I had the pleasure of meeting Walter Nestola in Crema, during the screening of the film “Briciole sul mare” (of which he is a director and actor) with donations collected for the Red Cross of Crema for the earthquake victims of Accumoli.
There were many people, as you can imagine, including the film’s producer Nino Chirco, Mayor Stefania Bonaldi, and some journalists. Also for this 1blog4u thanks Walter Nestola for making himself available, but… it doesn’t end here.
I am offering “special thanks” because that day Walter Nestola had a fever, he was not well, and yet, without batting an eyelid, answered all my questions, even the most stupid ones (being that I am not an expert in cinematography), he allowed us to photograph him while playing with the camera lens and… my name is Gabriella Ruggieri, not Giovanni Gastel… well, for a long series of details and nuances that I personally like to describe as good manners, class and elegance: thanks Walter Nestola!
As you know, when we interview someone, whatever his/her profession, we try to understand what was the path taken by this person to achieve his/her dream. Or what kind of path he/she is on at this moment. We like to think that anyone reading one of our interviews, or as in this case, a brief chat, may find the inspiration and strength to decide to achieve his or her own dream.
Walter Nestola was born in
Copertino, Salento area, on 11/03/1987
What was your course of study? Did it have some relevance to the cinema?
Yes, absolutely. I always liked acting. At age 11, I attended the first course in theatre, and at 16 I was asked to join a theatre company where I remained for three years. Later, I moved to Florence to attend college, and the first thing I did when I arrived was to enroll in a film school (the Florentine Scuola di Cinema IMMAGINA, by director Giuseppe Ferlito). Obviously, the film school took first place, but I managed to handle both studies.
Did your parents support you? Maybe they wanted you to become an accountant, so to speak.
Often in the area where I was born, if you said, “I want to be an actor,” the response you got was “but where do you have to go?”
It is because of this phrase that I decided to leave and move to Florence, where I found my individuality, and continued on my own path. In addition, Florence is a city of art, how could ask for more?
Why Florence? Why not another city?
I chose the school of Agriculture and Florence became practically the only option that could allow me to pursue both types of studies.
Returning to an earlier question… your parents?
Well actually their support was almost forced more than wanted. Let me explain. As a child, I had a small problem, I did not talk much and I had a stutter. My parents were a little ‘shaken’ by this. I already had this inner drive to be either an actor or a singer. In reality, I was leaning more towards being an actor: I had to discard the idea of singing when I was told that I was out of tune, that I did not have a good ear, so I let these negative comments affect my passion. It is thanks to Nino Chirco that I was able to revisit this old passion. The truth is that in life we must always follow our dreams, our inclinations. I did not have enough determination to pursue singing because people told me that I could not stay in tune. However, with acting, my teacher would tell me, “in school he is not that good, but when he acts, then it is another story!”. This was in elementary school. My parents realized that acting was helping me, so they agreed to support it. They did not help or push me into acting – they would have wanted something very different for me -, but they never tried to stop me.
Well, usually parents want their children to study, to graduate…
Look, I also like this idea, I absolutely agree, we live in a historical context in which a higher degree is as important as having a diploma 20 years ago. Nowadays, we even hear more about a Master’s degree, as basic school achievement. This is because we more and more understand the importance of education. Studying is a way to obtain something more, to keep your mind and curiosity alive, it gives you the basis for implementing your ideas: in a film, a documentary, or in any aspect of life.
So, you went to Florence because you enrolled in the School of Agriculture, but … how did you take your first steps in acting? What must a person do? How can one start? It’s not like you wake up one morning and BAM! For example, let’s suppose that someone needs go to auditions, where would he go? What would he have to do?
Apprenticeship never ends. As in life, curiosity and study must never end. In my case, as I said before, it started from an early age. At drama school, you know, the first few days there are tests and I was not among the best. However, I always had strength and determination. How can I say it? When you see that you are limping in certain fields, it means that you must commit more and persevere. This will always bring rewards. You will reach beyond where others have stopped …. My teacher, who is a director, after a year called me to an audition and gave me the part of the lead role. In one year, we shot an independent film. It was a school project without distribution, and it gave me plenty of time to practice and learn on the set. School is the base, but you also need the practice. Four days out of 7, I was in school and… 7 days out of 7 on the set. Also on Sundays. He would call me late at night and say: “Tomorrow we need to shoot a scene, are you in?” Of course! This was the most beautiful thing, a dream. I can say I dreamed and lived the dream with Florence, artistic town, with a considerable artistic culture, and then… making films! I was always on set. Not like in a fiction, which you film and then see two years later. Here it was like dealing with your own son, I did not just act. “Come, bring a tripod”, “camera”… everything there was to do, I did. Sometimes we were both shooting, I, the actor, and he, the director. He was a bit the craftsman of cinema, who teaches you to do what needs to be done, step by step. That’s why “Briciole sul Mare” was made, and that is why for me making it was not a “mission impossible.” Undoubtedly, past experiences meant a lot, and we also acquired more experience during the realization of this project. It was very important to have Guido Cerniglia in our team, and the same producer, Nino Chirco. Let’s say that, as a team, we were well matched and that too matters a lot. A well-knit team always wins.
Returning to your work as an actor, what is casting and where do you do it?
Casting is always a question mark. There are sites where one always goes to snoop, some serious, where you sign up and are kept updated with newsletters, others a little less serious. Actually, if someone wants to be safe, it is best to rely on an agency.
Some agents, if you do not have a lot of experience or done some movies, will not take you or will never give you anything important to do, maybe as an extra. So, even if you find an agency, it is not easy. Sometimes you must change a few agencies before you find the right one. But it’s all part of the game. Much comes from public relations: how you interact with people, how you behave; nothing is owed to you, so you have to conquer people’s trust. In my case, I would say that serious studies, head on my shoulders, keeping down to earth and working hard to make it happen, regardless of the agency, was the correct path. Of course, perseverance and determination should always be there, but I think they are in the DNA of those who choose to follow their dream or passion. Whatever that might be.
Do you support yourself with your job as an actor?
No, it’s the whole aggregate.
What do you mean aggregate?
All those jobs you do when your name is not Robert De Niro. I am joking, but for “aggregate” I mean a whole range of jobs that are not necessarily related to a pure actor’s job, but that allow you to be independent, to pay for your studies, courses abroad, etc… One specific example is acting in a testimonial for a company.
Speaking about courses abroad, did you ever feel the desire to move away? For some, moving meant a turn in their career. What do you think about it?
I thought about it and I still do. My first thought is to finish my university studies, then I will definitely have more freedom in every sense. I’m talking about the US, I was always attracted to it; I was there and I experienced first-hand a reality so very different from the Italian one, very inspiring.
I remember, the very first time I went there, I took a course for a week, in California, as auditor. I learned more in one week there than in three full years here, so to speak.
So, would you like to move there?
Not necessarily. Today, compared to the past, travel is easier, distances are shorter. If one goes to the US, it doesn’t mean that he has to carry a “forever” suitcase.
In Italy, there are not as many opportunities. No use pretending or hiding behind a finger. So, why put a limit to possibilities? As I always say: “If you can dream it, you can do it”. Maybe nothing will happen, maybe you will not reach the expected success, but I believe that in life, nothing is worse than not trying. In any industry, not just in mine.
Have you ever come across negative people?
Lots. I push them away.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to fulfill his dream?
Do not work with friendships. Be steadfast and determined. Perseverance and determination will always come in handy in down times. Study, study, study and do a lot of apprenticeship, theater, short films, work, work, get your hands dirty, be an extra. Learn from everyone.
And one who does not want to be an actor? Who has a dream in a sector different from yours?
If one has a dream and believes strongly, he can achieve it. Nothing changes. The sector is not important. You want to be a pastry chef? Study, experiment, learn from the best, learn you’re your mistakes, never get tired.
Coffee and small talk with Walter Nestola come to an end. And we want to thank him again. We saw the film, and we agree with what Paolo Mieli said: “The film Briciole sul Mare by Walter Nestola is a perfect film, a jewel in its editing and in the characters; and also, it’s a film that opens your heart. It is a small masterpiece of Italian comedy “.
Below is a brief summary of the film:
“Briciole sul Mare”
This is the story of a fisherman living in Southern Italy, who goes fishing every day with his boat to completely relax for a couple of hours. For a strange twist of fate, one day he falls asleep and he wakes up in the waters of beautiful and sunny Sicily. Here he will meet new people and among them, Salvo, a young boy who is about to face his future life. Unfortunately, he will also be witness to a murder that will even more complicate his stay on the island. Everything seems to end tragically, when a dramatic turn of events will change this story into a comic and grotesque comedy with romantic implications.
Director: Walter Nestola
Writers: Guido Cerniglia, Walter Nestola
Stars: Walter Nestola, Lorena Noce, Nino Chirco
Music by Loriana Lana
Producer: Studio Chirco Music Publishing and Cinema – Cream
Short CV of Walter Nestola:
-The film “L’affarista” (2014) by Giuseppe Ferlito and “Ultimo Carico” (2010) by Giuseppe Ferlito, the first two short films as co-star.
-Spot for the weekly “Giallo” by Urbano Cairo aired on LA7 and RAI.
-“L’uomo dal fiore in bocca” (2013), a work in music from an act by Luigi Pirandello, directed by Guido Cerniglia (where he acted and sang along with Alberto di Stasio and Benedetta Rossi).
-“Una ragione per Combattere” (2014) by Alessandro Baccini.
-“Briciole sul Mare” (2016).
-First role in a TV series “L’onore e rispetto Part 5” with Gabriel Garko, aired in spring 2017.
Gabriella Ruggieri for 1blog4u
(thanks to Sergio Bellotti for the English translation)