HOLLYWOOD ON THE TIBER
MY MAIN CHARACTERS
Benedetta Bonscampi to be di Magnifico was inspired by my mother-in-law who spent her life in Rome. I adored her and adored listening to her sometimes, rather embellished stories. She was often told that she resembled Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist and author who I admire very much and have used as a partial muse. My main muse is in my heart.
Giorgio di Magnifico was inspired by a man I had never met but heard so much about. When creating my character, I sifted through the stories and came to my own visual conclusion. I gave Gio, pronounced as Joe, the looks of Warren Beatty, the sex appeal of Marcello Mastroanni, the tortured soul of a Tennessee Williams protagonist and the athletic prowess of Paul Newman. Gio as a character is irresistibly flawed but hopelessly endearing. All too familiar.... I am afraid but let's stick to fiction.
After the second World War, there was a period of prosperity in Italy. It was called Il Miracolo Economico. During this time in the early 50's many American films were shot in the streets of Rome and it became known as the Hollywood on the Tiber phenomenon. Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck was filmed in 1953 just one year before Benedetta Bonscampi came of age. Ava Gardner and Bogart filmed The Barefoot Contessa in Cinecitta' Studios in 1954, the year that Benedetta's story begins.