Giannini 'a spectator of Melato's artistry

Italian actor comments on passing of beloved co-star

Giannini 'a spectator of Melato's artistry

Rome, January 11 - Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini, 70, reminisced about acclaimed cinema and stage actress Mariangela Melato, who lost a long battle against cancer earlier on Friday at the age of 71. "I spent many a night and many a day with Melato and (director) Lina Wertmuller. We were a trio," Giannini told ANSA in an interview. "Mariangela had great humanity, and she was also very fragile. She was an incredibly skilled actress. Her timing and her rhythms were perfect. I became a spectator of her artistry. She was never a diva. She had the right elegance and the right skill for the theater as well". Melato received much praise for her role as Giannini's Milanese mistress in The Seduction of Mimi (1972), directed by Lina Wertmueller. This was to be the start of a successful working relationship with the director, who cast Melato and Giannini as the leads in her next film, Love and Anarchy (1973), in which Melato plays an anarchic prostitute. "She was not only a great actress, she was also a woman who faced life's problems with a lot of strength," Giannini went on. "And if you were the one with the problem, she knew how to inspire you with her own tenacity. As a woman she was full of energy, incredibly intelligent, beautiful and sexy". Wertmueller paired the popular duo in a third film, Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August (1974). Melato's critically acclaimed comedic performance as a spoiled, unsympathetic aristocrat is one of her most internationally known roles. Why did this film become such a cult? "Because it tells the story of a beautiful experience," Giannini said, "of two people who start out hating each other, and who find themselves thrown into contact with nature and the infinite, with the immediacy of life. They find themselves as just a man and just a woman, owning a world that is entirely their own".

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