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The Vibrant path of a multi-talented artist

From the colorful streets of Naples to the spotlights. Gennaro Silvestro tells his story – By N. Yakova

Gennaro Silvestro made his debut in cinema with the participation in several films directed, among others, by directors such as Antonio Capuano, Alessandro Siani and Gianluca Ansanelli and immediately making himself known and appreciated. He became popular at the beginning of the 2000s, entering the homes of all Italians, in prime time, for his roles in the television series La Squadra (The Squad) and in the soap opera Un Posto al Sole (A Place in the Sun).

Since 2017 he plays the role of agent Francesco Romano in the famous series I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone (The Bastards of Pizzofalcone), based on the novel written by Maurizio De Giovanni. In 2018 he landed a role in the international production Sense8, directed by J.Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski.

Gennaro, as a man, is very dedicated to his family, and attentive to the raising of two children: Lorenzo and Simone, whom he looks after with love and open-mindedness. Lorenzo, the eldest, is a young actor: he plays a child with autism problems in the TV series I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone, demonstrating great acting talent.
Every day of his life Gennaro is committed to making the actor live and coexist with the father, the husband, the son, the bodhisattva, the friend, the designer and the Napoli fan, thus far achieving excellent results.

G.S.: “Well, perhaps the correct order should be: Napoli Fan, Theater, Cinema, TV Series Actor, etc…”

From the colorful streets of Naples to the spotlights. Gennaro Silvestro tells his story

Gennaro grew up between the districts of Arzano and Secondigliano (northern hinterland of Naples), between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. The first of three brothers, he was born into a simple family. His father is a worker and raised him by teaching him the solid values of life.

G.S.: “I went to school in the morning and spent the afternoons on the street, playing soccer in the alleys, where, at that time, there was always an adult who would call your attention by saying: – Watch out for syringes on the street and be careful! – From my family I learned the values that are still solid and meaningful for me: humility, love and sacrifice. Forcing myself to throw my heart over the obstacle has been a prerogative in my life. I learned it from my parents and I try to pass it on to my children. On Sundays we strictly went to mass and the neo-melodic singers of those years were Nino D’Angelo, Gigi D’Alessio and Franco Ricciardi and the TV at home, almost always on, always showed a Totò film. And then it was the Napoli of Diego Armando Maradona, Massimo Troisi and Pino Daniele.”

In reality, since he was a child, he had developed a great talent for drawing to which he dedicated his free time. He always carried a notepad and a pencil to draw wherever he was.

G.S.: “I did nothing but draw characters, invent stories… Until I discovered theatre!”

He was around 7 years old when, with his family, he went to the theater to attend the famous “La Cantata dei Pastori” (The Shepherds’ Cantata), a late seventeenth-century work, written in verse by Andrea Perrucci, and which represents the birth of Jesus. The protagonists of the piece, Peppe and Concetta Barra, gave life to fantastic characters, similar to those that Gennaro drew on paper. Precisely on that occasion the dream of becoming an actor was born in him, a dream which, through study, hard work and sacrifice, he managed to realize.

Just as a teenager, he approached the world of theater, taking the first steps and participating in theater workshops with Gaetano Liguori, at the Totò theater in Naples, and in body theater workshops with Yves Lebreton.

He began the discovery of all that Naples had to offer, a knowledge that advanced by devouring and deepening great authors such as Raffaele Viviani, Eduardo De Filippo, Vincenzo Salemme, Luciano De Crescenzo.

G.S.: “I started to put on the palette of my life – The thousand colors of Naples – that Pinuccio (Pino Daniele ed.) talks about. I owe everything to my city. Although it also knows how to be cruel to its children, I have never felt the need to move from Naples. Naples, with its people, its places, with its history can be a great source of inspiration for an actor.”

In fact he is deeply linked to parthenopean culture and today he lives where he was born and raised. He moves in harmony with nature and he consciously feels himself as a child of the earth, a child of our land!

G.S.: “I take an example from nature, from beautiful trees planted with roots firmly in the ground and branches that tend upwards.”

From the colorful streets of Naples to the spotlights. Gennaro Silvestro tells his story

Gennaro theatrical career is full and intense. He cut his teeth on the stage, achieving a profound ability in the interpretation of intriguing and complex characters, both in drama and comedy. But how much of Gennaro is there in the characters he plays?

G.S.: ”There is always something of me in all the characters I play. And it is often thanks to them that I am able to bring out sides and moods that perhaps belong to me, but I might not like. Both on set and on stage I dust off hidden sensations and emotions, often drawing on that child that he drew, which thus allows me to have fun and to entertain.”

Gennaro’s passionate and sincere way of living and experiencing theater show him that he is on the right path. In fact, since the beginning of his theatrical career, he has shared the stage with great names of national theater and has been directed by important directors such as Aldo Giuffrè, Gaetano Liguori, Gianfranco Gallo, Giacomo Rizzo, Carlo Buccirosso. His continuous evolution led him to also become an author and director. In 2011 he wrote, directed and starred in “Maschio, Razza Bianca…Cercasi” (Male, White Race, Seeking), a funny comedy about love but which moves between psychosis and sexual diversity, and, in 2016 he directed “…È Successo a Teatro”(It Happened at Theater) A comedy with intertwining reality and fiction set in 1929 and whose theme is the theater itself.

Both as a man as well as an actor he demonstrates a profound sensitivity for social issues and is committed to transmitting values through culture and tradition with theatrical initiatives and projects for younger people.

G.S.: “Theatre should be an educational subject! It’s nice to be able to talk to young people, making them study books, but also by studying a script, or watching a movie… How nice to imagine the history teacher who, introducing the topic of world conflicts, says: – Guys, first to open the books, we read “Napoli milionaria” (Naples millionaire), and then we watch the film “Una Giornata Particolare” (A particular day) by Ettore Scola. – ”

That of Gennaro is a suggestion to take into consideration. Such an approach to culture is much more realistic, engaging and productive, especially for young people. It also nourishes and develops more creativity. Staying on the theme of creativity, we want to travel with thoughts, moving between different worlds and periods, whether past or future, to dream and create, to look ahead and learn the right way to build a better world.

The journey of thoughts reach the dreams and, speaking of dreams, Gennaro shares something important not only for him but for most of Neapolitan people. To be motivated, far from following a speculative and profiteering guru, as a true Neapolitan romantic, he has always had someone truly noble as a reference.

Gennaro Silvestro and Maradona

G.S.: “A dream? If I think about my childhood I can’t help but think of him. All my memories are linked to Him! To Diego Armando Maradona. Oh yes, because, after all, Maradona not only taught us to dream. Above all, he taught us that if you have a dream, you can make it come true! He had two, both made. And I understand, today, at forty years old, that I continue to do this… whether it’s a theater show or a film; whether as an actor, as a director or as both… I continue to do what I did as a child and that is, I draw! After all, what should I say? -Those who dream, draw!-”

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