Daria Deflorian: «Dear diary, this time I work with Nanni Moretti»

“ORevery now and then, at rehearsals, Nanni he commented: “Well, you said this a bit like Deflorian”». Mhmmm… «In a good way! Recognizing my way of bringing a certain lightness to a non-comic role…”. Is it possible that he always got away with the author of the “words are important” joke? «No of course, he corrected some things for me». Guy? «The way – in an undertone – of pronouncing: “the hairdresser Pino”. “You have to spell – he insisted – “the. Hair salon. Pine tree””.

Nanni Moretti, standing ovation at Cannes 2023. And he dances to the tune of Battiato

He laughs, Daria Deflorian, interpreter-author-director that Moretti wanted for his theatrical debut with Diari lovefrom a diptych of comedies by Natalia Ginzburg (Strawberry and cream And Dialogue) centered, to put it very briefly, on two marital crises: will debut on October 9th in Turin, will arrive at the Piccolo in Milan on November 14thstaying on tour until June.

Mother of Alba Rohrwacher

How long did you know each other?
He has seen almost all my works with Antonio Tagliarini (with whom he created the Deflorian/Tagliarini company in 2008, ed), in Argentina as well as in independent peripheral spaces, he also attended a performance on the street… He had called me for a small part in Three floors, I was Alba Rohrwacher’s mother. Months later, I received a phone call: “I’m editing your scene, you’re very good.” She hit me, it wasn’t supposed to. Nanni is amazing.

Daria Deflorian (photo Andrea Pizzalis)

So there was no need for an audition.
Yes but! And I didn’t even know if I was over it when I decided to move my show dates anyway. For me he is a master: Dear Diaryin particular, was instructive.

“Humility according to Pasolini”

Ultimately, his dramaturgical style resembles that of the film, with the mix of autobiography and investigation of the world…
It’s difficult to compare yourself to Moretti! But I’m happy to be back to just acting. Humility (in the high sense of the term that Pasolini gave it, not false modesty) is important, changing position makes you understand others better.

Daria Deflorian, I dreamed of being an investigator

Nanni Moretti with the cast of “Diari d’amore”: Daria Deflorian, Valerio Binasco, Alessia Giuliani, Arianna Pozzoli and Giorgia Senesi (photo Alberto Novelli).

Play as Tosca, the maid. How did you prepare the character?
I read every text by Ginzburg (domestic workers often appear), it was an interesting journey… Theater is a mantra, sometimes the repetition of the phrase allows images to arrive, you don’t have to go looking for them. And so I remembered my mother’s caregivers. And then of course, I was born in Tesero, a town in the Trentino region that sent its children to work in the summer… I didn’t tell Nanni this.

Tell us about it.
My first job – I was 13 years old – was as a maid in a lawyers’ villa in Como: they rang a bell for me, as in the case of Tosca. Well… I ran away, I couldn’t resist, I took the bus and went home. I invented my parents that they had to leave suddenly. I became a communist then! (laughs)

And how do you go from that tough little girl to Daria, the protagonist of the contemporary scene? Or had there already been episodes revealing the vocation?
I had a very strong imagination, the need to speak out loud… I really liked – and it is no coincidence that it later became a working method – being an investigator. At six or seven years old I could see The Adventures by Laura Storm with Lauretta Masiero (the first female detective you remember on TV). I played at identifying myself with this figure between the masculine and the feminine, it represented something new. Other times I wrapped myself in fabrics and pretended to be a model like Tamara Baroni (later involved in a detective story). Ah, I wrote poetry. The first at seven years old.

“My friend Antonio”

Daria Deflorian during the rehearsals of “Diari d’Amore” (photo Alberto Novelli).

Do you remember her?
Yes! I dedicate it to Antonio in one of our shows (The sky is not a backdrop, ed). “Friendship is something to be compared to a rose, / it can become as big as the sea, / it can disappear and then return. /But what is it, but where is it? / Meh meh. Someone knows, / whoever has it knows it”.

The teacher will be pleased.
In Italian I was good, in fact… For the rest I was naughty, lively: for technical applications I chose fretwork like the boys and refused knitting. I was ashamed of my femininity, I adored Patty Pravo, I loved androgyny. Maybe it’s another sign, I aspired to experience more dimensions.

How did you imagine yourself as an adult?
I came from a proletarian family with six children, I was the first to attend high school… Graduating already seemed like the best one could aspire to. The only school was Accounting and I would have preferred Linguistics, but I couldn’t complain: my older brothers and sisters had stopped after middle school… But Rudolf Steiner is right: starting conditions are not everything, destiny is mysterious. In my case, I continually felt a push to break boundaries (I went to Bologna to study at Dams, against my parents’ advice, supporting myself). There I enrolled in an acting class, and over time, I even broke the boundaries of being “just” an actress.

The key meetings?
Many, including those with Mario Martone, Pippo Delbono and Eimuntas Nekrošius: I was their assistant director. The first memorable one in chronological order, however, was the one – in 1980s Rome – with Dominique De Fazio, member of the Actors Studio. Masaki Iwana, a butoh dancer, was also a fundamental teacher: “You have to become like a stuffed bird” she explained to me. “Now you are colored inside and gray outside, you must be straw inside and colored feathers outside”.

“Annie Ernaux, a teacher”

Daria Deflorian (photo Andrea Pizzalis).

From a professional point of view, very clear: I was full of reading and ambitions while theatre, like any art, is practice. I was ideological to the point that I would have preferred to continue with my little jobs to keep the stage in a “superior” dimension.

What chores?
A lot of waitress, and a lot of babysitting. Market investigations, even pornographic dubbing. (laughs) The daily immersion in existences, schedules, efforts, exchanges (hard years, I don’t idealize them, especially because I didn’t know if I would come out of them) ultimately proved to be fertile ground. As one of my great literary teachers, Annie Ernaux, claims, “one’s self is everyone’s self”.

When did you realize you had “come out of it”?
Thanks to further fair meetings, like the one with Lucia Calamaro. From Fabrizio Arcuri, for example, I understood that too much intensity cannot reach the public, I learned that we need to lighten up to communicate… There I met Antonio Taglierini, who is a master of this lightness. Not only. Being a dancer, a choreographer, in our collaboration he “brought the body”: an hour and a half or two of physical preparation per day. My homeopathic doctor had warned me a long time ago, noting that my attitude was too cerebral: “You have to incarnate yourself.”

Deflorian/Tagliarini have been on their way to international success since 2008.
When the Odéon theater in Paris decided to produce us, it changed the way it looked at us in Italy too (as had happened to Delbono and Emma Dante). It happens often, you have to move away to be seen.

An audiobook of the heart

Daria Deflorian at the rehearsals for Diari d’Amore (photo Alberto Novelli).

Now the company has taken a break.
A courageous choice, but we were conditioning ourselves too much. We only carry the repertoire around.

In the documentary We’re here to try you have laid yourselves bare.
Several colleagues thanked us: take the creative act out of the idyllic! Crises are expected, necessary.

Today, what does the profession of an author represent for you? In the past it was partly “therapy”: in We’re leaving so as not to give you any more worries he “processed” his grandmother’s suicide, in Almost nothing depression and getting drunk on dad’s alcohol.
For now I don’t have a clear answer. I certainly have the desire to move from direct biography to indirect biography… In Praise of life in reverse (from 29 November at Triennale Milano Teatro, of which she is an associate artist, ed) and in The vegetarianscheduled for October 2024, I start from the work of the Korean writer Han Kang, but insert my point of view on the relationship between sisters.

She recorded the audiobook of Hungry for air by Ada D’Adamo, posthumous Strega award.
We had known each other for a long time. Ada called me when she was very ill: “I wrote something, I want you to be the voice. I’ll send it to you”. I started reading it and never stopped… Despite everything, it is of unparalleled brilliance.