INTERVIEW: Neri Marcorè mixes comedy with drama in 'Bar Margherita'

Sarah El Sirgany
3 Min Read

For the most part of Neri Marcorè’s career, he has been known as a comedian. But the actor got his first shot with drama in director Pupi Avati’s “Il cuore altrove (The Heart is Elsewhere) in 2003. The role helped him get out of the TV comedian and impersonator shell. His third collaboration with the director, however, saw him merge both sides again: the comedian and the more serious actor.

“I like [the role] because life isn’t split between drama and comedy . We laugh for one moment and cry at the other, Marcorè told Daily News Egypt a day after the screening of the film.

In “Friends at Bar Margherita, Marcorè plays Bep, a naïve man who still wears the fingerless gloves his father bought him instead of a car. On his first date, intrigued by the discovery of the world of sex, he succumbs to woman’s ultimatum that he can’t touch her unless they are engaged.

It’s only through his friends’ intervention that he escapes the marriage. Realizing that he won’t be happy in his looming marriage, they introduce him to a prostitute that pretends to love him and dupes him to love her back, only to leave him after he calls off the wedding.

His comedic portrayal of the naïve side of Bep was in sharp, but harmonious, contrast with the person devastated by his friends’ decision to toy with his feelings towards the end of the film.

Marcorè said he likes this style of mixing genres that distinguishes the film.

“I like a good script. It doesn’t matter if it’s comedy or drama. I want the film to be credible, to be a good story you can believe in, he said. But when it comes to comedy, the actor said he prefers the type that drives its humor from the situation rather than a punch line or a funny gesture.

In addition to mixing genres, the film also highlights the eccentricities of the characters, including Bep. With Avati, the actor explained, “You know there’s always something strange or eccentric. Irony is also part of Avati’s signature style.

Marcorè, who spoke with reverence about Avati’s career and versatile methodology, noted that there’s usually a “non-said agreement between Avati and actors he works with. That’s why Marcorè trusts the director’s vision in any role he assigns to him. He looks back at “The Heart is Elsewhere, his first role in an emotionally packed drama, as an important landmark in his career.

“I like a bit more of dramatic roles. I want to tell myself, before the public, that I can do it.

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