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Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi on Johnny Stecchino
Following a screening of Johnny Stecchino, Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi discussed their shared lifetime of work.
As part of the TIFF Cinematheque retrospective Roberto Benigni & Nicoletta Braschi: A Beautiful Life, actor, director, and writer Roberto Benigni and actress Nicoletta Braschi joined post-secondary students and faculty for a Q&A following a screening of their hit film Johnny Stecchino (1991). Benigni directs and stars as an accident-prone bus driver who happens to be an exact lookalike for a Sicilian mob boss marked for death, and who is set up for assassination by the capo's wife (Nicoletta Braschi). One of the biggest hits of all time at the Italian box office, Johnny Stecchino, was beloved by domestic audiences for its caricature of mafia culture and its outrageous blend of situational and slapstick humor.
During the conversation, Benigni and Braschi discussed the reception and popularity of their films in Toronto and their native Italy, reminisced about their theatre work and their long-time collaboration, detailed their acting processes and how they approach the duality in their characters, and reflected on the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Other topics included: the inspiration behind the film; the influence of Federico Fellini on their careers, and their reverence for such comedy icons as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers.
Co-presented with the Italian Contemporary Film Festival and in partnership with the University of Toronto, this Higher Learning event was held on June 5, 2015 at TIFF Bell Lightbox and was hosted by Keith Bennie, Manager of Adult Learning at TIFF Bell Lightbox.