Castellito, Sergio

(1953-)
   Actor and director. One of the most prominent of the new generation of actors who emerged in Italy in the 1980s, Castellito studied at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome and worked extensively in the theater before moving to films with a small part in Luciano Tovoli's Il generale dell'armata morta (The General of the Dead Army, 1982). He played his first lead in Felice Farina's Sembra morto ma e solo svenuto (He Looks Dead but He Just Fainted, 1986) before also appearing in Ettore Scola's La famiglia (The Family, 1987) and Ricky Tognazzi's Piccoli equivoci (Little Misunderstandings, 1989). After being the piano player afflicted with priapism in Marco Ferreri's La carne (The Flesh, 1991), he played the young psychiatrist in Francesca Archibugi's Il grande cocomero (1993) and the affable photographer and con man in Giuseppe Tornatore's L'uomo dalle stelle (The Star Maker, 1995). In the same year he also scored a huge success as the legendary Italian cycling champion Fausto Coppi in the television miniseries Il grande Fausto (The Price of Victory, 1995), a popularity repeated four years later with his portrayal of the recently canonized priest in the two-part telemovie Padre Pio (1999). Continuing to display a remarkable versatility, he presented a very nuanced portrayal of a Jewish shopkeeper in Scola's Concorrenza sleale (Unfair Competition, 2001) before playing Caterina's foolishly self-centered father in Paolo Virzi's Caterina va in citta (Caterina in the Big City, 2003) and a much more psychologically complex father (and son) in Marco Bellocchio's L'ora di religione, il sorriso di mia madre (The Religion Hour—My Mother's Smile, 2003).
   Well known outside of Italy for his appearance in films such as Luc Besson's Le grand bleu (The Big Blue, 1988), Jacques Rivette's Va savoir (Who Knows? 2001), and Sandra Nettelbeck's Bella Martha (Mostly Martha, 2001), for which he won the European Film Award, he has also directed himself in Libero Burro (1999) and, more recently, in Non ti muovere (Don't Move, 2004), for which he received his third David di Donatello.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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