies?

Trekking, climbing, and photography. Trekking and climbing allow me to experience the contact with nature and myself while photography helps me grow apart and observe life. To live a life is amazing but sometimes we have to stop and observe it to find new perspectives and lifestyles.


Any project for the future?

To finish my studies, travel much and keep on acting!


As usual, our last question… for you, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

To accept the fact that we’re growing old, but we don’t want to become adults at all costs. Getting up in the morning and not having a routine but just be captivated by the world and live it. Fucking Young! is never getting tired, never arriving, never making excuses but understanding that life has always something new to offer and try.

Photographer: Davide Musto
Stylist: Andreas Mercante
MUA&H: Cosimo Bellomo
Photographer Ass.: Giancarlo Azzerboni
Stylist Ass.: Vittoria Armaroli
Brands: Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Atelier Notify.