Valeria Solarino: “Sport taught me that my opponent is my best friend”

Valeria Solarino: “Sport taught me that my opponent is my best friend”

No diets, but a balanced diet accompanied by an active lifestyle, not at all couch potatoes. It is the “secret” of the perfect form Valeria Solarinoborn in 1978, at the cinema from 22 February, co-star of the female sports-action movie “The Cage – Nella Gabbia” by Massimiliano Zanin.

In the role of Serena, an MMA (mixed martial arts) coach, the actress is a former athlete who has to deal with a difficult past: a family that rejected her after she declared herself homosexual and a fighting career that ended badly . “I had to train a lot for my character, focusing on the physicality of Serena, a former champion of this mix of particular martial arts that I hadn’t known before”, says the actress.

Valeria Solarino, do you usually play sports?
“Not every day, but constantly: I consider my body an important part of my work. Even now that I’m on tour with ‘Perfect Strangers’ at the theater I have to train to feel good on stage, to have elasticity and resistance. I usually do anaerobic, free body exercises, three times a week and then long, fast walks”.

Do you use sport to relax before an important commitment?
“I walk a lot, it makes me feel good: I feel the benefits. For me, since I was a child, sport has always been great fun: I played competitive basketball as a girl and being part of a team was fun. Winning as a group , all together, has a different flavor.”

Is sport useful for facing competition in the world of entertainment?
“Yes, but as training: sport concretely provides you with the rules for a civilized life. It teaches you that the opponent is not an enemy, but the other one that you must beat without cheating and without making fouls, otherwise you’re out. It teaches you that the antagonist is fundamental: he is your best friend. Without it, there would be nothing.”

Do you have moments of absolute laziness?
“Yes, I’m human too! The more I don’t do the more I don’t feel like doing… As a girl I didn’t do sport for a month and then I calmly resumed it. Now, at 45, I realize that my body responds less, but it’s always nice to find out how he reacts to moments of laziness. Muscles have their own memory.”

And does he follow a particular diet?
“None! I have a balanced diet without excesses. It’s not a diet that makes you lose weight… I’m trying to have a healthy lifestyle. For example, to avoid accumulating too many carbohydrates in the same meal, I add vitamins and vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I tend to eat pasta or bread in the evening because they make you drowsy. A very good nutritionist, some time ago, explained to me that it’s important to balance. But on set I would never eat pasta because it weighs me down.”

Valeria Solarino in a scene from the film 'The cage'

Valeria Solarino in a scene from the film ‘The cage’

Any sins of gluttony?
“From time to time I eat sweets: I’m very fond of chocolate. I know that I go astray when I’m on tour, like now: I allow myself a snack, but then when I get home I get back in line.”

What do you eat before an important test?
“Nothing in particular. It happened to me in the past that I became fixated on a ritual. 25 years ago, before an audition I went to a bar (the Bicerin in Turin) to get a chocolate dessert. Since I did well in the first audition, I did the same for the second, and also for the third… In short, it brought me luck: I don’t believe in the series, but…”.

Solarino and sleep.
“Every now and then I have difficulty falling asleep but, in general, I don’t suffer from insomnia. Of course, the constant time changes in my profession don’t help me relax, but I adapt easily. Now that I’m doing evening shows we tried, with the rest of the company , to eat at 6.30 pm, before going on stage. Then, however, once the show was over, we were still hungry, so we went back to the old habit of having dinner after the theater. So, when I have to do very demanding things, I eat a banana or a fruit while postponing dinner”.

And how do you deal with filming early in the morning?
“The morning is very tiring for me, but on set you enter another time zone. When I was shooting with Gabriele Muccino (A casa tutti bene), in Ischia in September, we got up very early to make the most of the light. lots of people doing the trick: we took turns. I remember the fatigue of waking up, of course we went to sleep early. But in any case during the filming of films you live in a particular time bubble: you eat at 12 and dinner at 7. I get used to it easily , fortunately. No stress.”

Another scene from Valeria Solarino's film: "The cage, in the cage"

Another scene from Valeria Solarino’s film: “The cage, in the cage”

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