Eugenio Mastrandrea: “I love how unpredictable life is.”

Meet the new Italian face who’s gaining international fame: it has to do with the Netflix miniseries From Scratch alongside Zoe Saldana and a role in The Equalizer 3 with Denzel Washington

His surname shares a resemblance with that of another Italian actor, but there is no kinship with Valerio Mastandrea. He is not even 30 years old yet, but he still has a respectable career behind him, especially in the theatrical field, having graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art “Silvio D’amico”. His big screen debut came in the cult film A.C.A.B. directed by Stefano Sollima in 2012. He has acted in many plays working for directors such as Robert Wilson in Hamlet Machine and Emma Dante in Le Baccanti.

The breakthrough took place thanks to the Rai series La Fuggitiva, directed by Carlo Carlei, a ratings record in spring 2021. But fame, internationally as well, came in late 2022, where he was the male lead alongside Zoe Saldana in the NETFLIX series From Scratch, based on the novel of the same name written by Tembi Locke and directed by Nzingha Stewart. The role of Lino catapulted Eugenio Mastrandrea into a new dimension, that of Hollywood, where a Sicilian chef falls in love with an American tourist in Florence. Cliché? Not really, because it is a bittersweet fairytale where you eat, love and cry.

Eugenio’s social media profile is flooded with positive comments, for his flawless acting, all in English and with no voice actors, and for his admirable portrayal of a proper Italian dealing with the theme of integration between an old-fashioned Sicilian family and a Texas bipoc. In September we will see him as one of the main characters in Antoine Fuqua’s film Equalizer 3, alongside Denzel Washington. But for now we have met with him to let him tell us more about his experiences, his (as yet undefined) relationship with fashion, food, and his dreams for the future.

I was very impressed with your English, I watched the From Scratch series and I said to myself, “wow an Italian actor who can act in English with practically no accent.” How did you manage to get to such a high level?

I am quite comfortable studying languages because I went to Spanish schools, studied English abroad, and have been listening to American rap since I was 12 years old. Acting in English wasn’t the most difficult part, because the project required a good level of English, but you also had to be able to tell that the character wasn’t exactly English-speaking, there had to be some kind of foreign aftertaste. The most difficult thing was actually acting in Sicilian, because Sicilian is a language that I had to learn from scratch, though facilitated by having been around the area: it was definitely more difficult to act in Sicilian than English.

The TV series is a TV adaptation of Tembi Locke’s novel. How did you prepare yourself to tackle this complex role?

First I read the novel very well. And then the screenplay. It was crucial for me to talk to Tembi, who is the one who actually lived through the events narrated in the book, that touch so many different themes: love, prejudice, dreams, and even pain. It is about two cultures that meet and try to coexist: they have different languages and sounds, different foods, two views of the world. The protagonists love each other to the point of dialogue to try to meet despite their differences and mutual difficulties.

I wanted to understand well all the different facets of my character. A big part of the study and definition of the character, was actually the study of the Sicilian dialect. Also because, in some way, the sounds of our language of origin are closely connected with our identity. For example, I am from Rome, and when I speak in Romanesco or in Roman, I let something of myself seep out. If I speak in a slightly more universal Italian instead, not much of me leaks out.

Tank top, pants and shoes Louis Vuitton, jacket Dhruv Kapoor
Tank top, pants and shoes Louis Vuitton, jacket Dhruv Kapoor

Most rewarding and most difficult moment when you were on set with Zoe Saldana?

In the acting world, especially in theater, the highest in rank commands, and Zoe has been an extraordinary captain of the ship, a colleague with whom to build scenes in harmony and complicity. I find her to be an extraordinary actress, so everything has a spontaneous success when you act with top-tier actors. The most rewarding moments were when I met and talked to people who really knew Saro, the real Lino who, seeing me act and interacting with me, had words of praise, I felt I was the worthy chosen one for this role. The hardest moment was definitely when my character falls ill. On an emotional level it was very hard on everyone, knowing that it was a true story, plus I add the physical discomfort of almost 4 hours of makeup, glue and girdles to cover my hair and make me look terminally ill.

Total look Versace
Total look Versace

“I don’t think there are romantic men who exist no matter what, you become one because at that moment you are resourceful, you risk everything.”

On social media the comments are all positive, including a host of fans thanking you for making them believe in the possibility of romantic love. Do you like this definition for Lino? Would you follow your beloved anywhere in the world?

I don’t know if there are romantic men. I believe that energies are formed and developed between two individuals and so it’s a result of what that person and I create together, right? It depends on how much and how our bodies vibrate together, which can happen between two people and might not happen again if they break up and meet other people. I don’t think there are romantic men no matter what, you become one because at that moment you are resourceful, you risk everything.

Our actions change depending on who you are facing, if it is the great love of your life surely you do things, you think differently, you say things that you would not say to another, otherwise that wouldn’t be the great love of your life, would it? To answer the question about my beloved, I must love her so much to follow her to the ends of the earth. Actually I don’t know, it has never happened to me, perhaps I would.

“If I had to choose a definition for myself I would say that I am a clumsy aesthete, it seems that I am randomly dressed, but maybe I’m not really.”

How do you manage in the kitchen, since you are a chef in the series, which among other things defends the supremacy of Italian cuisine? Can food be an ally in love?

That Italian cuisine is the best in the world is an established fact, there is no doubt about that. To eat sushi I had to be dragged, it’s not that I didn’t like it, but I don’t find Italian cuisine to have any equal. Personally, I’m not at Lino’s level, but I do okay in the kitchen. Let’s just say that if I invite you over for dinner, you won’t leave my house still hungry, nor will you feel like looking for a street food shack.

What about fashion? What is your relationship with it? And with stage costumes?

On set, the suit makes the man. Costume is a great ally for the actor, not to mention that I find it a lot of fun to be able to dress up in roles that you wouldn’t usually wear in real life. So whether you dress up as a chef, astronaut king or queen or jedi master, it all helps to identify with the part.

I’m not much of a connoisseur, let’s say I think I have a sense of aesthetics, I like to match colors, balancing shapes and tones. If I had to choose a definition for myself, I would say I am a clumsy aesthete, it seems like I am randomly dressed, but maybe I’m not really.

Total look Prada
Total look Prada

“Acting with good actors is not easy because you’re playing on a team with a guy who is great at passing the ball to you, to stop it, to pass it back to you and to score goals. Denzel has charisma, he has a really powerful aura and he influences everyone around him, from the cast to the production.”

Another big anticipated role is playing opposite Denzel Washington, what can you tell us about this character? What was it like acting with Denzel? Anything that impressed you? Experiences that you will treasure?

Let’s say that we cannot say much about the film because of a confidentiality agreement. This is the last chapter in the Equalizer saga and there is a lot of anticipation for the conclusion of the plot. Denzel, who plays a former CIA agent, is never left alone by trouble somehow following him even in Italy. Within the events of his life seemingly in exile, I play one of the policemen in command of this fictional country who will become entangled in the events of the story. Acting with good actors is not easy because you are playing on a team with someone who is great at passing you the ball, to stop it, to pass it back to you and to score goals. Denzel has charisma, he has a really powerful aura and he influences everyone around him, from the cast to the production.

Which Italian and foreign directors and actors would you like to work with and why?

I would have liked to work with Monica Vitti, the actress of my heart, Nino Manfredi and Vittorio Gasmann. Thinking of living actors: Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

“I think in life you have to jump in, surfing in the ocean, trying not to hit your head in the sand.”

What are your dreams for your future, what goals do you have? Are you going to Los Angeles to work in Hollywood?

An actor’s job is unpredictable, you sail so much by sight, and I realized this by ending up playing roles I never imagined I would play. I never imagined going to film a series in America, I never imagined sharing the stage with Denzel Washington. This is to say that one is ready for anything, anything could be. At the moment we can say that because the news is out now anyway. I’m filming Don Matteo, I’m the new captain of the police in Don Matteo 3. Of course, I would never have imagined that either, so if I had to go to Japan tomorrow for my job, I wouldn’t be surprised. I remain open to every possibility. I think in life you have to jump in, surfing in the ocean, trying not to hit your head in the sand.

What’s your biggest dream?

Acting at the Greek theater in Syracuse. Because, as I told you before, life is unpredictable. It happened to me to work in Charlie Chaplin’s studios, where he made all his films. It was one of my biggest dreams, and I had to go to the other side of the world to make it happen. While Syracuse, which is less than two hours away by plane, I still have not reached it as a professional goal. I haven’t got there and maybe I will never get there. To this day it remains a dream, with plans to perform Prometeo Incatenato di Eschilo there, a classic in Syracuse theater programming.

Total look Prada
Total look Prada


Talent: Eugenio Mastrandrea

Photographer: Erica Fava

Styling: Giorgia Cantarini

Stylist assistant: Federica Mele

Photographer assistant: Sara Meconi

Make up & hair: Silvia Evangelisti @Simonebelliagency

Press: Office Woolcan @woolcan_news

Special thanks Istituto Superiore di Fotografia @stitutosuperioredifotografia

From the winter tales of Navigli to the success with music: COMA_COSE

Different but inseparable, complementary to one another, there is no Coma without Cose nor Fausto without California. But who is this magic duo?

One half of the musical duo is Fausto Zanardelli, aka Fausto Lama (a name that came from a rhyme about the actor Lorenzo Lamas). Bearded with a sailor’s hat on his head, he appears composed (quite the opposite to when he is on stage), intellectual and at the same time acute and goliardic.

The other is Francesca Mesiano, aka California: shaved hair, tattoos, contagious laughter and a sense of freedom that radiates energy.

Against the background of a romantic Milan, the duo Coma_Cose tells stories of feelings and loneliness wrapped in the exis- tential cold of their adopted city.

Starting from the first EP “Inverno Ticinese/ Winter in Ticinese, on the Navigli” they often cite key places in Milan, such as rotisseries and nightlife spots, but also public transport such as the subway or the iconic trams.

Their music was born within the urban contexts of the city, from the secret courtyards to the noises of nights and to the tinted atmospheres à la Twin Peaks. Their adrenaline fuelled live sessions are a must-see around Italy, with a look that is gender fluid and an interesting motto such as ‘Milamo’.

We sat down with them to discover more about this one of a kind genre that embraces both trap and deep song writing.

How did the idea of the name come about and what does it mean?

Three years ago this project was born out of a respective “awakening” from a creative coma in which we ended up. We both felt the need for an outlet that ended up materializing into a music band. The name was born to exorcise that period and all the things (cose) that had to do with it.

If you hadn’t become a successful band what would you have done when you were grown up?

Fausto – I would have probably travelled more. I did many jobs including bricklaying, waiting and bartending, shop assisting … in short, any job that provided enough to allow me to travel as much as possible.
California – Probably something that has to do with communication and construction on an artisan level. From furniture to objects, to children’s toys. I like the idea of giving shape and colour to thoughts and desires, and being able to make them tangible. The idea that an object can make a child fantasize during his childhood has always fascinated me. I would have also liked to do sculpture, or painting. Who knows, maybe today or tomorrow I’ll start.

Can you tell us the most important goals of 2019?

It has been an incredible year; we released our first album “Hype Aura” which has had an excellent response and we have made many exceptional hosts including “Deejay Chiama Italia”, RTL and a special on Lucio Battisti for Rai Uno.
We were the first Italian band to shoot a video clip for a Vevo UK format in London, we played in Paris at the opening of the Phoenix and in Budapest at the Sziget, we personally produced our shows and played throughout Italy. We had incredible dates such as the ones at Alcatraz and Fabrique in Milan that were sold out, May Day in Rome as well as New Year’s Eve in Milan’s Piazza Duomo. We have had many radio passages and have just been awarded two gold discs among many other recent recognitions.

Your music talks about feelings, who do you refer to in your songs?

We refer to anyone that can relate to our path through his/her own experiences. A path that starts from the bottom but shows that with hard work and determination there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Being a couple obviously reinforces this sense of sharing, but it is the “collaborating for a common goal” that probably creates an empathic effect on what we do.

What is your relationship with fashion?

We are curious and fascinated by fashion and have per- sonally taken care of every aspect of the project from day one including the aesthetics by trying to build a look that was as coherent as possible.
In the last year several brands have contacted us, and we hope in the future we will be able to carry on interacting with edgy brands.

Have you ever thought about collaborating with an international artist? If so, who and why?

It would be a dream to be able to work with rap artists such as Asap Rocky, Tyler the Creator, the genius that is Kanye, or more Pop-rock artists such as Tame Impala or Arcade Fire … if we have to dream we like to do it big, and we never say never. Sometimes certain collaborations are born from being in the right place at the right time so we will not exclude anything.

Milan is your city, that’s why the MILAMO project was born?

Absolutely yes, Milan is the artistic cradle where we started our journey. One of the first songs recited: “Melancholy Emo, Mi lamo”. This verse / play on words became a claim that we then put on sweatshirts and T-shirts and is therefore a fundamental part of our merchandise. At the moment we are cultivating an idea to evolve the “brand” and take it to the next step, but for now it remains a work in progress.

What are your future plans?

We are working on several fronts and will release some 27 new tracks however we want to do it by building a project around it, that for now is “top secret”. We have collaborations at stake with music producers of a certain caliber, and perhaps a minitour before the release of the next al- bum which will hopefully see the light at the end of this year / beginning of next.

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Gathering of Strangers

From Manchester to the world: the rise of indie rock.

The Manchester based band were indeed five strangers who gathered in the city in September 2015 to begin their musical study. Hailing from Birmingham, Scunthorpe and Carlisle, over the next 3 years Conor Rabone (23 vocals) Tom Wingate (22 guitar) Bruce Higgs (23 bass/keys) Peter Crampsey (24 drums) and Andre Ilkiw (22 guitar/bass) all came from different musical and cultural backgrounds.

Since moving to Manchester and meeting at ‘BIMM’ music college they developed their style taking in many musical influences to create a sound that is unique, far from other infamous comparisons (do the Gallagher brothers ring any bell?) and that boasts about a new course for indie rock.

The name is also a homage to the work of light artist Nathan Coley, and ‘Gathering of Strangers’ is in fact a light work that welcomes the Gallery Entrance at Whitwork Park in Manchester.

The boys were all fans of this artwork and asked for permission to use it as the name of the band. What makes them special, besides the artistic reference and the good looks? They write anthemic songs that scream passion and a sound that feels like a velvet touch.

Over the coming years regular shows across the city and around the UK saw the five-piece build a cult following of avid fans who ‘couldn’t get enough’ of their captivating symphonies alongside the energy and passion that exuded from their electric presence on stage. 

Conor’s voice is deep and warm, the melody is fluid, melancholic and psychedelic at the same time. A new rhythm that is intoxicating without question. Behind this route to success (their record ‘Lady’ was record of the week on local radios in December 2019) they have five very different personalities and each draw from separate and personal musical influences, which in turn effects how they write music as a collective.

Conor says: “We came together to study in Manchester and now consider it our adopted home. We are currently writing our most forward thinking and power-driven music to date and plan to express ourselves even further as we grow and move forward”.

Their First release ‘Nice Hair’ (June 2018) set the tone and the follow-up ‘Lady’ (March 2019) brought them much attention having worked with Neal ‘X’ Whitmore (Marc Almond/Sigue Sigue Sputnik), Cenzo Townshend (Decoy studios) to mix and Frank Arkwright (Abbey Road) to master.

With the power and rawness of 70’s inspiration, ‘Lady’, their most famous hit has all the flair of the old classics yet with a deeply modern twist. Their easy-going attitude made it a pleasure to meet with them for this exclusive editorial and a lot of fun to watch on stage. They are contemporary rockstars that are humble, kind and respectful with 29 anyone they find in their path, whether it’s the press, their fans or other musicians.

These extremely talented young boys have now set their sights on the rest of the world and we are confident they will conquer a wider audience. Good music, style and savoir-faire, all at once. Watch this space.

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Chris Burt-Allan: the menswear expert

Described as a “globe-trotting menswear guru”, Chris Burt-Allan is a travel, fashion and lifestyle influencer. What happened prior to this? A former model and with a career in strategic marketing, three years ago he decided to open his blog ‘astylishman’. After gracing the pages of the most prestigious publications and the success of his new project he decided to become a full time digital tastemaker.

How do you imagine the evolution of the social world and of your business?

All indicators point the digital world growing indefinitely. Naturally, more and more people and brands will participate in Influencer Marketing, and the whole industry will normalise with time and scale. That said, I try and avoid situations where I am commoditised as an influencer, because that erodes value. I want to be seen as having unique value within the industry. I have no doubt that my business will develop extensively, just as it has done in the past. I am passionate about my life, fuelled by a desire for self-improvement and mastery, and am committed to sharing my journey with my audience. The fact that further opportunities come to fruition as a result of my digital relationships and skill in sharing insights is super cool. I could never walk away from that.

What is that attracts men when it comes to fashion nowadays?

Self-expression. It all comes down to messaging. Provided there’s consciousness to it, people want to say something with their clothing. That could be ‘I’m sophisticated’, ‘I want to be respected’, ‘I’m rich’, ‘don’t mess with me’ or even ‘I don’t care about fashion’. I think it either comes down to showing who you are or what you want to be perceived as.

Favorite wardrobe staples?

Tailored swim shorts, high-waisted trousers (wool/corduroy/tweed/linen/ denim), roll-neck knits, boots and cropped jackets. I wear a lot of casual shoes. When it comes to formal I go for Church’s.

Beauty tips for men who always want to look good?

Enjoy the process of looking after yourself… don’t get caught up in perfection.

Why people follow you? And why they should follow you?

You’d have to ask my followers! People should follow me if they like my vibe, my energy and want to learn more about travel, fashion and life as I see it.

Chris Burt-Allan wearing Church's shoes
Shoes: Church’s
Chris Burt-Allan wearing Church's shoes
Shoes: Church’s
Chris Burt-Allan wearing Church's shoes
Shoes: Church’s
Chris Burt-Allan wearing Church's shoes
Shoes: Church’s
Chris Burt-Allan wearing Church's shoes and Alviero martini suits
Total look Salvatore Ferragamo, Shoes: Church’s

Photographer| Joe Harper
Stylist| Giorgia Cantarini

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Interview: Travis Scott

Jacques Webster, aka Travis Scott, is not a man of many words, though when he speaks he get straight to the point, as do his songs. His new album Birds in the Trap Sing Brian McKnight is all about strong melodies and important vocal contributions from the Weeknd, Young Thug, Cassie, Kid Cudi, a great mentor for Travis together with Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Bryson Tiller, and others the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000. He produced an album with a very specific mission: to satisfy fans with his “trap music,” a kind of accelerated rap of which he himself has been one of the early champions, along with Atlanta rap groups like Migos, Young Thug and Gucci Mane. The cover art (shot by Nick Knight) shows Scott as something between a bird and a fallen angel, wrapped in white smoke as though he is just about to do something majestic. He’s no longer an up-and-coming protégé or an industry-packaged product, he is finally ready to fly free and becoming the next big storyteller in rap music. He also often plays with fashion, (he is friends with Riccardo Tisci) and starred in a recent movie for Yves Saint Laurent for the spring/summer 2017 collection wearing a suit that lights on fire, an element that references Travis’ nickname “La Flame.” We sat down with him to unveil his passions, which apart from fashion include design, architecture and medicine.

What is your relationship with fashion?
I believe it is an interesting one, it’s something that is part of me. It’s in me.

How would you define your style? Does music rhyme with style?
My style has no boundaries, it always represents what I am feeling, there is no one particular style. I personally think it does, 100%. Music is an extension of you and it has to match your style.

Lots of artists collaborate with fashion designers. Will you ever create your own fashion label?
That is an interesting idea but I am focusing on music. I am doing partnerships with other designers, I have a collab with Helmut Lang hitting stores at the end of January. I also work closely designing and creative directing my Travis Scott merchandise collections.

Can you tell us what your latest album is about?
Birds is the way I was feeling that time of the year, I was feeling boxed in on shit, I was making an album against the grain. I made the album to let the people know where I was at the time. Right now, I feel like its off my chest, I look forward to 2017. I feel like I am in a good place right now.

What is your favourite song of all times and why?
I’m really sorry MANINTOWN crew but that is impossible to answer, I really got so many favourite songs!

Performing on stage requires a lot of energy, what is your secret to be powerful on stage?
As simple as can be, I just have one secret: a whole lot of Sprite. It tastes so good and gets me going.

How do you interact with your audience?
My attitude is very welcoming. I am very personal and protective with my fans, I connect with them, all I care about is giving them a good time, especially when performing live, I like to be as close to them as I can.

What are your music influences?
A lot of psychedelic music, hard rap, ill beats.

Who do you consider your mentor?
I would say all my closest friends mentor me, but I have a couple inspirational musicians such as Kid Cudi and Kanye.

What does Kanye West represent to you?
Kanye is one of my best friends, he’s kind of stepped in as an important figure in my life, he has shown me a lot of this world, and I continue to learn a lot from him, every time we meet.

Who are your favourite emerging hip hop artists?
Made in Tokyo, 21 Savage- it was great I had him on my album.

Do you wish to be a mentor yourself for some of them?
I am always down to help other artists out.

When did you decide to be musician?
When I was a kid, I always wanted to do music, I kind of got that from my dad.

What did you dream about being when you were younger?
I wanted to be a kidney doctor. A nephrologist- a medical doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys.

What’s your ultimate goal?
I want to keep doing big tours, to get into design and architecture. Expand more, with no limits.

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Photographer: Mike Piscitelli
Fashion Stylist: Nicolas Klam                        
Stylist Assistant: Ali Miller
Groomer: Phil Brown
Shot at the Mondrian, Los Angeles