How one passes from being – and we quote verbatim – an «actor famous in his flats» to acting alongside Denzel Washington, the idol of his adolescence? Only Andrea Dodero can explain to us. 26 years old and originally from Liguria, he has the enthusiasm of those who enjoy their job with indomitable passion, full of dreams. His story begins in Genoa when, with a suitcase full of desires and the right dose of courage mixed with recklessness, he moved to the capital of Italian cinema: Rome. First a few poses, then the first secondary roles, the first cameos just mentioned. And then came that life-changing script that makes you really feel like you’ve achieved your goal.
Who is actor Andrea Dodero
Andrea Dodero was chosen to play the role of Mahdi in Blocco 181, the series produced by Salmo that wisely mixes crime and mystery. While the show was being renewed by Sky for a second season, Andrea moved to another prestigious set, that of The Good Mothers. The precious Disney+ proposal tells the story of Lea Garofalo and the other Calabrian women who bravely challenged the criminal organization ‘ndrangheta. A necessary series considering the topics covered, and which was received with acclaim from the public and critics, also winning the title of ‘Best Series’ at the Berlinale Series Award (an award established in 2023).
Then came The Equalizer 3 and his meeting with the actor who was the face of the films that made Andrea passionate about cinema and who he always watched alongside his father. Denzel Washington is exactly as Andrea Dodero imagined him, talking with him even when the cameras stop filming and repeating the monologue of one of his most famous films, Training Day. An experience for which Andrea Dodero is immensely grateful.
«Above all, Blocco 181 is a story of friendship, of revenge, of payback, of three young people seeking their place in the world»
Let’s start talking about Blocco 181, the series that was a turning point for you. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you were told you got the role?
Absolutely, it was 18 February 2021. I was at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia [Experimental Centre of Cinematography], which at the time was my acting school. I had been waiting for a week, which is usually the deadline within which they call you back. They told me on exactly the seventh day, the last. I was very excited, and it was kind of the real beginning of my career. I don’t know if it represented ‘the turning point,’ but it was definitely the moment that allowed other things and other incredible journeys to begin.
On the one hand, Blocco 181 is a tough neighbourhood struggle between rival gangs in the Milanese hinterland, and on the other is a story of polyamory, an unusual topic for the Italian public. The three main characters are often at the centre of particularly hot scenes. Were there any awkward moments when shooting them?
Above all, Blocco 181 is a story of friendship, revenge, and payback. The story of three young people seeking their place in the world. And yes, there are moments of love between the three of them in the story. It was never awkward, because we had so much time to get to know each other and become real friends. We were always laughing and joking around while we were shooting those scenes.
Blocco 181 has been confirmed for a second season. Have you read the first scripts yet? What previews can you give us?
I can’t say anything. I’ve already read some scripts and there’s so much that has to pass. I’m looking forward to it, we start shooting between September and October. There will be many surprises, many things are going to happen.
Andrea Dodero: «The Good Mothers was perhaps the most special journey I have experienced to date, precisely because of the desire to tell a story, which is why we’re here»
Another important chapter of your artistic journey is The Good Mothers. If you think about organized crime, you can cite dozens of titles about the Mafia and the Camorra, perhaps less about the ‘Ndrangheta. Was the series important for making the story of Lea Garofalo and the other women involved known?
Especially for this reason, precisely because their stories were quite unknown. And then because it paved the way for other production companies to tell other stories of ‘Ndrangheta. The last two or three years have been the stage for many women’s stories, such as Una Femmina by Francesco Costabile. Meanwhile, it was also a necessary experience for me. Day after day, scene after scene, there was an air full of humanity on the set. The Good Mothers was perhaps the most special journey I have experienced to date, precisely because of the desire to tell a story, which is why we’re here. We’re quite please with the success it has had and continues to have.
When you do something because it’s your calling, you want to ‘simply’ tell a story: seeing how a series goes and if it’s successful are consequential elements. And it was a little bit so for all of us because no one was thinking about how the series would be received. We were only thinking about telling these stories. But then this incredible success came.
«I received several comments from people who thanked me for telling these stories that they were totally unaware of»
The Good Mothers received an important recognition, winning the award for Best Series at the Berlinale Series Award. What was the experience and how did you feel?
We are the first series to have won this award (the Berlinale Series Award was established in 2023, ed.). The awards recognize something once it’s been completed. It was a surprise because there were so many very interesting series competing. There wasn’t a clear winner, so winning such an important award was rewarding for everyone. And that wasn’t all, the series certainly didn’t go unnoticed: consider for example Valentina Bellé, who received the Nastro d’Argento.
One of the merits of a series like The Good Mothers is certainly that it has managed to reach a younger audience, who perhaps don’t know much about mafia stories. Have you received any feedback in this regard?
More than from a younger audience, I’ve received messages from older people. Despite not being a series full of bullets and shootings, it still has a high level of tension that transmits so much anguish. However, I received several comments from people who thanked me for telling these stories that they were unaware of.
The most recent chapter of your career is The Equalizer 3. What’s it like to be catapulted into a Hollywood set?
I was at the beach when someone I knew called me and said: ‘I have to audition for the film.’ I helped him to prepare for the audition and so I, too, learned about The Equalizer 3. I contacted my agent and asked if I could audition myself. Denzel Washington is in it, he’s my favorite actor of all time. They gave me the role after my first self-tape. The Americans audition you once, at most twice.
Did you get a chance to talk to Denzel Washington even after the cameras stopped rolling? If yes, what did you talk about?
I had the chance to talk with him because we filmed several scenes together. I’m a big fan of his work, and so is my father. During one break I recited a monologue from Training Day and he told me some fun facts about the film and about all the work he did to best portray the character. It was really interesting, an extraordinary experience. He gave me some good advice, he’s a wonderful person. He is exactly what you see, he tries to convey himself and talk about his life for what it is. A person to meet.
«I have to say that my career has been much more fun than it’s been tiring, thanks also to the many good fortunes I’ve had. It’s been a really great six years»
I read that before entering the world of acting you were a pastry chef. When did you decide to give up everything and change your life? What made you change?
Saying pastry chef is a bit pretentious, I worked in a pastry shop for a year. A friend of mine asked me, ‘Why don’t you go back to being an actor? Why don’t you set off, give it a shot?’. I had always acted in amateur theatre in Genoa, it has always been my great passion. A few weeks later I set off for Rome, where I attended the first academies and began my journey that brought me here. It was a strange choice but at the same time fun, sometimes it takes those 30 seconds of courage when you decide to give everything up and leave. And I did everything with so much passion, being in love with this job has helped me a lot.
I have to say that my career has been much more fun than it’s been tiring, thanks also to the many good fortunes I’ve had. It’s been a really great six years.
On Instagram your bio says: ‘Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.’ Does this represent your way of dealing with life?
Now it’s gone because I changed it (laughs, ed). That phrase is important because it’s from my father’s favorite film, Shooter, a film directed by Antoine Fuqua (also director of The Equalizer 3, ed.). It’s a film my father knows by heart, he could dub it. This quote impressed us so much, that’s why I put it in the bio. Before that, it said ‘actor famous in his flats,’ because they only knew me at my house (joke, ed.).
Photographer Davide Musto
Stylist Alessandra Gubinelli
Make up Silvia Evangelisti – Simone Belli Agency
Hair Carmen – Contestarockhair
Photographer assistant Valentina Ciampaglia
Location Studio Davide Dormino
© Riproduzione riservata