In the middle of a scorching summer, in the perpetual motion of scrolling on TikTok, a brilliantly performed monologue appears. Face and voice are of Sara Penelope Robin, half Amelie, for her bob hairstyle of her transalpine cousins, and half Sophia Loren in Matrimonio all’italiana.
Princesses and broccoli, local thrift markets and clear inflections of Campania, the eclectic creator, actress and musician quickly catalyses attention and urges people to follow in her footsteps. In fact, she has already been noticed by The Jackal and, later, by Propaganda Live, which catapulted her onto the screen being one of her most successful sketches.
Political elections and feminism, the health situation and social themes involving an entire generational cross-section: MANINTOWN tells her story in an exclusive interview and shoot, with the certainty that we will soon see her go a long way.
You juggle acting, singing, articulation, solfeggio, classical guitar and dance. Do you feel that, thanks to TikTok, the moment of breakthrough has come?
Absolutely. Although I have already been creating content for other social networks for about ten years, TikTok has been a real springboard, it has allowed me to be known by a wider audience and many insiders. Just think of 99 Posse, with whom I had the honour of singing at the concert at the Arena Flegrea, and Lello Arena with whom I made a video. Thanks to social media I visited RAI studio for the first time and, thanks to the fame I gained, I participated in Propaganda Live.
“My creations come from the need to bring a very precise message”
You have a brother, Gennaro, who is supporting you and with whom you opened a YouTube channel. How much has your professional daily life changed in the last period?
We don’t work together much anymore because he has dedicated himself to new projects and to studying computer programming. However, he remains my best friend and advisor. We have common points of view and are kindred spirits despite our character differences, which complete and compensate each other.
As author and performer of your monologues,in the past you have dedicated yourself to the production of short movies and podcasts. How do you structure your creative process/flow and what are your main sources of inspiration?
My creations come from the need to bring a very precise message, from there I begin to build the scene, as well as the music from series and podcast soundtracks on YouTube.
There is a lot of inspiration, from everyday life to docufilm, from 19th century theatre to TV. My muses are actresses such as Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani; the cinema of reference is that of Fellini, Pasolini, Totò, Massimi Troisi and Nanni Moretti, while the musical settings range from 70s rock to Italian singer-songwriters to contemporary rappers, like Fabri Fibra.
“There is a lot of inspiration, from everyday life to docufilm, from 19th century theatre to TV”
Would you like to explain to readers your artistic name, which is fundamental in understanding your performative approach?
Sara is the name my parents chose for me, the one that contains my essence as Body, Soul and Spirit. The rest have become the real personage, my feminine and masculine sides: Penelope and Saverio. The first name, as the princess of our inner castle and front-woman of the ‘group’, cannot stand the other two names, too Neapolitan for her taste, and decides to call her Robin. Hence the name Sara Penelope Robin.
I think this is your first hybrid shoot between visual storytelling and fashion. On social media, you also like to share moments of your everyday life, such as your trips to flea markets and your passion for vintage. What did you enjoy about this slick experience?
It was almost a mystical moment, thanks to which I discovered a part of me that I had taken little notice of until now. The whole team was very kind and made me feel at ease. I’m really happy, I’ll take wonderful memories back to Naples.
Talent Sara Penelope Robin
Editor in Chief Federico Poletti
Production, interview and styling Alessia Caliendo
Photographer Simone Paccini
Stylist assistant Andrea Seghesio
Make-up Maddalena Brando
Location Four Points by Sheraton Milan Center
Special thanks to Base V Juicery www.basevjuicery.com
Opening image: Sara Penelope Robin wears Abelia jacket Diesel, top and trousers MarcoBologna, plain calf leather boots Boss, sunglasses Balenciaga
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