HFPA newcomers bring global view

Celada and Tropea to cast first Globes votes

Early next month, Luca Celada and Herve Tropea will cast their Golden Globes votes for the first time.

They are the two newest eligible members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. Celada, who writes for the publication Il Manifesto in Italy, focuses more on film, while Tropea, a writer for the French publication Tele-Loisirs, casts his gaze more closely on television.

Celada grew up bilingual in Europe and holds dual U.S.-Italian citizenship, thanks to being born in Tennessee, where his father had a two-year tenure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He attended school in Sweden from age 6 to 10, returned to Italy where he remained through secondary school, and then went back to the States to study communications at UCLA.

Something of a junket junky, Celada claims to have attended more than 1,200 of them over 15 years covering Hollywood. His inclusion in the HFPA wasn’t his idea.

“Truly, I did not solicit or campaign,” he says. “I had colleagues (who) told me I should apply. It’s a question of having been around, being a known entity.”

Though he’s mostly covered film, he says his familiarity of TV has expanded.

“There’s been an increase (of coverage) because of cable: Showtime, HBO and the success of shows like ‘Mad Men.’ There’s a lot more TV coverage in Italy than a few years ago,” he says.

For RAI and Il Manifesto (the latter, he says, is roughly analogous to the L.A. Weekly), Celada covers the Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, New York and AFI film fests, though it’s never easy to persuade his editors that they’re important gatherings.

“It’s been a fight convincing editors to place the Sundance story rather than an Oliver Stone interview,” he explains. “I hope I can do more (such stories), because places like Sundance are crucial.”

As for Tropea, his writing for Tele-Loisirs ranges from entertainment to hard news.

“In one issue, I could do an interview with Pamela Anderson, and then cover breast cancer surgery in the U.S.,” he says.

Originally from Nice, where he graduated from law school, Tropea moved to L.A. and began studying entertainment law. He happened to know the co-editor at Tele-Loisirs, who knew of his deep television knowledge, and so Tropea was asked if he’d like to write for the magazine. As a big “ER” enthusiast, his first assignment started there.

“I went to UCLA Medical Center to interview real doctors about ‘ER.’ They really liked that I found a new way to write an entertainment story,” he says.

As for his specialty, he notes the “blossoming” of franchises — “CSI,” “Law and Order,” “Grey’s Anatomy” — and that “more new quality TV shows are created than ever before.”

“We are living in a beautiful phase of TV,” he adds. “Everyone can enjoy that.”

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