Over the years, there have been many great things to emerge from Italy…from gelato, Neapolitan pizza to Culture, style, Vespas and Lamborghini. We are adding lead actor Niccolò Dallerba to that ever-growing list from the boot-shaped peninsula. From Florence to Los Angeles, we caught up with Niccolò to chat about some of his favorite Italian dishes, and traditions, and he spills the tea on his latest movie, “The Locksmith”.
Hey Niccolò! What have you been up to since we last spoke?
Hello, first of all…I want to say that I’m super honored to be here chatting with you. It’s always a privilege to share a frame of life experience and talk about my movies coming out soon. Since the last time we spoke I’ve made a big step ahead I believe. As far as I can tell you I’ve been pretty focused and busy on my path, I’ve been part of a few projects where I had a great fun on it and can’t wait to see them on big screen. I also met new people as new artists in the entertainment industry, which is always awesome for me, connect with them in the human aspect to career wise. I always try to push myself to be proactive while also creating opportunities for the near future, I don’t really believe in sitting waiting for a call or just waiting. As we all know this is a particularly tough moment in our Entertainment industry, the SAG-AFTRA strike for actors has just ended right now, it was more than a hundred days. I’m so glad that we won the fight after so long, probably the longest strike in entertainment history.
Before we chat about your latest movie, if you had to pick a favorite pasta dish what would it be and why?
Well, there are so many really great types of pasta; but maybe my favorite is the ’cacio e pepe’ from Rome, it’s usually not really common that I eat that kind of pasta but when you get it you fall in love like it was the first time. Sometimes in my free time I like to cook new things for myself and people around me like friends or family. Not that I’m saying that I’m a chef but it’s a way to do well for others and spread love. As an Italian, food is in our culture, and we can’t forget it. We are very welcoming and warm people inside, we have so many ways to be together and one is definitively food.
When in Florence what is your go to thing to do?
Probably the first thing that comes to my mind is getting lost around the city, strolling around without a goal or a destination. Florence, like I said many times, it’s a small city that you can visit by walking and the distances are not so big like Los Angeles for example. So yeah, the idea of hanging around like a tourist in my hometown is really exciting, stopping at places to see and things to eat that I’ve missed. I also can’t wait to see my family and friends of course, spend sometimes with them but because Florence is so small, I would love to travel around the countryside as bigger cities like Rome, Milan, Naples etc. One thing that really stuck on me while I’m here that I used to do in Florence was, whatever time I felt sad, worried, or just even thinking about my life and all my dreams, I used to go in few parks in the hills as favorite spots, connecting with the nature reflecting and meditating about my life. Los Angeles is great no doubt, I’m super grateful to be here achieving my dreams. The city can offer many options like going hiking or beach day, but it’s very much different than Tuscany, maybe less romantic I would say.
We are entering the Holiday season. What are some of your favorite Italian traditions?
Yes, we are, times really fly. To being totally honest it’s not my favorite time of the year, I rather much prefer summer or spring with blooming flowers. I’m not a big fan of cold weather and short days with less light. In Italy instead of here, the only holiday that it’s really big is Christmas, with whole the city celebrating and decorations everywhere. The cities are really stunning, and everyone seems more kind under the Christmas Holiday season because the surrounding atmosphere. We often celebrate December 24th and 25th for the big deal lunch. Very much the Holiday season it’s huge in Italy but there are different habits between north and south.
Moreover, we do have the skiing Holiday, even if it’s not a real tradition I used to go once a year with my parents in north Italy for skiing. Spend some time there among the mountains in the fresh air recharging the batteries. It’s one of my favorite sports ever, plus the whole trip is like a fairytale.
You’re one of the lead actors in the movie “The Locksmith”, what is the movie about?
This is an exciting project, “The Locksmith” it’s a movie that I’m really proud about it and it’s a story that everyone should see it on the big screen. I was seeking for this story for a long time and I really fought to bring it live. The heart of the movie is about a guy named ‘Nicco’ who is a writer and has a story to tell, in the meantime he works in a bar. However, it happens that his sister has an illness and she’s sick. After all, he’ll do anything to find the cure and pay for the treatment.
Without taking away too much from the movie and without spoilers, the story is so great and complex with interweaving stories. Although you’ll not recognize it, the main character it’s based on Niccolo Machiavelli (Italian diplomat, author, philosopher who lived during Renaissance) but modernized obviously. This movie is so touching and tough at the same time. It’s a tale about love, disease, friendship without equal or race, sacrifices and hope, but also ‘the end justifies the means’. The film will take you through the journey of the character with his absurd stories making you stick to the screen, leaving a message to reflect on.
What character do you play? Any fun experience on set?
In this project I played one of the main characters of the film, ‘Nicco’ who’s a very talented writer to which various events happen to him. The story follows the arc of ‘Nicco’ through his lens and how he meets the other two main characters ‘Akil’, (friendly workmate and very good buddy) as ‘Nigel’ (very powerful and ambiguous character).
I played a character that is not really far from my persona, meaning that we have some similar behavior although he’s more colorful and multifaceted. I just loved to approach this character and follow his journey; it was a challenge of course but with the help of the amazing cast and crew I found a life for the character. My only concern was to be careful to details, be as true as possible and follow the character arc. I learned so much from this character and the whole projects, from people around me as the amazing actors who we have always supported to each other as the awesome crew, who has always fought to do better. It’s been an amazing experience with so much fun on set, probably in one of the closest family environments. I would also like to give a big round of applause to our Director (Justin-Paul Williams) who did a great job and had a great vision for this project.
Our director has recently won few festivals as best experimental short at ’Europe Film Festival 2021’, winner at ‘DMOFF’, finalist at ‘Australia Independent Film Festival’, ‘Trinidad Tobago Film Festival’ and many others.
“The Locksmith” is in post-production right now and is projected to hit film festivals in January. We are hoping that it will reach the largest audience, making a big impact on our industry. Stay tuned.
What do you want people to take away from the film?
Like I said before, I hope that this movie will reach the biggest audience around the world expecting that it will leave something as questions for the people who watch it. More than everything it’s a movie about love, friendship without equality and race, disease, sacrifices that each of us is willing to do. It’s a proper drama as this movie face up big topics like I mentioned before, but at the same time it’s rough and raw.
It comes very close to a punk and underground movie, also three main colors are used in the photography which is really cool for me. We put so much effort and dedication into this movie to make it look awesome, especially in a historical moment when the SAG strike was still going on.
In my opinion it’s already a privilege that we made this picture and I’m super grateful for the experience that I will never forget, everyone was so supportive as collaborative with commitment and passion. Having said this, I can’t wait that the audience sees it and hopefully something will resonate with them.
What’s up next for you?
More projects, more movies, more TV series! I have a lot coming up and now that the strike is over more opportunities will come. I also have a few movies that will hit film festivals, some on platform so stay tuned!
How can people find and follow your journey?
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