Role Playing with Cristina Massaro

Actors bring to life some of our most beloved and despised characters. No matter how well written the script is, it’s up to the actor to ensure we connect to the role that they are portraying. We recently had the opportunity to spend the day with a young, budding, actress from London, Cristina Massaro, who moved all the way from Italy to London to pursue her dream as an actress. Cristina talked us through her various experiences from being labelled an “unpleasant weirdo” and some of the famous movies she wishes she could have been in.

Tell us, what is the worst thing about being an actor for you?

Being an actor is highly demanding and it requires a lot of effort, more than you can ever imagine. I have made a lot of sacrifices to get to where I am today and I’m only at the beginning. You get a lot of criticism, but I feel like I was sent this instinct, this calling was placed upon my life and I just couldn’t ignore it. I’ve always been labelled as some sort of “unpleasant weirdo” in my country, a proper fool, one who is a renegade, an outsider, but eventually a survivor. Acting requires solitude, so I must ignore all of these things and embrace silence instead.

 I’m constantly taking risks and each time I ask myself while facing the darkness: “Are you ready to jump, again?”.  Overcoming my fears gives me a certain high and when I’m out there standing either on stage or on set, my deep love for acting makes each burden lighter to bear.

Are there any roles you would never consider playing and why?

Not really, I believe that as an actor, you should be as flexible as possible. Actors are not that different from lawyers, just think about it: everyone’s entitled to a good defence. You don’t place judgement on the character you are requested to play, good or bad. You should investigate the character very carefully, learn your lines and speeches, then try to put yourself in your character’s shoes and eventually hope your portrayal of the character will be good enough to convince the jury, who are your audience. I wouldn’t consider anything with a badly written script or a storyline that doesn’t really grab me. Morally, I will take on just about anything. I don’t really have any morals anyway (lol!)

Did you study acting or did this all come naturally to you?

I’m not an academic actor at all. I’ve just learnt and improved my skills through the different characters I have played and the different platforms I have performed on. I have worked with some amazing actors who have taught me a lot as well. I didn’t come from a rich background so any form of formal training was out of the question.  For anyone who might be in a similar position as I was, I can tell you now, there is no one universal way of playing a role. One character can be portrayed in so many ways. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. I’ve been through that kind of brainwashing back in Italy and believe me, there is nothing worse than being trapped in a cage of people’s nonsense.

Read full more in our ‘Role Playing’ September 2017 issue