Twenty-six-year-old Jasmine Trinca was a high school student who had never remotely contemplated acting when Nanni Moretti selected her to play his daughter in “The Son’s Room.”
“I didn’t do a screen test,” she recalls about their meeting at the Rome liceo. “He just asked me some weird questions.”
A complicated shoot with many takes followed, eventually leading to the 2001 Cannes Palme d’Or. But that still didn’t convince Trinca to pursue a career in front of the camera. “I had never thought about being an actress before,” she says, “and that experience had been so intense that I just didn’t want to find myself in a different situation.”
Instead, Trinca became an archeology major at the U. of Rome. Then, two years later, helmer Marco Tullio Giordana coaxed her to accept the role of a young schizophrenic in “Best of Youth,” which won the Un Certain Regard prize in Cannes in 2003 and finally convinced her that she had found her calling.
She returned to the Croisette in 2006 with Moretti’s “The Caiman,” in which she played the earnest helmer of an anti-Berlusconi film. This year she’s back as an Un Certain Regard jury member.
In Italian industry circles, Trinca is known as a natural talent with no formal training, which insiders say is why she still hasn’t landed a lead.
“In Rome I really wouldn’t know where to go for training; if I lived in London it would be different,” says Trinca, who doesn’t rule out integrating her hands-on experience with “something more theoretical.”
In a similar vein, she rants about a lack of interesting female roles in contemporary Italian cinema. “The parts I get offered in Italy are pretty much the same thing: supporting roles without much depth that just serve to bolster the male lead.”
In other words: “somebody’s girlfriend,” she complains.
Claim to fame: Nanni Moretti’s “The Son’s Room.”
Career mantra: “Italian cinema doesn’t have many interesting female roles these days, so it’s even more important to pick your projects very carefully.”
Role model: “I have never modeled myself on actors from the past, because I am in this profession by chance. But I do very much admire today’s young British actresses.”
What’s next: “I am very taken by several French screenplays I have read. So I hope to work in France soon, though nothing is signed yet.”