The Hero’s Journey of Armando Di Lillo

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Being an actor and a writer is a great chance to create situations, emotions, relationships so different from those I feel and I have in my everyday life. This chance goes in the same way with the opportunity to share my creations as an actor and a writer. My activity of coaching is something different because I help others to create their own worlds. So, I think that acting, writing and coaching are three shades of the same wonderful and interesting way.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Happiness is something that you can feel and enjoy just for very short moments in your life. Well, this is what I think about happiness. What I do with my job is trying to create those moments constantly. It’s hard because life it’s not that easy but it’s not impossible. Happiness is in short moments but it is in little things too. For me, happiness can be into a single smile of one of my alumni or reader or spectator.

What is my greatest fear? I grew up with oldest people not happy about their lives. They were chained into terrible human and emotional relationships, forced to do a job they do not appreciate and they appeared to me like zombies that were trying to survive. I think that my greatest fear comes directly from those people. I do not want to survive just a single day like them. I want to live.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? The anxiety to not give enough. My exaggerated auto criticism brings me to great results but I live the steps behind these results with so much anxiety.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are two women that inspire me and that I admire and they are Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron. I do not had already the opportunity to meet them in person, but I really think that they can be a model of talent, perseverance and dedication. If I have to think about somebody that I actually know in person, my thought goes to some of my acting coaches.

What is my greatest extravagance? I usually do this strange thing when I am out of my city for job or fun or vacation: I choose somebody to draw. I have studied into an Art Institute when I was in high school so I hide a passion as a portraitist too. Well, I choose this man or this woman and I start to portrait him/her. When I finish, I do not take the portrait for me. I just say to this man or woman: “Hi! I am Armando and you inspired me for a portrait. This is the result of this inspiration. Thank you so much. Have a good day”. And I give to him/her the portrait. The face that they do should be filmed!

On what occasion would I lie? I do not like so much to lie but I do every time I am on stage. I am in the shoes of somebody else so I lie in the creation to build a new truth that deletes the lie itself. I lie when I write, too. In my everyday life I do not lie but I say the things in the most correct and respectable way. Well, I try! What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Some people’s thought is that behind my jobs there’s no training, no study, no time and money spent, no sweat, no tears, no sacrifice. I believe that this thing is something that is really accentuated in Italy. They think “You are a pretty one, you can be an actor”. That’s absolutely not true. But the most disgraceful thing is that some directors, actors, producers of my field makes this true. This is the thing that I really dislike the most in my work.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I am the happiest when people say to me “thank you” after a show, a public reading of my books or a class of acting. I do not want only to listen something like “you were amazing on stage” or “this book astonished me so much!”. It’s not so inspiring and rewarding as a “thank you”. I am the happiest person in the entire world every time a people thanks me.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would change my hurry to think about the next step of my life. It’s something that helped me and helps me today to build my future and to make me a young active worker but sometime it’s very stressful.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest achievement in work is the opportunity to help young people to realize its dream in this field. I have never been helped in my life (except from two or maybe three persons). So, I am trying to give the change to prove what young people can do in artistic field. I would be “the one” that I have never had.

What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ is the possibility to build something concrete with my ideas and the possibility to concrete others’ ideas in artistic fields. You can do art without money, that’s true. But you can’t live with your art without money. I can be what I have ever dreamed to be and I live with that. That’s the freedom. I’m not surviving, I’m living.

Where would I most like to live? I like the chaos of big cities but I appreciate the silence of little countries. I have to desire more the big centers in order to find easily a job. I have lived in London, Rome and Naples and the reality that I appreciated the most was London. I do not exactly know if it could be “my city” but it’s very near to my ideal city. Anyway, the place I would like the most is a mix between art, urban organization and freedom of movement.

What is my most treasured possession? My most treasured possession is my creativity. It makes everything possible, even the things that others think they are not.

What is my most marked characteristic? Everybody says that I look more older than my age and not because of my look. I grew up very quickly because of a series of unlucky events in my childhood and first youth, so I opened my mind before. After years of sufferings, I realized that those events were a fortune for me. I am older than my age (and it has been very hard sometimes) but I am satisfied now.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Rome is a constant inspiration! If I have to choose just one location, I probably answer Tevere side walk. The bridges, the air in city center, the noise of cars mixed to the water is something… you have to prove it to understand!

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I am not the classical “Italian” about food. I mean, I like to eat but not so much pasta or pizza. I appreciate more oriental or healthy or veggie foods. I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but I really like their cooking. I usually drink in little bars or bistros out of city center. I love so much the little and not-so-known places where I can drink a tasty glass of wine!

What books influenced my life and how? There are so many books that influenced my life. I am going to choose some of them. For my acting training are Stanislavski’s, Grotowski’s and “The Truth” by Susan Batson. For my creativity as a writer, Anne Sexton’s poetry, Virginia Woolf’s and Pasolini’s.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? People’s laugh and their frenetic talk in a sunny day.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I absolutely love Harvey Milk (both in the real life than in his representation in fiction) and Jessica Lange’s characters (almost of them). I do not think that they are exactly my hero and my heroine but they are inspiring.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I do not have so much male reference points but I think the answer is my brother, my mum, my grandmother and my aunt.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? This is a very hard question. I would start a very long list of movies! Anyway, I will try to answer with objectivity: “All about my mother” by Pedro Almodóvar.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is my life. It or she (as I usually refer to art in my everyday life) is not just part of my days, she is my days. When I wake up in the morning, I start creating stories, feeling about every single, magic, wonderful moment. Every breath could be the first step for a story or a character or both! And a walk… oh, my God! It’s inspiring. Art is my life, I repeat. So, answering to this question is quite impossible.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? A little part of my family is my supporters. Not all my family, unfortunately. My fiancé is one of my biggest fan and my co-worker in my acting school in Rome is a very supporting partner.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Ok, I am going to start now and end in 2028 or maybe later! I am going to answer with people I would do something with not only in 2017! I would like to work with some Italian actors and actresses like Pierfrancesco Favino and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. I would be directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Park Chan-Wook and Lars Von Trier. I would cooperate with Susan Batson, Ivana Chubbuck and Stella Adler. I absolutely would to work with Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal and Charlize Theron.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? 2017 is going to be a very intense year! I am going to publish my third book “La Gabbia” (The Cage), I’ve produced my first short movie “Una Donna” (A Woman) as a director and I’m going to produce the second one too. But the project that I’m most involved with is my new born Acting Center School in Rome.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? You can find more informations about me on my website: http://www.armandodilillo.com. They are in Italian but you can find some videos of my performances, all short clips and booktrailers of my books and spots and you will soon find all my short movies. This is my Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/armandodilillo. My Acting School Web Site: http://www.associazioneactingcenter.com

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is something that moves everything. Passion retires only when we die but not in all times. If we have created a great group of passionate artists as we were in life, they will continue our work. So, I think that passion was born before us and will survive us. Passion survives in every single shades of art and human kindness.

Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story? • Giuseppe Sorrentino, Italian director and founder of Animation agency.

How can you contact me? Through my Facebook Artist Page: https://www.facebook.com/armandodilillo.ufficiale/?fref=ts Through my website in the dedicated page: http://www.armandodilillo.com/contatti.html Through my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/armando_di_lillo/ Through my Twitter: https://twitter.com/armando_dilillo

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