«My cynical commissioner, a new Clint Eastwood»- Corriere.it



Of Clare Maffioletti

The leading actor of the new series “Il clandestino”, soon on Rai1

Leather jacket, frown, no smiles. The one who in all likelihood is preparing to join illustrious commissioners, inspectors and priests in the team of the most loved characters of the TV series, is not a big companion. Yet that’s what convinced Edoardo Leo to throw himself into the long series. He will be the face of Luca Travaglia, former chief inspector of Digos who left the police after an attack for which he feels responsible. His need to change his life led him to leave Rome for Milan, a city that is almost another protagonist of Il clandestino, soon to be broadcast on Rai1. A cosmopolitan place, where Travaglia (nomen omen) will open his detective agency together with Palitha (Hassani Shapi), a Sinhalese colleague.

«I had no intention of trying my hand at the long series, above all because of the other commitments I have – explains Leo – . The truth is that before, when it was proposed to me, the spark had never struck me as it happened in this case». Thanks to a character far from the usual canons: «A role like this is a gift for an actor – he continues -. He has a pain inside that implies a challenge: you have to make a cynic likeable. He is someone who speaks little, hardened by life, who has suffered sentimental damage: he was betrayed by the woman he loved. He was fighting terrorism but he had the enemy at home and then he became himself. In the end, you love Travaglia not because he is nice but because he is a person who suffers ». All elements which, contrary to the prudence that usually accompanies debuts, push the actor to go too far: «I strongly believe that Travaglia can become an iconic character. A kind of Italian Clint Eastwood. He made me want to stop and just do this for six months. He speaks five languages, does martial arts, isn’t afraid of anything: he’s a kind of machine but he has a great fragility inside. I think people will love this character, who helps others but seemingly without empathy. With my partner, Hassani Shapi, we look like Bud Spencer and Terence Hill at times».

To direct the series (“even if it’s almost twelve mini-films”), a close friend of the actor, Rolando Ravello. He too convinced by a project far from clichés. «We are at the limit of what can be done on Rai 1, we are aware of it. Ours is not an accommodating character: in the first episode he drowns his pains in alcohol, he has an open wound that continues to bleed and that will heal thanks to those who don’t expect, the last ones ». Each episode will focus on a different ethnic community: they are Travaglia’s clients. «His life begins again by taking care of the people no one cares about: he discovers a humanity that he did not know before. We believe it is a good message, also for the Rai1 audience. It’s a complete revival novel.”

This is why Milan becomes fundamental, as the producer Paola Lucisano confirms: «Milan lends itself to being an international city, a city of the future: I immediately believed in the importance of the series being set here, despite it being a very expensive place. It is a project in which we strongly believe and which we have been working on for years: we concentrated on the initial idea of ​​Renato Sannio, creating a robust structure». The hope is that what will come is the first season of many. «Let’s see – resumes Leo -, but if they like it, that’s the idea. I’m not a big fan of identification but I admit that in these months of set I’m struggling: I’ve taken a house in Milan, I deliberately don’t stay in a hotel, I live a life in Milan. I am often alone. At the age of 50, the cynicism begins to arrive: I have developed a real idiosyncrasy towards rhetoric, for example. I can no longer restrain myself in the face of those who have an opinion on anything.”

Playing a character like that, therefore, is also an outlet: «I’m happy because until now I’ve mostly done comedies: with pleasure, but sometimes it’s also a little frustrating. Making a series with such a painful character allows me to show even my darkest soul: this series has put me at peace with my job, going beyond the usual registers». Many of the stories told take their cue from actual news events: “There was a lot of documentation work – concludes Ravello -. The bar of the long series in the world has risen a lot and this is not a content designed to die in our province. It is an exportable product: this makes us particularly proud».

March 5, 2023 (change March 5, 2023 | 20:59)


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