This text was written by Birgit/mingi17 and Alessio himself has looked over it and agreed to the text.
“During the whole journey nostalgia never did part with me and of this journey nothing is left, if not this nostalgia.” Nazim Hikmet
(from Alessio’s Homepage)
Vita Alessiana – Alessio’s Journey Through Life
There is one thing that I want to point out: Alessio considers his private life as a jewel which should remain in the safe and should not be a subject of publicity and gossip. That’s what we want to respect all time. All information of this Vita is taken from interviews by Alessio either in newspapers or in TV.
Alessio Boni was born on June, 4th 1966 in Sarnico/Bergamo on Lake Iseo as second child of Ignazio and Roberta Boni in the zodiac sign of cancer and grew up in Villongo, a neighbouring place. His elder brother Marco is a tiler like his father (who meanwhile has retired being 70 this year;)and almost all male members of the family; recently however Alessio said that Marco would do Motocross and that none of the sons has remained in their father’s profession. His mother was at home and sold the tiles his father laid and was responsible for invoices etc. Different from his father she was with the children and Alessio has always a good and close relationship with her. His younger brother Don Andrea Boni is a priest in Grane near Sarnico, a small village in the hills of Bergamo. And also Grandma Maddalena played an important role in little Alessio’s life.
Following the family tradition Alessio started at the age of 14 to work as a tiler with his father. In addition he visited in the evenings a commercial school..
At the age of 18 he chose the police force for the obligatory military service; he was stationed in Milano , in the barracks of Viale Zare; this fact was very helpful for the part of Matteo Carati in “Best of Youth” who also became a policeman. He stayed there for 1 ½ years. Then, at the age of 20, feeling his home town too narrow, he went to America, to San Diego, California, officially to learn English – he attended courses at the University of California – in fact to dream, as he says. In one of his interviews he reports how he arrived knowing hardly more of the language than “I am Alessio, I come from Italy” (see “Niente di personale”). To earn his living he worked as newspaper carrier, errand boy, babysitter and pizza service. Since he had no green card he had to leave after 6 months.
He did not like the thought of returning to Villongo – having been in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York – today a place with about 7.000 inhabitants. Instead he worked for two seasons (1987/88) as host in Pugnochiuso/Vieste, Gargano. For the first time he stood on a stage, among others to announce events, and he liked it. A collegue told him about the “Centro sperimentale di cinematografia” and he decided to apply for a training there. He came up to level 3. In the committee of examiners there were among others Giulietta Masina and Luigi Comencini, who at once regognized by Alessio’s dialect (it took almost 2 years to get rid of it) that he must come either from Bergamo or from Brescia. Alessio – naïve as he was – had prepared a dialog but did not bring a partner for this. The examiners asked:”Dov’é la spalla?”, which literally means: “Where’s your shoulder?”, a question which confused him at that time, “Shoulder” being a part of the body to him, not a partner for his dialog. The examiners were quite amused when he spoke both parts with different voices (you will find a sample of this in “Niente di personale”).
Finally he was No. 11, but only 10 were accepted. Nevertheless he stayed in Rome without a penny. He slept in his dented white Fiat Panda he had bought for 400.000 Lire and paid 50.000 for the membership in a gym where he also took his showers and brushed his teeth.
A visit together with friends in Teatro Sistina, where he saw “La Gatta Cenerentola” directed by Roberto De Simone, made him completely crazy about becoming an actor, he said it was like the eruption of a volcano (Oct. 1988). He worked in the evenings as a waiter in the restaurant “Lando Fiorini” in Trastevere and studied in the private school of Alessandro Fersen, then with Andres Rallis, and finally with his second attempt he was accepted at the “Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica Silvio D’Amico”.
When he informed his father about his decision to become an actor he stopped talking to his son for about two years. When Alessio called home and his father picked up the phone he summoned the mother by shouting “Your son is on the phone!”. Meanwhile, with his growing success, his father has accepted his decision and is proud of him. His mother however has always supported him.
In 1992 he acquired his diploma with Orazio Costa Giovangigli in Taormina; he chose a text from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. In addition he made an advanced training course with Luca Ronconi and another one for “recitazione teatrale” (in German “Theaterschauspiel”, but I did not find the English word) 1995 in Los Angeles. He worked among others with Peter Stein (Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and Giorgio Stehler (Molière, “L’Avaro- der Geizige”). He also played in operas, among other with Riccardo Muti.
But his way did not always lead uphill. In an interview he reports that after the success of “L’Avaro”with Strehler he asked for renewing his contract. As Stehler had died meanwhile, this was however denied, a fact which brought depression and complete stagnancy for Alessio. When he was no longer able to pay for his rent he worked as pony express, but in disguise. Nobody should recognize him. Finally test shots with Carlo Lizzani brought new success and a new role. He was however not even afraid to accepting Fotoromanzi; by the way, even Sofia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Marcello Mastroianni in their early years had earned their living by doing Fotoromanzi.
In 1996, after 7 years of theatre he also started his career in TV and film, his first role in “Un prete tra noi”. We know his further way to success with “La donna del treno” und “Incantesimo” (2000), further information can be found in Alessio’s Curriculum on his homepage.
As he says there are three fixed points in his dramatic art:Vittorio Gassmann, Gian Maria Volontè and Marcello Mastroianni. Best actor to him are Mariangela Melato and Sergio Castellitto, in his own generation Luigi Lo Cascio, Pierfrancesco Favino and Fabrizio Gifuni, friends of him since they had been at school together.
When they celebrated Luigi Lo Cascio being awarded with the “David di Donatello” for “I cento passi” on a boat on River Tiber he first came together with Marco Tullio Giordana, who later on engaged him for “Meglio Gioventu”, a very important encounter.
He would have liked to work together with the late Sidney Pollak and he would be fond of doing a film together with the Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
For 6 years now Alessio is together with Bianca. She is a scriptwriter. It is a serious, quiet love – “un amore sereno, tranquillo”. They have met in a beautiful garden on a beautiful summer evening. It was no love at first sight, rather a growing interest. He says that it is nice, joyous and calming to be with her; she comforts him and has a lot of patience, life with an actor not being easy. He wants to share his further life with her. He does not intend to marry. He says that a great love does not need a legal paper. “What has a treaty to do with love?” he does not want the state to interfere with his most private affairs. What he could imagine is a religious ceremony guided by his brother Andrea.
Today Alessio is living either in Rome where he has an appartment in the ancient centre near Piazza Navona or in his farmhouse near Arezzo/Toscana, which he has renovated during the last 4 years. There he retreats to relax, to read, to write…
Alessio knows the value of work and money. For one meter of tiles he had earned 7.000 Lire with his father. He prefers simple restaurants to exclusive ones and an evening with friends to a big party. He says that he is rather being bored on parties and does not like to go to discos. He prefers to go to a pub with his friends; there are only few of them, not only in showbiz but also in private life, he says that there may be 7 of them.
He likes to ride on his motorbike, a Honda CRF 450 X. He visits friends near Lago del Turano to do Motocross there. Or he goes on tour through Libya, Tunesia or Morocco and enjoys the complete silence during the nights there.
His musical preferences: the Eagles, Pink Floyd, Springsteen, he loves especially “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp (see “Effetto sabato”), concerning Italian music ha likes Battiato, Mina, Gaber, De André, he loves Jazz, but more and more he turns to classical music, Bach, Monteverdi, Chopin, Rachmaninov’s 2. Sonata. And when he is down he listens to Mozart’s “Requiem” which has the power to bring him up again. At the age of 14 he had learned classical guitar but meanwhile he has forgotten almost anything.
He loves skiing (he started skiing at the age of 6), he likes to ride and to swim. Concerning football he is fan of Atalanta Bergamo.
He watches “X-Factor” in TV.
He likes artichokes.
There are photos showing him with glasses: he needs them because he suffers form astigmatism (corneal irregularity)
In his holidays he loves long trips because he is interested in everything new, foreign. Among others he has been to Cuba and Patagonia.
Alessio is Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef. This concern is vey important to him and he said that our “present”, a donation to Unicef, was the most beautiful present we could have made because the children would urgently need each Euro. He also campaigns for other disadvantaged people and those, who need help. He also takes part in a great campaign against paedophilia.
To be continued (if Alessio agrees)
Copyright by Birgit Rosen
Händeringen hält einen nur davon ab, die Ärmel aufzukrempeln.