Carlotta Antonelli in Bang Bang Baby

Carlotta Antonelli is hard to miss. The Roman-born actress, who has been hotly-tipped after roles in Suburra and Bangla, as well as the recent Bang Bang, speaks with us about her morning coffee, gritty characters, and her hometown. 

On Freedom.

I find freedom in a performance when I am unsure what is happening; when I don’t know what I did once the scene is over. It means I wasn’t listening to my inner-ego: I was thinking with the character’s mind instead of my own. It’s something that lets me escape from reality and loses me in the performance, as I focus on what’s happening in the moment and nothing else.

On Creativity Outside of Acting.

I like to sing, to write…I embrace my day-to-day life with a sense of freedom, and I find inspiration in everything—even in my morning coffee. I have a big imagination, and I try to put it to use in activities outside of my job. Very often, I feel like I still look at the world with the curiosity of a seven-year-old girl.

On Grittier Roles.

Despite my child-like imagination, I’m always in touch with the fierce, empowered side of my characters. I find myself able to express my personal freedoms while performing a role. This side of me manages to get recognised outside of the work. 

On Rome, Her Hometown. 

Rome is a big source of inspiration. There are two cities: Rome by day and Rome by night. Experiencing the city during the night fills me with excitement. It’s another world: different sounds, smells, and lights. I think my creativity also partly comes from the way I embrace the nightlife in my city, even though I recognise that it can be a confusing, chaotic, unfair and messy place most of the time. Rome is a ‘love and hate’ sort of place. To be honest, I learned it is always good for me to get away from this city every now and then, to appreciate it more every time I come back. It’s Mamma Roma (‘Mother Rome’ as we Romans call it) and so she doesn’t want you to leave her: it’s difficult to run away from her arms and separate from her, but if you manage to do so, you get emotional every time you return to her.

How do you leave your characters behind, once a role is finished?

The relationship I establish with a character resembles a love story. It’s between me and a big passion—a passion that shakes me unconditionally but something I also like to separate from when the love story is over. I always ‘break up’ with them, while still cherishing and appreciating the memory of those moments, those roles. I love it. I never struggle during this process and I hardly find it sad. For me, it’s just right this way: leaving the character behind but still feeling a sparkle of desire towards them, so I can continue thinking about a character with some passion, even though we’re no longer together.