Emanuele Bolognari, born in '88, is a Cosplayer, actor, and director from Rome. His passion for cosplaying has helped him to be known everywhere and to be noticed by directors, radio stations, event organizers, national and international film festivals, and much more..
Welcome Emanuele, tell us a little bit about yourself, when did you realize that this was your professional path?
E- I've always loved acting and thanks to my performances as a Cosplayer, I was already living through these wonderful characters, the thrill of performing, and the adrenaline that acting can give you. In 2014 I noticed a casting call, they were looking for someone who could play Heath Ledger's Joker for a web series The Rise of The Villains, it seemed to be the right opportunity for me. So I submitted my self-tape, and within weeks I received the news: I had been hired. The director Federica Alice Carlino believed in me from the beginning and I understood that I always wanted more for myself and my career.
Which filmmakers inspired you?
E- Definitely Tim Burton, many of my cosplays are characters to which he has given his recognizable imprint. One of my favorite cosplays is Danny De Vito's Penguin which I have been wearing to the fair for many years now. Joel Schumacher, on the other hand, because they often ask me to wear Mr. Freeze, the cartoon's version. Then I would say Christopher Nolan, for his version of the Joker which is the one I've been doing the longest, even though since Joaquin Phoenix's came out, I often wear that too.
And what inspired you about their work? Besides their iconic characters?
E-Everything, from the filming techniques, the editing, the Italian dubbing, and obviously the acting part, which for me is fundamental both as a cosplayer and also as an actor. As an actor, I also try to insert my own flavor, to give the character something personal, because when I cosplay, I have to act and be exactly like them.
Tell us briefly what The Rise of The Villains is about:
E- The Rise of The Villains is a web series directed by Federica Alice Carlino, where I mainly played the Joker, but I can also be seen as the Penguin, especially in the second chapter and as Mr. Freeze in the last chapters. The series is a personal reinterpretation of Federica, which revolves around Batman and his world, especially the world of villains, which this time are meticulously analyzed and almost justified for being ruthless and without empathy. It was supposed to be just a short film but after the first one, people kept asking for other shorts, so the director decided to make a series and I must say that a really good product came out.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
E- Playing Joker because even though it seems absolutely easy, it's mentally exhausting, and it's not easy to get out of it. Over time it gets easier and I have created a mental space that I can get out of it quickly.
Who would you recommend this short film to and why?
E- I think anyone would appreciate it, not because I'm there, but because it's done with heart, passion, and devotion by all the participants. So I would recommend it to all lovers of the genre and beyond, I think it will please everyone.
What's the best thing about your job?
E- I don't really like seeing myself again, at least, not immediately, years later, however, I'm starting to appreciate who I am, almost as if it were another person. It's been 8 years since the first chapter so, today when I watch the series, I can't contain myself and think "We did a great freaking job!" And I do not deny that I enjoyed reviewing my interpretation. It keeps bringing us so much satisfaction.
You are now an award-winning actor, how does reaching this milestone make you feel, especially abroad?
E-A beautiful siddification. Truly an unexpected thing by the way, many people follow us on Instagram (@theriseofthevillains), and during the pandemic, we made each other company because we posted a question box and they had so much to ask us: curiosities about the set, about the final episodes, that were yet to come out and much more..
Hearing this interest from them motivated me to give my best, winning these prizes fills my heart, we participated in some live foreign events and I was very excited. I'm happy that the director has forwarded it abroad, this genre was born in America, and being rewarded, especially by them, for me, is the confirmation that we have done a good job.
The Awards presented in the article are just some of the prizes won by Emanuele and by the series.
So the public perception of this series has been positive.
E- Very much! I am pleased to read people's comments, both for better and for worse, the important thing is that they talk about it, but certainly seeing that they like it has spurred us to continue it over the years, if someone doesn't like it, I accept the opinion and maybe understand why they didn't like it and where to improve. Luckily we didn't receive anything negative, maybe some suggestions, but everything was very serene.
As not only an actor but also a cosplayer, how do you choose the characters to play?
E- Based on the costume, make-up, and acting, at least technically, when I watch a film or a series, I get overwhelmed by the story and by what I feel. I often find myself in the reasoning of the characters or they simply moved me to the point of wanting to be them.
We know you do everything by hand and build your costumes from scratch, what's your favorite costume, and how long does it usually take you?
E- Joker I would say, only 1 hour of make-up, for Penguin it takes more time to make the make-up like for Mr Freeze, who also has the cap to apply, both took me about a year of work to make for the costume.
You are also a director, what works are noteworthy and are you working on any projects?
E- On my YouTube channel lo Zucco there is a web series dedicated to Zorro and Spiderman, in the works. We have just finished shooting Killer's App, an original project that has nothing to do with comics but is a Comedy Thriller created by Alessia Ranieri in which I played a policeman.
At the moment I'm working on a thriller called the Mourning Woman, maybe soon we'll do a Batman too but totally different from The Rise of The Villains, of course. Our project will be more "cartoonish" and colorful along the lines of Burton and Schumacherian films. We can't wait to implement these projects, because it will be a year full of news!
What would you say to someone who wants to start this journey like you did?
E- Throw yourself in because it's beautiful! Tiring yes but worth it. Don't throw yourself down at the first hurdle, when you look back you'll appreciate all the things you've done, even the bad things.
Thank you for your time, we wish you the best in your career and future projects!
E- Thank you for this opportunity! Happy New Year!
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