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Valeria Golino

Valeria Golino Italian actress

Italian actress
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Italian actress
A.K.A. Valéria Golino
Is Actor Model Film director
From Italy
Type Fashion Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender female
Birth 22 October 1966, Naples
Age: 53 years
The details
Biography

Valeria Golino (born 22 October 1965) is an Italian actress and director. She is best known to English-language audiences for her roles in Rain Man, Big Top Pee-wee and the Hot Shots! films. In addition to David di Donatello, Silver Ribbon, Golden Ciak and Italian Golden Globe awards, she is also one of the three actresses who has won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival twice.

Early life

Golino was born in Naples, Italy, to an Italian father who was a Germanist and scholar, and a Greek mother, Lalla, who was a painter; one of her grandmothers was Egyptian-French. She grew up in an "artistic household" and, after her parents split, was raised between Athens and Sorrento (Naples). Golino is the niece of L'Espresso journalist Enzo Golino; her brother is a musician. As a child her mother would frequently take her to the cinema and it is thanks to her that she quickly became interested in films. But in spite of this, she never thought about pursuing a film career until she made her first movie: in fact she wanted to be a cardiologist. She was diagnosed with scoliosis at 11 and had to have a steel rod implanted in her back for five years; she remained in Chicago for six months where she learned to speak English. At 14 she started to work as a model in Athens, Milan (for Vogue magazine), London and Los Angeles: she shot commercials for beers, perfumes and makeups and modeled bathing suits and jeans. An absent-minded student, she dropped out of high school after her first film.

Career

1983-1987

Golino never formally studied acting. Her career started by chance when her uncle Enzo received a phone call from director Lina Wertmüller, who was searching for a young girl for her movie, and encouraged Golino to go to Wertmuller's house and meet her. The two met and Valeria was eventually cast in her film debut A Joke of Destiny (1983), alongside Ugo Tognazzi after an audition where she performed Shakespeare. Despite her parents' reservations and Wertmuller's demanding on-set behavior, she liked the experience so much that she decided to pursue an acting career. She quit modeling, a profession that she never found fulfilling or interesting, and started to study diction and elocution. Among her early auditions were Una spina nel cuore (an audition that she called "distasteful") and The Name of the Rose but she was passed over for both films. She was offered roles in Giochi d'estate (1984) and other similarly themed romantic films about teenagers, but she turned them down to focus on smaller and more challenging projects.

She followed up her debut with a string of independent films, including roles in My Dearest Son and Little Flames (both 1985), her first leading role, both of which won her a Golden Globe award for Best Breakthrough Actress. Later that year she was involved in a car accident which displaced the metal bar in her back and had to have surgery in order to fix it: she was bedridden for five months. Her true star-making role came the following year, when she played the life-loving cleaning lady who romances two different men in A Tale of Love by Francesco Maselli. Her vibrant performance received rave reviews and garnered her two prizes at the 1986 Venice Film Festival: the official Best Actress award (now called Volpi Cup) and the Golden Ciak award. The same film also won her the oldest and most prestigious critics prize of the Italian cinema: the Silver Ribbon award for Best Actress.

Her following projects were once again independent, auteur-driven films: The Gold Rimmed Glasses and Three Sisters. She was supposed to reunite with Maselli for his following film L'uomo della casa di fronte, co-starring Marcello Mastroianni, but the project never got off the ground. The same director then moved on to another film, Codice privato, and Golino turned down the role that was eventually played by Ornella Muti.

1988-present

She moved to Los Angeles and began to work in Hollywood, with the movie Big Top Pee-Wee (1988). She was cast in Rain Man (also 1988), as the girlfriend of Tom Cruise's chararacter, and the comedy films Hot Shots! (1991) and Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993). Her character's nationality in Rain Man was changed from American to Italian to accommodate her accent. Even though she was known as a dramatic actress in Italy, most of the offers she received in Hollywood were for comedies.

She auditioned for female roles in Pretty Woman and Flatliners but both times she lost the part to Julia Roberts during the final audition. She was first runner-up for both roles and, in the case of Pretty Woman, she revealed many years later: "I was in the running until the final audition: it came to down to Julia Roberts and me. The director asked us to walk in the same corridor, wearing the same clothes and makeup. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she would have been chosen. And since she knew that, she told me: 'Go and get them, big mama!' I wouldn't have dared to say that to my rival. I would have been good in that film but she was perfect". She also turned down the leading role in the Ken Loach film Hidden Agenda, which she called "an offer that I still regret having declined."

In 1993 she was heavily involved in producing and starring in an independent feature film by James Merendino named Cat in the Box (it was never made) and because of that, she was forced to turn down a role in a movie directed by Carlo Verdone.

The following year she was offered the female leading role in True Lies but she had to turn it down for scheduling conflicts with I Sfagi tou kokora (1996), an independent film shot in Cyprus that she desperately wanted to be part of (she joined the film in 1992 while it was still in pre-production). Later that year she was supposed to star with Gian Maria Volontè in the film Treni sull'acqua: the project would have marked her third collaboration with director Peter Del Monte but it was cancelled after Volonté's death.

In early 1996 she was supposed to play a journalist in the film Bravo Randy, directed by Alessandro D'Alatri and also starring Jovanotti, Greta Scacchi and Olivia d'Abo. Jovanotti was cast in the titular role, a tramp who falls into a coma after an accident, and Scacchi would have played a doctor. However the project fell apart just a few months before shooting was slated to begin: fearing a lack of influence, the Italian production company blocked the funds as the film would have been shot in California.

In January 2001 she was supposed to star with Claudio Amendola in a TV mini-series called Cuore di ghiaccio, directed by Luciano Casciani, produced by Mediaset and set in Cefalù, but the project never took off the ground.

She had a supporting role in the successful French thriller 36, Quai des Orfèvres (2004) and a leading role in Cash (2008), although the producers of the film had wanted Kristin Scott Thomas instead. Her role as Irene in Sacred Heart (2004) had been written specifically for her by director Ferzan Ozpetek, but she was forced to abandon the project for personal reasons. She was replaced by Barbora Bobuľová.

In 2005, she was offered the leading role in Fine pena mai (2008) but she turned it down, considering herself to be too old for the part. The role was eventually played by Valentina Cervi.

In 2006 Theodoros Angelopoulos cast her in The Dust of Time (2008) after being impressed by Golino's work in Respiro. However the many delays in the shooting forced her to drop out of the project in late 2007 for scheduling conflicts. She was replaced by Irène Jacob.

In 2009 she was the subject of the monograph Valeria Golino: Respiro d'attrice by Massimo Causo.

The following year she was offered the chance to direct a short film by the company Pasta Garofalo, Armandino e il Madre, for which she also wrote the script.

Golino's first feature film as director, Honey (2013), was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and won a commendation from the Ecumenical Jury.

Despite her self-deprecating reluctance, she also sang in several films, most notably her English-language films Hot Shots! and Big Top Pee-Wee. She also recorded two LPs in 1987, the song 'Maybe Once More' for L'inverno and 'Piangi Roma' for Giulia Doesn't Date at Night (featuring Baustelle), the latter of which won her a Silver Ribbon award for Best Song.

She is a member of AMPAS thanks to the invitation of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

In 2016 she was a member of the main competition jury of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Filmography

Acting

  • A Joke of Destiny (1983)
  • Blind Date (1984) – Girl in Bikini
  • My Dearest Son (1985) – Francesca
  • Little Flames (1985) – Mara
  • A Tale of Love (1986) – Bruna Assecondati
  • Detective School Dropouts (1986) – Caterina
  • Dernier été à Tanger (1987) – Claudia Marchetti
  • The Gold Rimmed Glasses (1987) – Nora Treves
  • Three Sisters (1988) – Sandra Parini
  • Big Top Pee-wee (1988) – Gina Piccolapupula
  • Rain Man (1988) – Susanna
  • Torrents of Spring (1989) – Gemma Rosselli
  • Traces of an Amorous Life (1990)
  • The King's Whore (1990) – Jeanne de Luynes
  • Hot Shots! (1991) – Ramada Thompson
  • The Indian Runner (1991) – Maria
  • Year of the Gun (1991) – Lia
  • Puerto Escondido (1992) – Anita
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) – Ramada Rodham Hayman
  • Clean Slate (1994) – Sarah Novak/Beth Holly
  • Like Two Crocodiles (1994) – Marta
  • Immortal Beloved (1994) – Giulietta Guicciardi
  • Fallen Angels (TV series) – episode Red Wind (1995) – Eugenie Kolchenko
  • Submission (1995 short)
  • Leaving Las Vegas (1995) – Terri
  • Four Rooms (1995) – Athena (segment "The Missing Ingredient")
  • Il fratello minore (1996 short) – Valeria
  • Escoriandoli (1996) – Ida
  • Escape from L.A. (1996) – Taslima
  • I Sfagi tou kokora (1996)
  • An Occasional Hell (1996) – Elizabeth Laughton
  • Le acrobate (1997) – Maria
  • Nostalgia di protezione (1997 short) – Secretary
  • Shooting the Moon (1998) – Silvia
  • Side Streets (1998) – Sylvie Otti
  • Spanish Judges (1999) – Jamie
  • Alexandria Hotel (TV mini-series) – episode L'alibi (1999) – Justine
  • La vita che verrà (1999 TV mini-series) – Nunzia
  • Harem Suare (1999) – Anita
  • Tipota (1999 short) – Actress
  • To Tama (2000)
  • Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000) – Lilly (segment "Goodnight Lilly, Goodnight Christine")
  • Ivans Xtc (2000) – Constanza Vero
  • Controvento (2000) – Nina
  • Hotel (2001) – Italian Actress
  • Winter (2002) – Anna
  • Respiro (2002) – Grazia
  • Frida (2002) – Lupe Marín
  • Julius Caesar (2002 TV movie) – Calpurnia
  • Take Me Away (2003) – Luciana
  • San-Antonio (2004) – The Italian woman
  • Alive (2004) – Elisa
  • 36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004) – Camille Vrinks
  • Mario's War (2005) – Giulia
  • Texas (2005) – Maria
  • Olé! (2005) – Carmen Holgado
  • Solo cinque minuti (2006 short) – Valeria
  • Our Country (2006) – Rita
  • Il Sole nero (2007) – Agata
  • Ma place au soleil (2007)
  • Don't Waste Your Time, Johnny! (2007)
  • Actrices (2007) – Natalia Petrovna
  • The Girl by the Lake (2007) – Chiara Canali
  • Caos calmo (Quiet Chaos) (2008) – Marta
  • Cash (2008) – Julia Molina
  • La Fabbrica dei Tedeschi (2008) – Wife
  • Giulia Doesn't Date at Night (2009) – Giulia
  • The Cézanne Affair (2009) – Franca Rossetti
  • Dark Love (2010) – Psicologa
  • School Is Over (2010) – Daria Quarenghi
  • Come un soffio (2010 short) – Hostess
  • Un Baiser Papillon (2011) – Billie
  • Kryptonite! (2011) – Rosaria
  • Nuts (2013) – Giovanna
  • In Treatment (2013 TV series) – Eleonora
  • Like the Wind (2013) – Armida Miserere
  • Human Capital (2014) – Roberta Morelli
  • Jacky in Women's Kingdom (2014) – Bradi Vune
  • The Invisible Boy (2014)
  • An Italian Name (2015)
  • Per amor vostro (2015)
  • The Very Private Life of Mister Sim (2015) - Luigia

Directing

  • Armandino e il Madre (2010 short)
  • Honey (2013)

Music videos

She also appeared in several music videos:

  • Bittersweet Me by R.E.M. (1996)
  • Piangi Roma by Baustelle and herself (2009)
  • Va così by Le Vibrazioni (2011)
  • These Boots Are Made for Walkin' by Planet Funk (2011)

Awards and nominations

Event Year Film Award Category Result
Annecy Italian Film Festival, France 2012 Kryptonite! Best Actress Award Won
Athens Panorama of European Cinema, Greece 2009 Giulia Doesn't Date at Night Special Award for Acting Won
Barcelona Italian Film Festival, Spain 2013 - Honorary CSCI Award Won
Bari International Film Festival, Italy 2014 Come il vento Italian Competition Award Best Actress Won
Brussels European Film Festival, Belgium 2013 Honey Euromillions Audience Award Won
Studio L'Équipe Award Won
Busto Arsizio Film Festival, Italy 2003 Respiro Best Actress Award Won
Cannes Film Festival, France 2013 Honey Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury Won
Golden Camera Award Nominated
Un Certain Regard Award Nominated
Capri Hollywood, Italy 2013 Come il vento Capri European Actress Award Won
Castle of Precicchie Prize, Italy 2014 - Castle of Precicchie Prize Won
Cervia Spettacoli e Dintorni Festival, Italy 1986 - Best Newcomer Award Won
Cinema Italian Style, USA 2006 - Innovator Award Won
David di Donatello Awards, Italy 2015 The Invisible Boy David di Donatello Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2014 Human Capital David di Donatello Best Supporting Actress Won
Honey David di Donatello Best New Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
2012 Kryptonite! David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
2009 Giulia Doesn't Date at Night David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
2008 Quiet Chaos David di Donatello Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2006 Mario's War David di Donatello Best Actress Won
2003 Respiro David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
1998 Le acrobate David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
1988 The Gold Rimmed Glasses David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
1987 A Tale of Love David di Donatello Best Actress Nominated
Eolie Film Festival, Italy 1987 - Plate of the City of Lipari Won
European Film Awards 2013 Honey European Film Award Discovery of the Year Nominated
2003 Respiro Audience Award Best Actress Nominated
Federazione Italiana Cinema d'Essai, Italy 2011 Kryptonite! FICE Award Best Actress Won
2006 Our Country FICE Award Best Actress Won
2005 Mario's War FICE Award Best Actress Won
Festival delle Cerase, Italy 2007 Mario's War Winter Award Won
Flaiano International Awards, Italy 2013 Honey Golden Pegasus Best Director Won
2006 Mario's War Golden Pegasus Best Actress Won
Gallio Film Festival, Italy 2013 Honey Best Screenplay Award Won
Gavoi Film Festival, Italy 2005 - Honorary Silver Tumbarinu Won
Giffoni Film Festival, Italy 2011 - Giffoni Award Won
2002 Respiro Bronze Gryphon Best Actress Won
Golden Ciak Awards, Italy 2015 The Invisible Boy Golden Ciak Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2014 Honey Golden Ciak Best First Feature Won
Best Screenplay Nominated
2012 Kryptonite! Golden Ciak Best Actress Won
2011 L'amore buio Golden Ciak Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2008 Quiet Chaos Golden Ciak Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1987 A Tale of Love Golden Ciak Best Actress Won
Golden Globe Awards, Italy 2013 Honey Golden Globe Best Debut Feature Film Won
2012 Kryptonite! Golden Globe Best Actress Nominated
2006 Mario's War Golden Globe Best Actress Won
2004 Take Me Away Golden Globe Best Actress Nominated
2002 L'inverno Golden Globe Best Actress Nominated
1986 Little Flames Golden Globe Best Breakthrough Actress Won
My Dearest Son
Golden Goblet Awards, Italy 1997 Le acrobate Golden Goblet Best Actress Won
Golden Graal Awards, Italy 2009 Quiet Chaos Golden Graal Best Dramatic Actress Nominated
2008 The Girl by the Lake Golden Graal Best Dramatic Actress Won
2007 Mario's War Golden Graal Best Dramatic Actress Nominated
2006 Texas Golden Graal Best Dramatic Actress Nominated
2005 36 Quai des Orfèvres Golden Graal Best International Performer Won
Golden Sacher Awards, Italy 1997 Le acrobate Golden Sacher Best Actress Won
Haifa International Film Festival, Israel 2013 Honey Special Mention of the Jury Won
Ischia Global Film and Music Festival, Italy 2013 Honey Breakout Italian Director of the Year Award Won
Kinéo Awards, Italy 2013 Honey Kinéo Award Won
2012 Kryptonite! Kinéo Award Best Actress Nominated
2009 Giulia Doesn't Date at Night Kinéo Award Best Actress Nominated
2008 The Girl by the Lake Kinéo Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Quiet Chaos Kinéo Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2003 Respiro Kinéo Award Best Actress Won
Lecce European Film Festival, Italy 2007 - Honorary Award Won
Ljubljana International Film Festival, Slovenia 2013 Honey Kingfisher Award Won
Los Angeles Italia, USA 2014 - Excellence Award Won
Lux Prize 2013 Honey Lux Prize 2nd place
Magna Graecia Film Festival, Italy 2013 Honey Best First Feature Award Won
Mantova Film Festival, Italy 2013 Honey Golden Laurel Won
Maremetraggio International Festival, Italy 2012 Kryptonite! Ippocampo Competition Award Best Actress Won
Marzamemi Border Film Festival, Italy 2007 - WindJet Award Won
Mons International Love Film Festival, Belgium 2003 Respiro Best Actress Award Won
New Italian Cinema Events Festival, Italy 2012 Kryptonite! Susan Batson Award Best Acting Performance Won
Nice Italian Film Festival, France 1985 My Dearest Son Best Newcomer Award Won
Primavera del Cinema Italiano Festival, Italy 2009 Giulia Doesn't Date at Night Federico II Award Best Actress Won
Rome Film Festival, Italy 2013 Come il vento L.A.R.A. Award Won
Sergio Amidei Prize 2013 Honey Sergio Amidei Prize Won
Silver Ribbon Awards, Italy 2014 Come il vento Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2013 Honey Silver Ribbon Best Debut Feature Film Won
2012 Kryptonite! Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2011 Armandino e il Madre Silver Ribbon Best Debut Short Film Won
Best Short Film Nominated
2010 The Cézanne Affair Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2009 Giulia Doesn't Date at Night Silver Ribbon Best Original Song Won
Best Actress Nominated
2007 Mario's War Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2006 Texas Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2004 Take Me Away Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
2002 Respiro Silver Ribbon Best Actress Won
1999 Shooting the Moon Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
1989 Rain Man Silver Ribbon Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1988 Three Sisters Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
1987 A Tale of Love Silver Ribbon Best Actress Won
1986 Little Flames Silver Ribbon Best Actress Nominated
Sulmona Film Festival, Italy 2002 Respiro Best Actress Award Won
Taormina Film Festival, Italy 2006 Mario's War Best Actress Award Won
- Taormina Arte Award for Cinematic Excellence Won
Terra di Siena Film Festival, Italy 2009 - Honorary Award Won
Tétouan International Mediterranean Festival, Morocco 2014 Honey Best First Work Award Won
Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece 2006 - Honorary Golden Alexander Won
1996 I sfagi tou kokora Greek Competition Award Best Actress Won
Trani Film Festival, Italy 2002 - Stupor Mundi Award Won
Valenciennes Festival 2 Cinéma, France 2014 Come il vento Best Actress Award Won
Vasto Film Festival, Italy 2012 - Honorary Award Won
Venice Film Festival, Italy 2015 For Your Love Volpi Cup Best Actress Won
Pasinetti Award Best Actress Won
1986 A Tale of Love Best Actress Award Won
Golden Ciak Best Actress Won
Viareggio EuropaCinema Festival, Italy 2003 Take Me Away EuropaCinema Award Best Actress Won
Vittorio De Sica Awards, Italy 2013 Honey Vittorio De Sica Award Won
1986 - Vittorio De Sica Award Won

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