Isabella Ragonese: ‘Door’ opened doors

Berlin Film Festival: Shooting Stars 2012

Juggling careers as a playwright and actress, 30-year-old Palermo native Isabella Ragonese worked in theater before making her film debut in 2006 in Emanuele Crialese’s “Golden Door.”

But it was her lead performance in Paolo Virzi’s 2008 comedy-drama “Her Whole Life Ahead” — as a college grad forced to work a series of increasingly demeaning jobs — that provided her breakthrough, earning her the Premio Guglielmo Biraghi and a Nastro d’Argento nomination, a prize she would go onto win in 2010 for her perfs in “One Life, Maybe Two” and “Our Life.”

2011 saw her take the lead role in Giorgia Cecere’s “The First Assignment,” and she can soon be seen in Silvio Muccino’s “Another World” and Massimo Venier’s “Il giorno in piu.” But she remains active in theater, with two of her own plays produced in 2011.

“Theater was my first love and it’s a constant form of inspiration, because it’s a place where I can experiment. Plus, there’s the immediate rapport with an audience. And those elements are things that I carry with me onto the bigscreen. And even though my experience as a playwright has been minor, it’s also been very important for me, because I strongly believe an actor has to be an author for himself also.

“But cinema is fascinating to me — it’s new and mysterious, and I want to take it further. It’s a young love, but if you ask me, now, which one I love the most, it’s hard to answer. If I have any ambition, as an actress, it’s to live them both, while always being myself.”

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