Sveva Alviti: Thanks to Dalida, now I know how to love myself
Sveva Alviti: Thanks to Dalida, now I know how to love myself

A broken relationship that made her suffer, a new life in Paris and, finally, the role she dreamed of. Actress Sveva Alviti, star of the film about the iconic singer, talks to Grazia about how she became an adult. Discovering that pain doesn't always come to hurt


The actress Sveva Alviti he shows up for the appointment flying on the scooter, his long blond hair ruffled by the helmet, the hemless jeans and a black fur coat. His mood is sky high: "It's a wonderful moment, everyone tells me I have a star on my forehead, but I earned it," he says smiling and taking a peek at the busy schedule. It seems incredible that this cheerful and dynamic 32-year-old played with all the pain in the world the role of the Italian-French singer who grew up in Cairo and committed suicide in Paris, in the film Dalida, produced in France and directed by Lisa Azuelos. Touching blockbuster beyond the Alps, it tells the life of Cristina Gigliotti, aka Dalida, marked by successes and loneliness, passions and tragedies: three of her loves, including the singer-songwriter Luigi Tenco, took their own lives and she herself tried twice suicide before voluntarily leaving the world in 1987, at the age of 54. The film, also starring Riccardo Scamarcio in the role of Orlando Gigliotti, the beloved brother manager, Alessandro Borghi (Tenco) and Brenno Placido (a young companion of the protagonist) will be broadcast on Rai Uno in prime time on February 15, after the end of the Sanremo Festival, where Sveva was invited as a guest of honor.

Grazia was the first newspaper, in October 2015, to talk about the Roman actress and to dedicate the cover to her while she was secretly preparing for the film. Back then, with a past as an international model, but with very little experience in cinema, it was only the "inconnue italienne", the unknown Italian, who had beaten a hundred candidates much better known than her, including Penélope Cruz and Laetitia Casta. "Without Sveva I would not have made the film," revealed the director. Today, when I meet her after seeing her suffer, sing, love on the screen, the stranger has become a star: the French are crazy about her interpretation, judged an authentic "reincarnation", the newspapers have dedicated praise and covers to her while it rains job offers. During the promotion of the film on French TV, the actress fainted live, but has now recovered perfectly.

Was it a seizure, as the media reported?

"No. I had an emotional breakdown due to stress and overwork, to which was added a virus that triggered gastritis and convulsions. But it took me ten days of absolute rest in a wellness center outside Paris and the ritual analyzes to regain my shape. I learned a lot in that period of isolation, above all to love myself ».

Do you face all things under the banner of exasperated emotionality?

"All time. In love, first of all. And then in friendships, in quarrels, in work. I am never satisfied, nor do I leave anything to chance. In every situation I get involved completely. And that's why I got the part of Dalida ».

Can you tell me how it went?

"I was going through a moment of discouragement, partly because a long love affair ended, partly because I was unable to work in the cinema. I even thought about giving up when I learned that they were looking for the protagonist of the film. I made the first audition with my smartphone and sent it to the director. Then, when I met her, I sang Je suis malade, a famous piece by Dalida, with all the pain I had inside. And the part was mine. '

Seeing her act one is struck by her resemblance to the singer: the melancholy, the elegance, the charisma are the same as those of Dalida. What else does it have in common with her?

"I too am tough at work and fragile in love. At 17, I moved to New York to be a model facing the most demanding challenge of my life alone, away from family and friends. I still didn't speak English, I cried every day, but after that experience nothing scares me. Yet I have a desperate need for affection and, like Dalida, the constant fear of being abandoned ».

In the first interview she revealed that she has just met a new love, a Frenchman who works in the cinema. Are you still together?

“Yes, and I'm very happy. But I forced myself not to talk about my partner ».

Are you serious, is there a family in your projects?

“Sure, I want children. At 32, I feel ready and have already asked Orlando, Dalida's brother who enthusiastically supported the film, to be godfather to my first child. Maybe I'll wait a year, but the desire to start a family is strong. I want a different destiny from that of Dalida, who was an independent and avant-garde woman, who has sold 170 million records, but has never managed to become a mother ".

Did you then decide to settle in Paris?

"Without any doubt. The French have adopted me and make me feel at home. During the filming I had an apartment in Montmartre, the neighborhood where Dalida lived. Now I have moved to Saint-Germain-des-Prés with my foundling cats Moët and Chandon, whom I love as children. After the film was released, I received thousands of letters, emails, compliments on social media, even from famous actresses. My future in cinema starts from France, even if I have some interesting Italian projects ».

I understand that he is preparing to follow in the footsteps of actress Monica Bellucci

"She is an excellence of our country and embodies the Mediterranean beauty, I am a completely different type, but I hope to please you anyway".

What skills are you aiming for to move forward?

«On the truth. On set, I appeal to my life experiences and tap into my deepest emotions. I want the audience to laugh, cry, dance with me. Authenticity counts more than technique: it is the first thing I learned while studying acting in New York ".

And what did a character between light and shadow like Dalida teach you?

“That there is only one life, we must not let ourselves go to pessimism and depression. I also learned to give myself totally to the public ».

What causes the melancholy that sometimes appears in his gaze?

«From sensitivity. A few days ago, in Paris, after shopping with my partner, I ran into a cold and hungry 70-year-old woman outside the supermarket. I went back and filled a cart just for her. I will never forget her tears of joy. It would be enough for each of us to do one good deed a day to have a better world ».

Have you connected with Scamarcio?

«Riccardo helped me a lot. We have become friends and I love him for the good of my soul. I admire his talent, the commitment he puts into his work and his relationship with celebrities: he doesn't care and only does what he likes ".

Is it true that Orlando Gigliotti gave her sister Dalida's earrings?

“Yes, two pairs. Beautiful. But out of respect for Dalida I will never wear them in public ».

Now that she's become famous, are you afraid of making bad choices?

"The risk exists, but I trust instinct and the group of professionals next to me. I continue to study acting and would like to improve myself in dubbing. I am convinced that there are no small roles, it is important how you play them ».

And do you think you are done with fashion?

“No, it's a world that continues to fascinate me. I want to be a woman of style and I don't rule out participating in some interesting projects. A few years ago I founded a brand with my sister Sara, but today, that I no longer have time to follow it, I would like to sign a capsule collection for an established designer ».

Compared to two years ago, do you feel changed?

«I have matured and more and more determined to give everything to the public. A mother wrote to me that she called her daughter Dalida after reading that I was making the film: I felt a great emotion ".

Has he finally learned to master his fears?

"I think yes. But the fear of losing love will always remain ".

Even next to the man with whom you are happy today?

«Yes, because we know that everything can end. But, above all, we must learn that the greatest relationship of love must be cultivated with ourselves ".

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