Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Claudia Cardinale on Sergio Leone

Claudia Cardinale: Leone is a director who really loves actors, and in fact his camera scrutinizes you. He's famous for those extreme close-ups of every detail of the actor. I was very happy to be chosen for that role. Leone used a very sweet and intelligent trick with me: every time I was going to recite a scene, he put on my music - the music of my character. And this is important. It helps. We went to work in Monument Valley, truly in the heart of that American world, and those majestic, stupendous places communicated a certain emotion. We stayed in a deserted hotel, we were practically the only ones there. We didn't have much contact with Americans. Even so, we did encounter Navajo Indians while we were shooting in their reserve - discreet, silent people who watched us from a distance. One thing that struck me was that in front of their compound they had erected the entire skeleton of an old car as a totem pole. In that setting, Sergio was in his element. He was always on the go, happy as a little boy; euphoric...
In this film, Fonda shot the first true love scene of his career with me. It was also our first scene together. I remember that at Cinecitta they'd called in a hundred journalists from all over the world. It was terribly embarrassing. I was embarrassed above all by his embarrassment!

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