Berini re­union full of prom­ise

Cockburn Gazette - - FILM -

WHILE Daniel Berini’s Ital­ian par­ents never shuf­fled him off into an ar­ranged mar­riage, the WAAPA grad­u­ate could still re­late to new film Promised.

“I love the way the film por­trays the ‘big Ital­ian fam­ily’ in all its vi­va­cious glory,” Berini, who grew up in Ned­lands, said.

“Fam­ily is at the cen­tre of Promised and it’s very im­por­tant to me as well. I was raised in a sim­i­larly con­ser­va­tive way to the char­ac­ter I play, Robert, and was given many of the same op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I feel like I could have very eas­ily been Robert were I born in that pe­riod.”

The film be­gins in 1953 Mel­bourne, where fiveyear-old Robert (Berini) and new­born An­gela (An­toinette Ie­sue) are promised in mar­riage by their fa­thers Sal (Paul Mer­cu­rio) and Joe (Mirko Grillini).

An­gela’s mother Ros­alba (Tina Arena) has mis­giv­ings about the union, be­fore the film picks up again in 1974 where An­gela is a mod­ern woman in love with an­other man and Robert has re­turned from study­ing law at Ox­ford.

“I loved the sim­plic­ity of the story,” Berini said.

“When I read the script for Promised, it was a breath of fresh air.

“It was re­fresh­ing to read some­thing that cel­e­brated Ital­ian cul­ture in Aus­tralia with­out pok­ing fun at it.

“This is a love story that fol­lows two peo­ple from two Ital­ian fam­i­lies in Mel­bourne, but it does not fea­ture Ital­ian cliches that are so of­ten pre­sented in film.”

Syd­ney-based Berini, who shares Robert’s love for lasagne, said it had been a “hoot” to work with Ie­sue af­ter she had stud­ied a cou­ple of years ahead of him at WAAPA.

“When I was flown to Mel­bourne for the fi­nal au­di­tion, they told me that they had flown over an ac­tress from LA as well,” he said.

“I was brought into a room to meet her, I got there and it turned out to be An­toinette.

“I had no idea she had moved to LA, so it was a sur­prise to see her there at first but I was also re­lieved. It is great to work with some­one you know, as you have this shared his­tory to draw upon to con­nect quickly in a scene.”

Berini’s pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence on set ex­tended to work­ing with Arena and Mer­cu­rio too.

“De­spite this be­ing Tina’s maiden foray into film, her 40-plus year ca­reer in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try brought a wealth of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to set,” he said.

Promised pre­mieres as part of the Lavazza Ital­ian Film Fes­ti­val from Oc­to­ber 2 to 23 be­fore open­ing na­tion­ally on Oc­to­ber 24.

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