“I fell in love with acting when I was just 8 years old and went with my classmates to watch a play, “The Wizard of Oz”, in a local theatre in my hometown, Genova, Italy,” begins Marie Solimena, an actress who – internationally – has a yellow-brick-road-long list of credits and acclaim. “The year after, I signed up for an acting school in Genova called “La Quinta Praticabile.”
Once she stepped on stage, she knew she had landed in her own “Oz:” “What drew me about acting is mainly the energy and comes with it,” she effervescently replied about her early times sharing the stage with friends, making magic happen.
Not unlike Dorothy, Marie enjoys transporting her audiences to magical lands for a couple of hours, but not thanks to a tornado but her imagination and talent. But she knew, early on, it’s not all fun and games, “I’ve always seen theatre as a big machine where if someone messes up and their colleagues aren’t ready to catch them everything can be destroyed. It takes a lot of trust and chemistry to put on a play – same with for a movie.”
“I love to take in different people and tell their stories from my perspective. I love to learn about new cultures, new backgrounds, new people through acting. I think that everybody has a story that needs to be told, and I love to give a voice to the people who might not have it.”
Marie had her own wizard as well, the director of “La Quinta Practicable,” Modestina Caputo, who – impressed with her talent – invited her to work professionally, thus she met and starred with some of Italy’s most prominent performers. Massimo Venturiello, Titti Tosca, and Milena Vukotic topped this ever-growing list. It was when she was acting on stage that she was noticed by a local agency and given a small role on the major Italian TV program, “Il Bello Delle Donne Alcuni Anni Dopo.”
In no time, she was acting with international superstars like Claudia Cardinale, Giuliana De Sio, and Manuela Arcuri.
“At first, I thought that I just wanted to act, to engage with people, and put myself in the shoes of someone else for the rest of my life,” she continued, “but growing up as an artist, I discovered that I
have a very specific purpose with my career. I want to tell the story of women that come from a more complicated life, that have been abused, both physically and emotionally. I think that sometimes emotional abuse is overlooked by society, but it’s something that happens everyday around us and women are scared or ashamed to speak up. Social norms play a strong role in women not speaking up for themselves,” she said, her expression turning serious and more emotional. “The role of the “men” in the couple is usually seen and portrayed as more powerful and assertive and I think that there’s a very thin line between this and being manipulative and disruptive, and unfortunately this line can be easily crossed without people noticing it.” From here, her discussion took a powerful turn. Marie showed us the resolve she has within and her deep need to share that with the world through film and television.
“I’m only 22,” she said, before growing truly vulnerable, “but, unfortunately, I already had to deal with a lot of complicated situations in my life, and like me, so many women around the world have to go through this.”
Marie paused here for a moment then looked right in our eyes, “I want this to stop, I want these stories to be told, without the feeling of guilt and shame, but in a personal and independent way and I think film is the best media to do so.”
Part II (coming in InDfilm): Marie’s Creative Mission