I told you not to trust the judgement of a man in love.
Quelle belle soirée au Métropolis hier! La salle affichait complet pour...
Marcello Mastroianni in his hotel room in Paris, c. June of 1961. Photo by Georges Menager
The many photogenic faces of Marcello Mastroianni in screen tests for Le notti bianche (1957).
Fellini, who frequently visualized his characters in cartoons before casting actors, told me he had wanted Mastroianni for La Dolce Vita from the start. “But Marcello wanted a script. I gave him a thick manuscript, every page blank except the first. On it was a picture I had drawn, showing his character as I saw him. Mastroianni was alone in a little boat in the middle of the ocean with a prick that reached all the way down to the bottom of the ocean, and there were beautiful lady sea sirens swimming all around it. Marcello looked at the picture and said, ‘It’s an interesting part. I’ll do it.’ ” (x)
“When I think of the first time we met, when he called me for La dolce vita, I went to meet him in Fregene. He was at the beach under an umbrella and he said immediately, ‘The producer, De Laurentiis, would like Paul Newman for this movie, but Paul Newman is too important, too extraordinary. I need an ordinary face.’ Maybe there was a little pleasure in hurting me, I don’t know, but in any case, he didn’t hurt me at all because I never considered myself an extraordinary face or character, so everything went well.” — Marcello Mastroianni on Federico Fellini
Le Notti Bianche (dir. Luchino Visconti, 1957)
You mustn’t feel remorse. I was wrong to make you doubt him. Go to him. God bless you for the moment of happiness you gave me. Even a moment’s worth can last a lifetime.
Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni, and Sophia Loren on the set of Otto e mezzo in 1963 and at the Academy Awards® in 1993.