By: Adrienne Vaught
Edited By : Colleen Page
As I did my research preparing to interview this modern day Renaissance man, the more fascinated I became by his many talents and pursuits. I can tell you I was shaking in my fuzzy slippers (phone interview). What a gifted soul. He paints his characters with the same warmth, vitality and unexpected twists that he paints on canvas. One can see the same light in all that he does. It says I am Federico love me. And the world replies… Yes. Because of his diverse and varied talents he is the perfect Doctor Ferramonti in the mystical film “Leaves of a Tree” which screened at the 2015 SOHO International Film Festival and was adapted by the novel “Kindness for the Damned” by author David Healey.
What was it about the character of Doctor Ferramonti that drew you to him?
Federico Castelluccio: It was the challenge of playing a character that had lived through so much time; more than a millennium. What would this character be like? I was able to step inside this realm of so much possibility.
How did you discover him (Doctor Ferramonti)?
FC: I started with choosing how I think he would dress the clothes he would wear the things that he chose to surround himself with.
So you painted for us a character from the outside in?
FC: Yes, exactly. How else do you step into someone else’s shoes?
How did filming on location help shape your character?
FC: The Library location especially fit the Doctor because I saw him surrounded by knowledge.
I saw Doctor Ferramonti as a witness with a twist at the end. How did you see the role of your character in the narrative?
FC: Witness for sure, but also a protector and a torch carrier and then eventually when he found the right family, the torch bearer. Passing on the role of protector because he knew it was the right time to let go.
What did you think about the combination of science and spirituality?
FC: There are just somethings that science cannot explain. Always has been. Always will be, somethings just are.
In this tale of a tree whose leaves have mystical healing properties we find the classic struggle between good and evil, greed and selflessness. Set in the beauty of the Sicilian countryside and the hustle and bustle of Houston, TX. This film is as rich and complex as a perfectly aged red wine. So take a sip and enjoy. [TAOMR]