Caterina Murino, a free woman in Saint-Tropez
Actor, globetrotter, dividing her time between her native Sardinia and the rest of the world, Caterina Murino lives her passions to the full and expresses herself the way she defends her culture: with frankness and tenacity.
Et Mon cœur transparent (“My Transparent Heart”), your latest feature film made in France, just came out. What are you doing now, Caterina Murino?
I’m acting in a play in Italy called L’Idea de ucciderti (“The Idea of Killing”). It’s an original play by Giancarlo Marinelli, an Italian author with whom I already worked two years ago. He is an incredible talent. I act the part of a public prosecutor who interrogates a man accused of murdering his wife. At first, I arrive filled with all the hate in the world. But gradually the man recounts his version, his divorce, his story… The veil is lifted on certain dysfunctions of the legal system and its prejudices. The woman has to be the victim and the man has to be guilty: it’s not always the case.
What a risk you’re taking! That’s the complete opposite of the current trend…
I don’t think so. Of course there are men who are monsters, who rape, who beat women… But women can also turn out to be monsters. The law must disregard its prejudices, its considerations of gender and no longer judge anything but humans for their acts – that is the principle of the play. Is that swimming against the current? On the contrary! The play makes that distinction. It doesn’t stand up for the man who is accused. It speaks of the fairness of the law beyond preconceptions. A woman can be in the wrong before a judge. It’s not a crime to admit it.
Reassure us, can a woman be a happy actor these days?
I feel very detached from this whole wave of scandals, I’m sorry. Like in every profession, there are abuses of power in filmmaking, men who shamelessly take advantage of their position. There’s no doubt about it. But I can’t help thinking that some women are using this very bad atmosphere to make a name for themselves. It’s all terribly unhealthy. I don’t like widespread suspicion. It’s a very good thing that intolerable behaviour was exposed by it. But it’s another thing to give a bad name to an entire profession in order to publicise oneself as I suspect is the case with some personalities; there I don’t agree. I think this will end up having consequences for the real victims. And that drives me crazy! I know what I’m talking about since I have very close friends who have been molested…But to answer your question: I’m very happy in my profession. Even if there are ups and downs, again it’s the same everywhere. One cannot be naïve.
How do you keep the flame alive after a career of almost 20 years?
That’s hard to answer. I’ve always thought that I was a bit of a “cheat” since, even though I shouldn’t say so, I have the impression that I never really had a burning desire to be in this profession. My dream was to be a doctor, to help others. And then life took me in another direction, from one film to the next. Now I act in feature films, series, on the stage… I’ve fully found myself in this profession without really seeking it.
You launched your own jewellery brand “Caterina Murino Jewellery”. Where does this passion come from?
For me, a Sardinian, jewellery is part of a millennial history. There, people work the gold using a technique that goes back to the time when Phoenicians came to the island. I remember those jewels that were given as presents in my own family as so many precious gifts.
What made you decide to launch your own jewellery collection?
As little as 20 years ago, four hundred goldsmiths crafted filigree in Sardinia. Today there are only about ten left. I refuse to see such an important tradition die. That’s why I created a collection inspired by my island, its legends and its traditions. My dream is one day to be able to call on several artisans, create workshops and generate fresh interest among young people.
A last question: what memory do you keep of your stays in Saint-Tropez?
It’s the third time I have visited SaintTropez and I find it really adorable. But I think that my best memory remains this shoot for the magazine: we visited every bit of it including the naval cemetery. For me, this will remain a wonderful day in a town where life before the high season is particularly agreeable.
Interview by Jean-Pascal Grosso - Photo by Sandra Fourqui