"La Repubblica" has published a second time, years later, an interview given by Marcello Mastroianni to the journalist Bruno Damini. It seems my duty to make sure that all the friends to whom I have addressed the collection of articles "Eating & Being" become aware of Marcello's thought a great thought a great person, a teaching expressed with exemplary simplicity.
When I cooked the egg in the lid of the Brill
The insatiable hunger of youth, the mortadella of the beginnings and "La Grande Bouffe" with Ugo Tognazzi. An interview from 1993 emerges from the drawers in which Mastroianni tells how much he loved to eat. Here it is: Hunger reminds me of my adolescence, my first youth. My origins are extremely modest, so there was no need to have a refrigerator in the house (apart from that we didn't have one), because nothing was ever left, because eating was never enough. So hunger is linked to the discussions heard at home, to my mother who said "There is no money to go shopping". And to my father who was a modest worker and didn't know what to say. I was witnessing painful squabbles. They said to me: "Go to Pizzicagnolo and say that mom will come by." And that pizzicagnolo said: “Did you read it there? Do you see what it says? When the cock crows, the sideboard will be made here.
But (I replied) said mom who then passes ... "Yes, okay, go ..." So hunger is linked to a period of my life a bit painful, here. And let's not talk about the war, of course.
The euphoria of the table
Then, apart from the need to eat to survive, hunger is linked to pleasure. I love to eat, I've always liked it. In fact, I never understood those who don't like to eat. I become very suspicious when I see someone at the table who does not eat. If he's on a diet, that's another matter.
But even the dieter breaks, huh! Here it would take that Neapolitan saying: chiste seems that nothing does, but scassa 'or cazz!
I love being at the table with friends. The table is not a trivial fact, a cultural fact, at the table we talk, discuss, argue. At the table I think you are quite sincere, because a good dish and a good glass of wine create that condition of mild euphoria that perhaps makes you be more sincere ... It is an important place like cooking, and in fact it is said; "Best of all then is eating in the kitchen, because the kitchen is linked to the memories of childhood, to our mother, to the family".
Sometimes I ate until my pleasure of being at the table almost burst and I have a defect: I eat very quickly, which I have often been criticized for, but I always say: "Quick, quick, you can never know, the Germans arrive ..
The art of the Brill egg
When I started working there was an old woman who always had a room or two somewhere. The hotel was too expensive and then generally two of us went, two friends. It worked out well, because, I remember, I fried eggs using the lid of the Brill polish, I don't even know if it exists anymore. I put a piece of cotton wool and then the alcohol and on top of the pan I had brought from home and I beat two eggs on it and then I bought myself mortadella. For me it was already a good meal. I recommend it to young people: eat a mortadella, not a hamburger. Sure, they were meals a bit like that, but since one was also from the years of….
I started that I was 26 years old, the war wasn't over for a long time, so already a nice loaf with mortadella and two fried eggs and a fruit were a nice meal. I can only make fried eggs that I like very much, because…. I like that the light one is cooked, in fact, on the edge it must be golden, almost scorched, but the yolk must not be cooked, just barely, otherwise they seem hard boiled eggs. So when I do it myself I put the chiara first (sometimes I add two pieces of mozzarella, so after row) and when I see that the chiara begins to thicken then I drop the yolks, but just just because otherwise I won't stop eating bread, and I like to eat them in the pan, those aluminum pans that over the years had lost a handle, there was only one of them left ...
La Grande Bouffe
I did La Grande Bouffe. Let's say right away that it is the most different experience, the most out of the lines, the most fantastic I have ever had in the field of cinema, both for the atmosphere that was created during the making, and for the type of film, one of the more details ever shot in which food entered the interpretations of us actors, just as our interpretations were closely related to food, if not actually determined by it.
Dilatti Ugo Tognazzi wallowed in it, because for him it was a dream come true, all that food prepared by Fachon, which provided the food, the cook and everything. Then Ugo would also put his hands into it, of course. More than a big glutton, his pleasure was to do for others, to cook ...
The beauty is that we ate on the set and then, during the break, we also went to a small restaurant opposite. As if what we had already eaten was not enough. Outside the set, even for this film he succeeded, it was created between the four of us, Philippe Noiret, Michel Piccoli, Tognazzi and I, a beautiful atmosphere, there was no attempt to compete ... Obviously Marco Ferreri is also the type as a director capable of creating such beautiful relationships.