22nd June 2015 Laura Antonelli she left us forever, after a life lived without filters and compromises, bringing her to the maximum of success, to be the most desired woman in the world, only to sink into the abyss of loneliness and dependence.
Sara Gazzini in her novel, Laura Antonelli. Love, enchantment, oblivionpublished by Morellini, tells the intimate aspect of this woman with her desperate need for love, with her emptiness and her weaknesses.
We asked Sara Gazzini to tell us about the genesis of this book dedicated to Laura Antonelli, extraordinary woman, beloved diva, sexy icon of the seventies, partner of Jean-Paul Belmondo: a life of success that did not spare her an end in poverty and loneliness.
Why a book on Laura Antonelli?
The book is part of a women’s series, directed by Sara Rattaro, which talks about women of the past. When I was asked to participate and to choose the character to write about, I thought of Laura Antonelli who has always fascinated me. Her story impressed me a lot, even if she doesn’t belong to my generation. In fact, Laura Antonelli reached the peak of her success between the seventies and eighties and I was little. But her descending parable touched me a lot. So I wanted to understand what had happened to the person everyone idolized, to the woman considered the most beautiful in the world. Indeed, I discovered that behind the sexy actress that everyone admired was a person full of fragility, of emptiness, with an underlying evil and melancholy in which I too often feel. So writing about her was also like writing about me. However, with this book I tried to “rehabilitate” her, because after the drug affair she was abandoned by everyone. I wanted to investigate what was inside this woman, I wanted to bring out precisely her fragility, her emptiness, her shortcomings, her infinite dependence on love without ever having felt truly appreciated and loved, all problems that she never has. managed to overcome. The novel, however, wants to be a hymn to the courage and strength to forgive, essential to get out of the most difficult situations.
What happened to Laura that drove men crazy and who lived every day on the verge of madness? This is the first question that Laura in the book asks herself: can she find an answer?
I would say yes. The novel is written entirely in the form of a monologue, because I wanted the woman to speak and not the actress. I was not interested in telling the limelight but on the contrary her inner experience. I have tried to give an explanation of the things that have contributed to throwing it into the total abyss. The drug affair, the facial surgery gone badly: all things that, for a person who already had low self-esteem, condemned her ahead of time.
What research did you do to write Laura Antonelli. Love, enchantment, oblivion?
I read everything I could find about her online, several of her interviews, I reviewed her films and then I searched behind the few interviews that there are to understand what she really meant behind her words. With my book I think I managed to give her a voice, even trying at times to interpret what was behind what little she revealed. Laura Antonelli has always tried to keep her private life safe, separating it from her working life. There are also interviews with people who have been close to her who have helped me to shed light on her. I think of Lino Banfi, perhaps the only one who has not abandoned it. Her portrait emerges of a person in need of help who either did not ask for it or asked the wrong people for it.
In the book you retrace the love story between Antonelli and Jean Paul Belmondo: can you tell us about this happy parenthesis that lasted 8 years?
This was the most talked about story at the time, it was all over the gossip covers. Theirs was a winning combination: he was Alain Delon’s alter ego and she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. It was a love that everyone was talking about then, but in reality they have always been quite secluded. It is known that it was a love lived to excess, reflecting the character and life of both. This relationship was lived between Rome and Paris, because neither of them would move for the other. The articles of the time report of this overwhelming passion, lived in 1000, but also of a love at times a little toxic and sick. Their stage fights were famous. Also because it seems that Belmondo was more fascinated by Laura Antonelli’s success than he was in love with her: he exhibited Laura Antonelli as if she were a sort of trophy. Instead, she might have wanted to live a more normal, more real relationship. In the book this is undoubtedly the most romanticized part. I tried, reading about him and her, to imagine how their story went.
What made Laura Antonelli unique as a sex symbol compared to her colleagues?
Surely her explosive physicality combined with her almost childlike face, innocent, lots of soap and water. And then the fact that she in the movies, starting with Malice, which was what brought him to the pinnacle of success, he always played roles of “little importance”. In Malice for example she was a waitress. She never had the role of the high-ranking lady. In my opinion, this gave the public the opportunity to identify with her, the illusion of being the Laura Antonelli next door to her, in the sense that she was a beautiful but normal woman.
Did you also mention in the book about Laura Antonelli’s adopted son, Germano Randi?
Yes, I made a brief mention of it, because she has never talked about it much and I didn’t want to venture into an area about which little or nothing is known, However, it is said that he was one of the people who most disappointed her. In fact, she hardly ever remembered it, the story of how this son entered her life is not even clear.
Was there more love or despair in Laura Antonelli’s life?
In my opinion there was a desperate need for love and it was this need that led her to beg for it from the most wrong and untrustworthy people.
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