Interview with Crisula Stafida

chrysulaJust 18 years old, after studying theater in Milan also taking part in some shows, Crisula Stafida attends a dubbing course and perfects her acting studies with acting internships. Already at a very young age she is on the set of shorts and independent films, both Italian and French, but her love for cinema drives her to perfect her passion by taking her to Paris where she studies character creation and interpretation.
2006 was the year of her big-screen debut in Federico Zampaglione's comedy film Black duplex, but today Crisula Stafida is a revered Scream Queen.
After starring in the medium-length horror film The perfect husband (2011) by Lucas Pavetto, the actress joins Claudia Gerini, Michela Cescon and Michele Placido in Tulpa (2013) by Zampaglione. In the same year she stars in the short film M is for Martyn by Francesco Picone. Roles that led her to receive, last December, the Queen of Italian Cinema Noir award at the XXIII Courmayeur Noir in festival.
Let's ask her a few questions to get to know her more and to get some glimpses of her future plans.

L: Who is Crisula Stafida?

C: Crisula is a crazy person who left Trentino Alto Adige with a briefcase full of hopes because she wanted to realize her dream: to be an actress. In Rome I didn't know anyone and didn't know where to start, I had neither relatives nor friends in the environment, the road was all uphill ... but today, every time I conquer something in the professional field, the satisfaction is double.

L: What fascinated you about filmmaking enough to make you decide to pursue a career path in this field?

C: Cinema for me represented, precisely, a big dream. Great actresses on the screen have always fascinated me a lot, since I was a child, and I told myself that one day I too would experience the set. Then I enrolled in an acting school in Milan (after acting in a tourist village in Ibiza) and from there this "sacred fire" has never left me, in fact it is burning more and more.

L: Although your filmography is quite varied we will focus on the aspect that interests us most, namely your horror films. What strikes you about this genre? Are you a fan of horror films?

C: Horror is a genre that intrigues me, as a young girl I used to like to watch them by myself and fight emotionally against that sense of dread that I got from experiencing them through the screen... I used to say to myself: it's all fake, I want to keep watching, it's all fake... and I would flicker and keep watching them...

L: You made your debut in the horror world in the low-budget medium-length film "The Perfect Husband." How did you experience this first time in this genre?

C: I literally "threw myself into it." I had never acted in horror before, and the part was really challenging: a seemingly normal woman who due to mental trauma revealed chilling character backgrounds. The director chose me, even though I had never done horror, and I would say it went well. The short received a lot of positive reviews, my performance also, and he, thanks to this project, found the money to produce the feature film. And I from "The Perfect Husband" began to receive several interesting work proposals....

L: For this title you enjoyed a nomination for best lead actress at the 2011 Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival. What did it mean for you to achieve this goal? Do you think it influenced your future flair for horror filmmaking?

C: Definitely being appreciated is always a pleasure and gives you extra momentum to do better and better.

L: 2013 is the year of Tulpa by Federico Zampaglione. How did the collaboration with this director come about? Do you have any special memories related to the making of the film? Are there paths open for a return to the genre together with Zampaglione?

C: I met Federico at the audition for "Black Two-Family," I didn't want to go, I was feeling terrible, fresh from fish poisoning ... but I finally got strong and got dressed but I was really a rag ... my head was spinning and they must have thought I was a bit of a freak or a scatterbrain, but somehow I stuck with him because he called me for a small role in the film, by the way my very first experience on the big screen. Then later he called me back for "Tulpa," a film in which I have the much-discussed lesbian scene with Claudia Gerini, as well as a really badass death. Although many people remember more about the shower than anything else....

L: Also in 2013, you starred in M is for Martyn directed by Francesco Picone for ABC's of Death 2. Was it easy to manage your character in just four minutes?

C: Again the role was really very tough, in four minutes we had to elicit various reactions. We didn't win the contest, but our Martyn was among the most clicked and appreciated "technically."

L: Picone's short unfortunately did not make the final selection as did Raffaele Picchio's M is for Mouth (which also enjoys the collaboration of Tiziano Martella) and those of many other Italian directors. Have you seen M is for Masticate, the winning short film? What differences do you think made you choose for it rather than M is for Martyn?

C: Probably the originality of the story. In four minutes I think it particularly matters "the message" that you can bring out.

L: In the horror film fan circuit you are now recognized as a true Horror Scream Queen. Do you like this definition or do you find it limiting?

C: Of course I like it and I'm proud of it. Then I'm doing work outside of this much-liked "label," so that's perfectly fine.

L: In 2013 you received the "Courmayeur Noir In Festival & Film House Tv - Queen of Italian Noir in Cinema " award. Here a wish was made for a return, for genre cinema, to the glories of the past. What did this event mean to you?

C: It was a very welcome surprise for me. After "The Perfect Husband", "Tulpa" e "M is for Martyn"To have this award is definitely a great satisfaction. The event was very interesting and enlightening in some ways, the tragicomic part was when, very excited, I smashed the award on the ground...in general embarrassment. The festival directors and Luca Svizzeretto, the creator of the award, had a moment of panic...in the end I wanted to keep it that way, I didn't have it replaced, and every time I look at it with that crack stuck in it it makes me smile so much.

L: Italy is full of film talent that fails to find favor with the public. Why do you think that is?

C: It's not easy, this is a profession really full of pitfalls and low blows. One chapter would not be enough to evaluate the "why" theories. One could fall into the cliché that by necessity the recommended ones get ahead, that's true to some extent. In my opinion, if you are worth a lot, sooner or later you emerge. Maybe not right away, over time, but if you are worthwhile and have perseverance sooner or later the right opportunity comes, you have to know how to create it, as well as how to wait for it.

L: You are currently devoting yourself to other genres. However, do you have any new works to delight us that might be of interest to the film buffs we hold so dear?

C: After finishing shooting "Delinquenti abituali," a feature film destined for the German market that will probably be distributed in Italy as well, I'm getting ready to play "Angelika" a heroine of our times... it's not really horror but there are some pretty strong scenes that genre buffs might really appreciate... I have a terrific team ranging from director Luigi Marani to screenwriter Damiano Brogna, co-writer and organizer Stefano Ricciardi, and graphic designer Nicola Roversi. And we are adding great meat to the grill.

L: An opinion of your own on this interview?

C: I had to leave out a few answers out of desperation--but how many questions did you ask me??! Joking aside, the people who prepared it really did their homework, I couldn't find a single little mistake!

L: Leave a message for everyone reading this interview and one in particular for your hardcore fans!

C: If you have a dream, try to achieve it; life is too short not to try to be happy. At worst, you will have experienced an amazing and exciting journey and probably shared it with other crazy people like you.

L: Thank you Crisula!


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Barbara Torretti
Barbara Torretti
Editor and moderator of the DarkVeins community. Passionate about horror cinema, I also do reviews and interviews pertaining to the film, music and art circuit.

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