by Mira Postolache
From the charm of “We are who we are” to the fierce ambition of “Just like that 2,” Sebastiano Pigazzi is emerging as one of Hollywood’s most captivating actors. Incredibly talented, charming and charismatic, Sebastiano Pigazzi took the screens by storm, a well needed thing, because cinema needs a breath of fresh air, capturing the complexities of love and desire with a vulnerability and emotional intelligence seldom seen in male leads.
With Italian roots, but living in the United States since his childhood, Sebastiano stepped in the cultural tapestry of both nations, granting him a unique perspective on life. This multicultural background has undoubtedly informed the actor’s performances, imbuing his characters with a sense of authenticity and sensitivity that resonates with audiences worldwide. Sebastiano’s meteoric rise to stardom is as much about his magnetic on-screen presence as his charming vision. In a time when the entertainment industry is evolving to embrace a more diverse and inclusive representation of men, Sebastiano’s multicultural background and versatile acting skills have positioned him at the forefront of this cultural shift.
Filming with Sarah Jessica Parker in the second season of ‘And Just Like That 2’ released on June 23rd on Sky + NOW, his first experience in the Luca Guadagnino series ‘We Are Who We Are’ shaped his career as actor, and soon after he acted in Elisa Amoruso’s film ‘Time Is Up’, alongside Benjamin Mascolo and Bella Thorne.
Beyond his prodigious acting talent, Sebastiano’s appeal lies in the ability of re-shaping fashion as well, often pushing the boundaries and offering a more diverse vision of how creativity can become a way of living. Meet one of the most beloved by Italian audiences and beyond, Sebastiano Pigazzi exclusive for Vanity Teen:
Hi Sebastiano, welcome to Vanity Teen, you have a strong background in film + cinema since you were a child. Share with us a few highlights about your childhood, how would you describe it in a few words?
I wasn’t really aware of my family history as a child, maybe because I was in the United States of America and they were in Italy. Overall I had a great childhood. I probably peaked then or at least that’s how I remember it. The veil of ignorance can do marvelous things.
When was your first professional approach to cinema and how did your childhood influenced your path to arrive where you are now? How did Sebastiano Pigazzi emerge?
” Who We Are” was my first professional experience. I don’t think my family background had much to do with my decision to become an actor. As an only child I was accustomed to entertaining myself with different characters and voices. I think my love for acting started with my affliction with boredom and desire to become someone else to gain more agency.
How do you think cinema is related to social issues in your vision? Do you think the film’s shapes as a form of meditation can have an impact on the human body and soul as healing?
Depends on the film and on the artist making the film. But even the films that deal with social issues aren’t intrinsically about social issues; they are often about a couple, or a family, etc. Philadelphia for example, is not about gay rights and aids discrimination, those are the themes, the film is about an unlikely friendship and the injustice done to a man. This makes the film much more relatable and personal.
Seems likely. Great films change my life and I think about them all the time. I saw Out of the Blue by Dennis Hopper, over a year ago but it still clamps a stronghold on my mind. I don’t know if it’s healing but it certainly is stirring.
What are your mediums to improve your acting performance? There are specific moments during the day or a specific place when you are working on yourself?
Just observing the character’s life provides. Almost every day I meet or see someone in real life and say to myself, if someone, or if I, played this person in a film or show the audience would deem the performance over the top and unreal. I enjoy thinking like the character. I think that tends to change the rest and once my mindset shifts I am no longer in control… that’s the feeling I like to have when I act.
Did the experience with Luca Guadagnino in ‘’We are who we are’’ changed your life perspective? How challenging was it for you to play the ‘Enrico’ role? What do you think is the message that we, all others, should understand from it?
Anytime you work with a great artist it makes you reflect on the way you live your life. That experience helped shape my identity not only as an actor, but also as a creative one. Since working with Luca I started directing, writing and designing clothes. Enrico was a welcomed challenge. He is different from me as a person but that’s the point of acting, so it made it fun to change look, mindset, way of talking and attitude. I think one of the main messages was to show how sexuality and identity is more complicated than society makes it out to be.
How old were you when you got involved with fashion? Share with us a few ways to explore revisited garments and at the same time have an impact on people? How does your research process work when it comes to creating new pieces?
I was about 23. I realized, albeit later than most, that we are often judged by others based on our clothes, and we communicate a lot about ourselves through our garments. Designing my clothes is a way I add some personality and enjoyment to the things I wear. I usually go to thrift stores and markets to find the right pieces. Once I have the main piece I either combine it with another garment or attach a fabric or material given to me throughout the years. This makes it sustainable and gives it more of a story. One of my favorite pieces is a classic black Dolce and Gabbana button up but the sleeves have been replaced by two different types of Japanese pajamas from the 1950’s.
Talking from a creative’s perspective, do you think that loneliness is part of self-repair and growth? If yes, how important is it for an artist?
I don’t know if it is part of self-repair and growth but I think every artist should be alone and often is. Even when he/she is in the company of others. My favorite artist, Orson Welles said “ a good artist should be isolated. If he is not isolated, something is wrong”. And Cocteau described him as “a solitary surrounded by humanity”. The problem is that being alone is scary for anyone, especially for an artist. Loneliness is where we hide our darkness and the more we are alone the more we come to know ourselves, for better or worse.
How have your experiences with different artists, in the past, improved your visions?
It’s rare to find an actual artist. It’s a title that should be earned, one which I hope to attain. But when you do find one, it forces you to be the best, most honest form of an artist you can be… it’s one of the biggest pleasures of artistic collaboration. For example, I co-directed and co-wrote a short film entitled “Contrariety” with Natalie Shinnick, who is not only a wonderful actress and artist, but she pushed to maximize my abilities by offering me an alternative point of view, and hopefully I did the same for her.
How important is education in acting nowadays? What do you think is the biggest challenge for independent actors or film directors nowadays?
Every actor has a different methodology so I think it’s a case by case basis. The biggest talents usually have some innate qualities that perhaps, even though it’s not always the case, training can hone in on. Others might need more training mainly to get out of their own way and have something to rely on.
There are many difficulties, but for those lucky enough to garner the proper funding and make a good product, the hardest thing is getting people to see the film. There is so much content that it’s becoming harder and harder to fight for views.
What particular movie resonates with you the most and why?
Needless to say, there are many. I’ll go with Magnoliaby Paul Thomas Anderson. It’s completely unique and original while also keeping the audience’s attention for over three hours. Every character fascinates me. In the end I am always left with more questions than answers and I love when that happens. It’s so rare now… everything seems to be spoon-fed to us and leaves no room for interpretation or “wrong” answers. Something I’ve been cultivating since elementary school.
Is there any abandoned work project that you would like to give a re-birth? How do you explore the needs of finding new ways to be inspired?
Yes there are a couple. Namely, a feature film that I was going to direct and star in last year. We lost funding at the 11th hour and never recovered but it’s something I will get done sooner or later. For any observer being inspired is seldom the issue, simply keeping your eyes and ears open often provides an excess of inspiration. The biggest difficulty in our art is finding the funds and collective to make a film. Most artists, like poets and painters for example, can express themselves all the time with little to no money… We do not have that luxury.
We know you grew up in different countries and currently you are in Rome, but traveling to Los Angeles. Is traveling regularly also an important aspect of your inspiration, meeting new people + new cultures?
Absolutely. I love traveling to discover which is very different to vacationing. But I also get bored easily and find that changing cities frequently is a stimulating way to have your pulse on different parts of the world.
What is your relationship with dreams?
I rarely remember them and when I do, it’s because it was a nightmare.
Name us a few other creatives or special people you would like to collaborate with.
Paul Thomas Anderson, Tom Ford, Martin Scorsese, Yorgos Lanthimos, Sofia Coppola, Paolo Sorrentino, and Luca Guadagnino (again).
What were the last places that really fascinated you?
Amsterdam and London. I visited them both recently and was surprised at the Americanization and commercialization they have endured. They both conceal an old world beauty that has been covered with an all-encompassing reminder of the overbearing and sterile present. I found it sad and fascinating. I hope this is not the way the entire world will end up but fear it is.
Is there any favorite book that changed your life.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I read it when I was 10 years old and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s so poetic and picturesque yet, austere and violent at the same time. It’s a book about man vs nature but really it’s about pushing our own limits and never giving up, no matter the outcome. This has also helped me focus on the moment rather than on a specific goal.
What should we expect in ‘’Just like that 2’’ with Sarah Jessica Parker, coming out on June 23rd? Share with us the most challenging aspect of being part of the cast?
Expect to laugh, cry and experience New York City like only Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda can showcase it.
Everyone was extremely welcoming and generous with me. The hardest part was getting on set and making sure I did everything I could to not disappoint them.
A letter to your future self. What would you write?
Don’t stop now.
TALENT: SEBASTIANO PIGAZZI
PRESS OFFICE: MPUNTO COMUNICAZIONE
ART DIRECTION & STYLING: CORINNA FUSCO
PHOTOS: MIRKO MORELLI
GROOMING: EMANUELE ALTERI USING GUCCI BEAUTY & BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
INTERVIEW: MIRA WANDERLUST
Special thanks to “Palazzo Ripetta” for the location https://www.facebook.com/palazzoripetta