Servillo, Toni: Italian Actor of Gomorrah

Cannes Film Fest 2008

TONI SERVILLO plays one of the major prtagonists, Franco, in the highly acclaimed Italian crime drama, “Gomorrah,” which is Italy's submission for the Foreign-Language Film Oscar.

Film director and actor Toni Servillo was born in 1959 in Afragola, in the province of Naples. He founded the Teatro Studio of Caserta in 1977. He began collaborating with the Falso Movimento Theatrical Co. in 1986, starring in Ritorno ad Alphaville by Mario Martone and staging E… taken from works by Eduardo De Filippo. In 1987 he was among the founders of Teatri Uniti, of which he has been the Artistic Director since 1999.

He participated as an actor and director in the creation of theatrical pieces in the Neapolitan language such as Partitura (1988) and Rasoi (1991) by Enzo Moscato, Ha da passà a nuttata (1989), from a work by Eduardo De Filippo, Zingari (1993) by Raffaele Viviani, and Sabato, domenica e lunedì (2002), the award-winning adaptation of the Eduardo de Filippo masterpiece.

With Il Misantropo (1995) and Tartufo (2000) by Molière, and Le false confidenze (1998/2005) by Marivaux, all in excellent translations by Cesare Garboli, he realized a trilogy of the great French theater of the 1600-1700s.

He also directed L’uomo dal fiore in bocca (1990/96) by Luigi Pirandello, Natura morta (1990) from the acts of the XXIII CPSU Congress, De Pirandello a Eduardo (1997), an adaptation of L’uomo dal fiore in bocca by Pirandello and Sik Sik, l’artefice magico by Eduardo De Filippo with Portuguese actors at the San Joao Theater of Porto, Benjaminowo: padre e figlio (2004) by Franco Marcoaldi and Fabio Vacchi, Il lavoro rende liberi (2005) by Vitaliano Trevisan. His latest theater direction was Trilogia della villeggiatura by Carlo Goldoni (2007) at the Piccolo Teatro of Milan, which will be taken on tour internationally next season.

As an actor, he has been directed by Memè Perlini, Mario Martone, Leo De Berardinis, Elio De Capitani, and has collaborated with Franco Battiato, Mimmo Paladino and Antonio Ballista.

His debut as a director of a musical was in 1999 with La cosa rara, by Martin y Soler and Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte staged at the La Fenice Theater of Venice. This was followed by Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart in Venice and Boris Godunov by Mussorgskij and Arianna a Naxos by Richard Strauss at the Sao Carlos of Lisbon, Il marito disperato di Cimarosa and Fidelio by Beethoven, both at the San Carlo Theater of Naples and L’Italiana in Algeri by Rossini at the Aix en Provence Festival. He debuted in cinema with films directed by Mario Martone: DEATH OF A NEAPOLITAN POLICEMAN (1992), RASOI (1993), LA SALITA (1997), and REHEARSALS FOR WAR (1998). He starred in Paolo Sorrentino’s films ONE MAN UP (2001), THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE (2004), the TV film adapted from Sabato, domenica e lunedì (2004), and the forthcoming IL DIVO. He was directed by Antonio Capuano in RED MOON (2001), by Elisabetta Sgarbi in NOTTE SENZA FINE (2004) and by Andrea Molaioli in THE GIRL BY THE LAKE (2007).

He has received many acting awards in Italy and abroad including the Silver Ribbon, the Grolla d’Oro and the David di Donatello.