Giorgio Panariello I felt guilty about the death of my

Giorgio Panariello: «I felt guilty about the death of my brother. My father? I don’t know who he is. Wrong

He turned 62 last Friday, the same day he returned to television – as a judge of the Tale and Quali show on Rai1, hosted by his friend Carlo Conti – and on October 26th he will be from Florence with La favola mia, his , touring new theatrical performance (on November 15th and 16th at the Brancaccio in Rome). In short, Giorgio Panariello – who did a show called Panariello Doesn’t Exist on Canale 5 in 2012 – is always there fighting with us (sort of).

Did he party?
“Little. I had prepared a garland for my 60th birthday but then Covid ruined everything. I will organize another one for the 70s ».

How are you?
«You can navigate on sight, there is no longer this professional programming of two or three years. Soon I will go to the cinema to tell episodes from my life. It is also considered a test for television ».

Can you go on stage without a mask?
“Yes. Before the lockdown, I thought about celebrating myself, then I stopped, like everyone else, and when I wrote the book about my brother Franco, I realized that I wanted to tell a little bit about myself ».

When is he back on TV on Saturday?
“I’m trying to do just that. The goal is television. Was…”.

“Now, after the vote, everything will change at Rai and we have to start from scratch.”

Other Projects?
“To bring the work done in the theater to one platform. And then I wrote a script for a series for a movie that they liked.”

Why is?
“Hold on tight: a fantasy. But I can’t say more ».

Two years ago, however, he said that almost all the mistakes in his career came from allowing criticism to influence him: explain yourself better.
“I shouldn’t have distorted myself, which I did sometimes. I took home crazy pieces, but did criticism kill me? I just thought: What am I doing wrong? ».

When he did the festival in 2006, one of the least watched ever with an average audience of 40 percent, was he trying to be someone else?
“No. Nobody wanted to do Sanremo that year: in 2005 Paolo Bonolis had done so well that everyone feared a confrontation. So the RAI executives got on their knees to me. I said yes, with very clear conditions: I just I finished my show and I’m out of pickups so as a conductor I can try to do the festival and it bothers him a bit.I realized too late that I couldn’t do that.The pressure was so big: Rai, ratings , Discography, money, sponsors … I was alone, no one helped me. I looked at the ceiling and asked myself: why did I accept? And I didn’t know that there was an embargo from the singers, they didn’t tell me … ».

But in the end it was: Grignani, Britti, Oxa, Ron, Zarrillo…
“Yes, but I didn’t have the help of the record companies. And then there was Maria De Filippi as a counter-program».

Was this festival the big stumbling block in your career?
“Of course. But I have also made others, smaller, less sensational and perhaps more significant ».

And what has he ever done?
“Change authors to find other arrows for my bow.”

A classic for those who make you laugh.
“Yeah. The comedians, who are often mistaken for little artists, always want to demonstrate other things”.

Would Sanremo do it again?
“Yes, but only with the right team.”

Unlike your other peers, what went wrong with the cinema?
“There was a moment when, thanks to Leonardo Pieraccioni, being Tuscan was enough to make a film. I also signed with Cecchi Gori to direct, but directing is not for me. The first went well
Bagno Maria from 1998, but the second – At the right time from 2000 – much less. And it was my fault. So now I just want to put my face to the cinema, even if I don’t go there often ».

What does that mean?
“In this job you have to be seen, go to the right parties, walk the red carpets… I don’t know how that works. And then I pay for my great sin: being the hit comedian on Saturday nights.

Has anyone still not forgiven him?
«Yes, it is, although things are changing a bit. Other colleagues have jibes, I just have to wait for the right film to prove that I can act. The few times I did, it went well. Like 2016 with
One for All by Mimmo Calopreste ».

Why did you two years ago write the book I Am My Brother dedicated to Franco, a former heroin addict who died in 2011 at the age of 50?
“After so many years I wrote a monologue about him and a lot came out of it, starting with the guilt I’ve had for years.”

“I was born a year before him and when our mother left us I was adopted while he ended up in boarding school. My grandmother couldn’t afford another baby in the house. He already had me and five of his children.”

Had he ever wondered what would happen to him if he were in his place?
“Maybe yours, who knows? I was lucky, he was very unlucky. However, I also wrote it to say that he finally made it: when he was left in a flower bed in Viareggio on Boxing Day 2011, Franco died not of an overdose but of hypothermia. He had cleaned himself up even though he was a very desperate case. He had lived on the streets, as a bum, he had been arrested … ».

You, on the other hand, did it thanks to whom or who?
«To the character. In those years there, in the 1980s, many young people in our country started getting punctured and using cocaine ».

Did he get close?
“Very close. Just my character made me come out immediately and with fear. There are times when your chance never comes and everything seems insurmountable… I don’t seem to be, but I’m shy and introverted, and I have more than that fought than others: I really succeeded at 40 ».

And paid for it somehow?
“Maybe no family of my own. Now I’m fine with Claudia, the companion who gives me true serenity, and two dogs. I have no kids “.

Is it too late now?
“Never say never. Carlo (Conti, editor’s note) became a father in 2014, Leonardo (Pieraccioni, editor’s note) in 2010. I used to be too selfish to face this responsibility”.

Have you ever received a call like: Hello, do you remember me? Is my son also your son…?
“No, but I was afraid it might happen.”

Have you ever known who your father is?
“Unfortunately not. But I don’t think he knew it was him. They are the result of a one night stand”.

The best has already passed: do you ever think about it?
“I don’t live in the past, so I think the best is yet to come. But sometimes I’ve thought I’d be a fool to deny it. I also had moments of panic ».

«With the talent boom and reality TV, completely different forms of entertainment than mine. Little money and big ratings, scary stuff… Luckily I know I have a job in the theater and an audience that follows me. When the time comes, I will die on stage as Molière».

By the way, is he one of those guys who always sees the doctor, takes tests every week, and so on?
“For nothing. But I have a doctor friend who occasionally pushes me for check-ups. Let’s say I’m not Carlo Verdone ».