Actress Silvia Collatina
Interview by Gavin Schmitt.
Silvia Collatina... what can we say about her? She is sweet, kind and a
real pleasure to talk to. We happen to share a birthday. I briefly met
her in Indiana in March 2011, but had little time to talk... she was
busy recording an audio commentary for Blue Underground's release of
"House by the Cemetery". We were able to make contact afterward.
Besides that film, you may have seen her in two other Italian horror
films, "Alligator" and "Murder-Rock". She was the little red-headed girl
with the freckles. Now, she is the red-headed woman with far fewer freckles.
She was happy to indulge my questions and reminisce on her childhood and a
film career that was cut tragically short due to some contract
GS: You were very young when you worked with Sergio Martino on
"Great Alligator" (1979). Do you recall him at all?
SC: I do remember Sergio Martino very well. He was a very polite and
peaceable person! I really felt at my ease with him. We are still in touch
and I can really say that he is a real gentleman!
GS: Was George Eastman ever on set?
SC: Frankly speaking, I do not remember him. I was very young and the
only actors that still stick in my memory are Barbara Bach, Claudio
Cassinelli and Mel Ferrer. I also remember speaking with Lory Del Santo; she
was 19 at the time, but very friendly.
GS: Tell me about Mel Ferrer.
SC: Mel Ferrer was very friendly to me. He spoke Italian so we used to
share lots of time together. I had a skeleton my mommy bougt when I was five
years old and I considered it my favorite puppet, like a doll! I took it
there and during the lunch at the hotel's restaurant in Sri Lanka (where we
shot the movie) we spent time playing together with it. Very funny, isn't
GS: On "House by the Cemetery" (1981), do you think that Fulci was
more harsh towards children than adults?
SC: Oh, sort of... perhaps because he was aware he could get more from
children (by being mean), (with the children) being so sensitive and
GS: You have called Fulci "unpredictable", saying he could be "rude"
or "affectionate" without warning.
SC: And he was! He managed to be rude and affectionate at the same time.
But I think that in the end, everybody was fascinated by him -- even for
this bizarre behavior.
GS: You have said that you did not like Ania Pieroni very much. Can
you explain why?
SC: Well, it was, so to say, I did not know her personally, so it was a
feeling based on instinct. I mean I had that impression because she seemed
like she wanted nothing to do with the movie and the other actors. And you
know... children always have a sixth sense...
GS: You have called Bob and May a horror couple, and "the saver and
the saved". Elaborate.
SC: I saved Bob from Dr. Freudstein, but the other side of the coin was
that he had to live with us "dead people" forever... so he had to pay a
penalty for this salvation...
GS: When you say Bob and May are a "couple", how do you mean that?
Just that they are best friends, or is it something more?
SC: Bob and May are a couple in that they are very close friends. They
have a very deep bond of friendship, perhaps even more (as Fulci wanted to
be!), like two little fiancés. But of course this was an innocent feeling,
very naïve, genuine and sweet as it must be for two children.
GS: In "Murder-Rock" (1984), how did Molly differ from your own
SC: Molly is a very spoiled and mean little girl and that's because of
her disability. I am definitively sweeter and friendly, but we share the
same taste for the macabre ...
GS: Did you get to meet Geretta Geretta?
SC: No, my role in the movie was very short (but let's say "remarkable")
and I worked alone with my wheelchair.
GS: You are a horror fan yourself. Is there any film you love the most
or director whose work you follow?
SC: Oh, indeed I am a horror fan!!!! My favorite horror movie is
undoubtedly "The Exorcist"!!! I am really obsessed with it! It's a landmark
for me. Conversely, there is not a specific director I follow most, in my
opinion it's the movie that makes the difference. Lots of directors make it
big with a movie and the following ones don't rate any consideration because
they are of low quality. You can be a name in the field but it's not given
for granted that you will make all hits! And I am very objective, so that if
a film is a rubbish, even if done by a famous director, I would never say
"oh yes, how good it is!"
GS: By working with Paura Productions, you interact with many actors
and directors. Any chance we will see you in a film again?
SC: I'd hope so... any proposal will be well accepted. But please... for
horror movies only!.