Toni e Peppe Servillo. What brothers!
The most admired brothers of the moment tell us about themselves
They are the most admired brothers of the moment. The theater is giving their productions the opportunity to leave spectators speechless and literally enraptured.
After their extraordinary experience in Le Voci di Dentro, by Eduardo De Filippo, we can see them once again together, with the Solis String Quartet, in La Parola Canta, abounding with pathos and original talent.
I met Toni Servillo, the most important actor in Italy, and Peppe Servillo, composer and lead voice of the Avion Travel, at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence during their tour.
What alchemy makes you work well together and share the scene?
Toni Servillo. Peppe and I have performed together in musical-theater shows in the past with some important symphony orchestras. We have also sung together before. We are similar, we understand each other, and we share the same culture. There is a family code that binds us. A brotherly bond which our individual choices has consolidated.
It makes one wonder what kind of amazing family you had. Which was stronger and more present when you were growing up, music or theater?
Peppe Servillo. Being performers does not run in the family. But, ours was a family of spectators and of huge theater and music enthusiasts. This is where our passion comes from. It still warms our hearts to reminisce the first time we saw Eduardo De Filippo’s plays with our parents and siblings at the theater or on television.
What is the charm and essence of the Neapolitan language, the protagonist of your modern variety show, La Parola Canta?
P. S. Along with the phenomenal musicians of the Solis String Quartet we stage a concert-show in which music, poetry, and drama blend to produce a single creative work, allowing us to offer the audience our passionate homage to some great names of the Neapolitan theater.
What role does tradition play in your shows?
T. S. When it is vibrant, the theater is always contemporary. In alternating my repertories I have always combined innovation and tradition. The primary value of the theater, and to some extent today’s cinema as well, is that of creating an assembly of people for the purpose of giving a central role to man and to profound communication. This has a thought-provoking power and is especially necessary in our times, given the great deal of confusion and noise that surrounds us.
Our bond with the past must be maintained in order to project ourselves into the future. I think it is a crime to let only the present occupy our lives.
The long tour of Le voci di dentro, which took place during the promotion of La Grande Bellezza and the Oscar awards, and your current return to the stage confirm your preference for the theater. What drives this intense passion of yours?
T. S. The Oscar award was something new to me. It was unexpected and unpredictable. More than anything it served the purpose of shortening the distance between me and my dreams.
I enjoy success, but the poetry of every-day life of the theater gives me balance and helps me establish limits. I went to Los Angeles without interrupting the tour of Le voci di dentro.
The last show will be staged in Budapest in April, and, by the end of the season we will have performed 350 times.
As a film actor, what character was the most difficult to portray convincingly?
T. S. I don’t know. But, I can say that twelve years ago, at the time of L’Uomo in più, neither Paolo Sorrentino nor I would have ever imagined this experience and these results.
I could not see myself as a film actor. At the most I felt part of a project which, through the theater, progressed carefully towards a world that was firmly grounded in our poetry at that time.
What are you working on at the moment?
P. S. We will be on tour until April with La Parola Canta in Paris, Turin, and Milan. Then we will finish up abroad, taking Le voci di dentro to Germany, France, Belgium, and Hungary.