Written By: Jayme Face
Giussepe Bonifati can be seen playing Giovanni Iacovoni in the Golden Globe nominated film All the Money in the World in theatres now!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about All the Money in the World and your character?
Giuseppe Bonifati: The movie is based on the David Scarpa’s screenplay that is based on the true story of the kidnapping John Paul Getty III in Italy in the 70s. My role is of Giovanni Iacovoni the attorney of Gail Harris that is played by Michelle Williams. I don’t know if you heard, but it’s been nominated for the Golden Globes: Christopher Plummer for best supporting actor, Michelle Williams for best actress and Ridley Scott for best director. I am so proud to be a part of the movie and to be a castmate is great!
upfrontNY: What was it like working with actors such as Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg for your American debut?
Giuseppe Bonifati: Yes, in general it has been really stimulating to be working closely with Ridley Scott because I had a lot of time during filming with him and learning from his advice. It was nice to be with Michelle and Mark. Overall I was with them so I got her sensitivity and elegance during the scenes together because I am the lawyer of Gail Harris. Mark Wahlberg was really nice and friendly on set and off set. I appreciate it a lot. Ridley and the assistant directors too, they were really friendly, making me feel comfortable. They put a comfort zone on me because I am fresh and young. It was nice to not feel any pressure.
upfrontNY: This is based on true events, did you know much about this event before you got the role and how did you prepare?
Giuseppe Bonifati: At first I did not know so much about the real story, so immediately when I got the news about the role I had to inform myself of course. I had been contacted by the son of the real lawyer. He got to know that they were making a movie about the real story of the kidnappings of Getty because a friend who was an actor asked him to prepare him for this audition. When they got to rehearsing he found out it was about his father, but the friend did not get the role. He got to know it was me who got the role so he contacted me and he lent me all the real articles, newspapers clipping, magazines that his father collected during the 5 months of the Getty case and the kidnappings. Before filming I got really into these clippings that I received from him. They were in a huge quantity from the 70s Italian newspapers mostly, some were from France and England. This character was put together from my mind, what I researched, and then the rest by Ridley Scott. The first day he saw me on set and started to get the idea that he was an eccentric lawyer so he started to make a mess of my hair. The hair department did not care because they knew that Ridley and I were giving my hair the maestros touch. Ridley has a good sense of humor so it was really nice to be working with him.
upfrontNY: You are currently the artistic director for the performing arts group Divano Occidentale Orientale. Can you tell us more about that?
Giuseppe Bonifati: We normally say DOO performing arts group because we are more international, so we use our initials. With the group, I am mostly director and play writer. I write and direct the plays and performances. I founded it in 2010 in Italy, but then we moved our residence to Denmark in 2011. I started to collaborate with a theatre in Denmark called Odin Teatret – Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium. I started to direct there in 2011. It’s like a base where we created performances and talk about performing arts and then moved around spreading the works in the world to Europe, Central and South America then even deeper in Denmark. Together with my partner, Linda Sugataghy from Hungary, we founded an artistic movement in 2016 in Denmark. It is called KUNSTPARTIET, translated, The Art Party. We made a special performance in Demark, we were playing the role of candidate and first lady for 18 months, 535 days, and it was right before the shooting of All the Money in the World. It was really challenging because it is performing mixed with reality. In Denmark, we went as the candidate and the first lady and we got a lot of attention from the press and the citizens. It was really successful. Then we decided to continue this artistic movement so we will go on next year with other projects.
upfrontNY: Your performing group travels all over the world, do you notice differences in the audiences’ reactions to your performances depending on where you perform?
Giuseppe Bonifati: Yes, of course. There is a performance that can be mentioned for this. I did this performance in 2012/ 2013 it’s called I Have to Tell You Something or I Have Something to Tell You that I used to do in the toilets of art galleries, museums, and festivals. It is a performance that really needs a small place, an intimate setting like toilets. So, I forced the audience near with me in a small place and it has been for me like a psychological study. The approach was with different people in different countries because their reactions were really different from Denmark or Venezuela. For example, I remember in Budapest we did it in an uncommon place, a strip club. The bodyguards were calming and pleasant and the strippers were really shy. It was really strange. It made me realize how the approach can be different depending on countries too because their reactions from Europe or South America was totally different from one country to another. I should do it in the United States; it would be very interesting to understand people.
upfrontNY: You are a poet and a playwright besides being an actor, what was your first love and do you enjoy one over the other?
Giuseppe Bonifati: My very first love was dance. In fact, I was dancing from the time I was 8 to 13 or 14 years old. Then I moved to poetry and theatre and I never stopped. I have to say that I prefer to write and direct for theatre instead of acting, but for movies I prefer to act because my expertise as a director is for theatre.
upfrontNY: Did you always know as a child you wanted to be a performer?
Giuseppe Bonifati: I wanted to be a dancer when I was a child. I was young and it was organic in me. I remember I did a performance in school and people said I should be an actor because I was jumping from the stage to the audience. This was shocking for dancers; this was more theatre. Everyone kept saying you should do theatre so I said okay and started theatre.
upfrontNY: Do you still dance?
Giuseppe Bonifati: Not like before, but I danced for so many years that I embodied the rhythm. I don’t dance, but sometimes there is physical theatre in a performance so I never left, but mostly I am a director. I don’t dance anymore. I was dancing contemporary, Latin, and modern, not ballet.
upfrontNY: Do you have any other upcoming projects you are working on?
Giuseppe Bonifati: Mostly with my group we have a new tour in Denmark next year. It is an interdisciplinary project called Art as Defense. We direct in Holstebro (Denmark) a small museum too, called “Bomhuset-Museum for Miniature Art.” It’s our base and office and we are here since 2016. We will continue in the next two years or maybe more, we’ll see. This project will be between January and June. Than I will direct in Autumn 2018 a new theatre production in Hungary, based on a text I wrote in 2012. It’s called The Last Blow and it is about an Amish family in a technological approach, so contrary to what the Amish are.
upfrontNY: You’ll have to let us know if you do a performance in New York!
Giuseppe Bonifati: Yes, I think the performance I was telling you about earlier I Have to Tell You Something would be very interesting to do in New York. It is easily done, good to do in a small place. I would perform for one or two people at a time sometimes as much as six people in a row, it’s almost having a party in the toilet!