i-ItalyNY - 5thBirthday Special Issue. The Best of i-Itay - page 16

16 |
i-Italy Magazine
| Special Issue | Winter 2017-2018
focus
F. Murray Abraham with Francine
Segan during their iterview for
i-ItalyTV
Photo Iwona Adamczyk
Italy is my SecondHome. It’s that Simple!
by
Francine Segan*
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Murray Abraham may be best known for
his Academy Award-winning performance
as Antonio Salieri, the famous Italian composer,
in the film Amadeus, but he has also starred in
such fine films as
All the President’s Men
,
Scar-
face
,
The Name of the Rose
, and the 2014 hit,
The
Grand Budapest Hotel
. He’s also made dozens of
films in Italy, where he recently starred in the
Mystery of Dante
, directed by acclaimed Italian
filmmaker Louis Nero. In 2004, F. Murray was
given the “
Premio per gli Italiani nel mondo
,” an
award from the Italian government. F. Murray
is also renowned for his theater and television
work, and is a regular on the award-winning se-
ries Homeland. I’m thrilled he’s accepted to chat
with us about his connection to Italy.
Let’s start with your ties to the bel paese.
What does Italy mean to you?
Italy is very important to me – for a couple of
reasons. First of all, my mother is from Italy:
Giuseppina. Because she was so proud to be Ital-
ian, she made sure that her three sons were very
aware of the country. I have also made a lot of
movies in Italy with very good people. It’s my
second home. I’m very offended that people have
a stereotype of what Italy and Italians mean.
They seem to forget the Italian Renaissance;
they seem to forget Galileo and Michelangelo
and Leonardo and Caravaggio. They forget that
they are some of the greatest artists who ever
lived.
Tell me a little bit more about your mother.
What was it like when you were little in her
home? What Italian things did she add?
My mother was from a family of fourteen. My
grandfather, Bruno, was a coal miner, on his
hands and knees six days a week for 24 dollars
a week. He raised fourteen children. My mother
was the world to me. I’m a real Italian son; I
worshipped her. When I wanted to become an
actor, everyone was against it except my mother.
Can you tell us a little about your recent por-
trayal as Dante?
I can tell you that that is one of the most impor-
tant films I made – a very little film, but very
important. Nero was responsible for it. I think
Nero is one of the most important filmmakers in
Italy today. He’s a very smart man and we based
Born to a Syrian-Italian immigrant
family in Pittsburg, PA, he was best
known for playing alongside Al Pacino
in Serpico and Scarface, before
winning the Academy Award for Best
Actor for his role as composer
Antonio Salieri in Amadeus. Here he
talks with us about his love for a
country where he “never feels
uncomfortable or unsafe.”
ww
the first episode of OUR tv series ‘“americans in love with italy” (spring 2015)
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