Last month, the brilliant 13th year of Film4’s FrightFest took place at the Empire Cinema, London. Huge numbers of fans flocked from all over the world to London to feast their eyes upon World Premieres, UK Premieres and some classics and here at Front Row Reviews, we did our share of coverage from the festival, with some more trickling online in the coming weeks – there was a lot!
Anyway, recently I had the chance to interview the stunning, Claudia Gerini, the star of Italian Giallo homage, Tulpa, which garnered a slightly different opinion from the audience than was expected.
Hi Claudia, I hope you are well! First of all, what work had you done before Tulpa and is most of your work based in Italy?
I have being doing movies since I was sixteen years old . From my CV you can find comedies, dramas, thrillers. I did many different things and was fortunate to have the chance of working with a lot of great directors. The majority of my films were based in Italy, but I also was involved in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and some other international films. By the way Tulpa is my first Giallo.
Your husband, Federico Zampaglione, was the director of Tulpa, was it a hard decision to take part in this project ?
Absolutely not. Tulpa is like a son for us, and I loved the character since I first read the screenplay. I think it’s a very challenging role.
Tulpa is quite sexually explicit, how was it filming these scenes with your husband in the room?
We were both focused on making the film, and we are both aware that, bottom line, it’s just a movie so you just can’t take things too seriously, Naturally, in real life, we are both very jealous!
Tell us a little about Tulpa, specifically your character, Lisa who is quite headstrong and working within a corporate, bitchy world.
Tulpa is a movie about women. That’s why I like it so much. Lisa’s character is forced to be really strong, tough and very determined in order to survive in a world dominated by men.
What exactly is a Tulpa?
Tulpa is an entity created by monks in Tibet, a sort of materialisation of your metaphysical side. They can have different forms – sometimes things go the wrong way and Tulpas became evil presences, capable of killing their own creators. In this film Tulpa is viewed in a more metaphoric way .
The violence in Tulpa gets a little extreme at points, do you think audiences have become a little immune to watching this?
It depends on the contest. Federico loves to craft extreme murder set pieces. In my eyes I think the violence of the film is indeed quite unwatchable at times, When he was shooting those parts of TULPA, he reminded me a kid in a playground, he was putting blood all over the place!
Days after Tulpa was finished it was shown at FrightFest 2012 in London, but the audience reacted a little differently to how it was expected (especially for a horror film), how did you all react to seeing the film and hearing people’s opinions?
That was a crazy night. We had both great feedback and terrible feedback. The movie is incredibly divisive but I see this as a positive thing. TULPA is an Italian Giallo, and when it comes to giallo, a certain kind of craziness, oddity and punk attitude is part of the game. If you like Giallo you have to take this into consideration. Having said that the decision to dub some actors like they used to do in the 70s, to give it that kind of old fashioned touch, was probably not a good choice given the audience attending FrightFest. So now Federico has decided to bring the original actor’s voices back, plus he has cut a lot of lines. A lot of big festivals are asking us to screen TULPA and it will be in competition Sitges in October.
There are certainly some supernatural elements, or at least, the supernatural is assumed in Tulpa, what is your opinion on the supernatural?
I do believe that supernatural forces really exist and they are able to change things around us. Reality is just one side to our world.
What’s next, where will we see you and will we see you again in England?
Yes, I’m in the up and coming Christopher Smith TV movie “Labyrinth”, a brilliant thriller, which will be screened on Channel 4. So I’ll be back in the UK soon!
TULPA is in official competition at Sitges Film Festival 2012
Labyrinth is broadcast on Channel 4 early 2013
Many thanks to Claudia for taking time to do this interview, I would also like to thank Greg Day for allowing this interview to happen.