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October 2016 - Let Us Entertain You: Barbara Magnolfi

Proclaimed as “a natural” by the late Italian director, Antonio Pietrangeli, Barbara Magnolfi was destined to be a force in the film industry. Preparing for her appearance in Santa Fe, Magnolfi gave us a moment to talk about her career, her fans, and the future.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I grew up I wanted to be a performer—an actress, dancer, singer. I was inspired by film, music, and dance, and I wanted to be someone who did the same—someone who inspires people.

What was modeling like for a girl of 15?

...I had been forced into growing up very fast, and this modeling opportunity came as a blessing to me. At first, I was modeling clothes for a private boutique...and I would model for celebrities and aristocrats. Then, after being noticed by a top photographer there, I started doing ads for Sicis Jeans, Coca Cola, Fiorucci. I was on Vogue and on huge posters in Italy. My presence was quite visible, and, soon enough, I was offered more jobs, including films.

Magnolfi in her teens

You did quite a few projects before everything changed with Suspiria. What led you to focus on acting?

It wasn’t an accident. I already had decided to be an actress with my first ever film at 13, Come, quando, perché, by Antonio Pietrangeli....It was on the set of that movie that I realized it was meant to be. He called me “a natural.” So since then, my focus was on making that happen as a career. After high school, I signed up for acting classes and with an agent, then I booked the first official role in The Suspicious Death of a Minor, by Sergio Martino. The film also starred Mel Ferrer and Claudio Cassinelli. It was very exciting! I also did La madama, by Duccio Tessari, with Christian De Sica and Carole André.

Suspiria was a big one for you. What was the experience like?

Suspiria definitely was special. The whole experience was magic from beginning to end. Working with Dario was different than working with anyone else—the way he directed, the way he drew performances out of actors, his perfectionism, attention to...detail and nuances—and we became close friends.

Magnolfi in Suspiria

What is it about horror movies that draws you?

I am actually not a fan of horror movies—at least not the current ones. I am not drawn to slasher and blood, particularly, but I love a suspense or a thriller—a Giallo, like it originally was, at least .

How does it feel to know you have such a loyal fan base?

I think it’s amazing. I am humbled and grateful for it. It is a great feeling to know something you did touched so many, and it keeps doing it!

Tell us about your new project.

My new project is a Giallo genre film I am producing...a dark suspense drama. We are going to shoot it in 35mm film, not digital, and it is going to be amazing. I will also star in the film in the role of a spiritual investigator.

What would you like your legacy to be?

One of hope and inspiration—a legacy that encourages people to go out of their comfort zone to explore other possibilities and follow their dreams.

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