Giulietta Masina


  1. Brunella Bovo,Lo sceicco bianco (UK/US : The White Sheik), Italy, 1951.     Naturally, Mrs Fellini  felt she’d have the female lead.   Fellini did not agree and  sent co-scripter Ennio Flaiano to tell her. “Oh the  coward – he couldn’t tell me, himself!”    “No, no,” said Flaiano, “he just thinks Wanda is not for you  Wanda is a dumb country bumpkin and you are too  intellectual. ” And so, although fed up with playing hookers, “they stick to my skin,” she agreed to one more, leading to her greatest triumph. Her name was Cabiria…  and she would return in Fellini’s second Oscar winner and her Cannes festival best actress award: Le notti di Cabiria/Nights of Cabiria, 1956.
  2. Jeanne Moreau, La notte (UK: The Night),Italy-France, 1960.       Masina had a bad experience on realisateur Julien Duvivier’s Das kunstseidene Mädchen (a Berlin-set rehash of the  Fellinis’ Nights of Cabiria)when he insisted on a naked bath scene. She refused. He blamed an interferring  Fellini (“who doesn’t know how to direct you”!), but it was Masina who was anti-nudity, “love scenes, kissing and things like that.” So she backed away from Michelangelo Antonioni’s script  –  even though the Fellinis’ favourite, Marcello Mastroianni, was to be her straying husband. And that was rather too close to  home. Both Fellinis were rumoured  to have had affairs since their 1943 wedding. They stayed together to the end,  Giulietta dying five months after Fellini.
  3. Juliette Mayniel, Landru (US: Bluebeard), France-Italy, 1962.      For the famous killer’s  victims, auteur Claude Chabrol wanted “les grandes dames du cinéma…”  And succeeded with Danielle Darrieux, Michele Morgan, Hildegarde Neff. Mrs Fellini, however,  was not well – and “Cha-Cha” called up  his 1959  find for Les cousins.
  4. Goldie Hawn, Viaggio con Anita (Travels With Anita and Lovers and Liars), Italy-France, 1978.  More than 20 years earlier, Federico Fellini considered making the Tulilo Pinello story after his Oscar-winning Le notti di Cabiria  (Njghts of Cabiria). Anita would be Cabiria, herself, his wife Giulietta Masina – opposite Marcello Mastroianni.  But then Fellini had a much better idea for Marcello. La Dolce Vita!   More than 20 years later, “Hello,” said Sophia  on the phone to Federico Fellini. “it’s Anita.”  Not! Anita’s voyage grew from a (long) stanza axed from the  La dolce vita script- with Marcello Mastroianni and his lover, taking a (longer) Cadillac trip to his father’s deathbed…  Maestro Mario Monicelli  dug up the old project and jiggled it for the Arabesquecouple, Sophia – representing Nature and Gregory Peck (or Marcello). Finally, they became Goldie and Giancarlo Giannini. With a transatlantic, Woody Allenish title: Lovers and Liars.  And it flopped. (Without malice, Fellini  had mocked  the Pontis as the Mezzabottis  in 8½, 1962).
  5. Evelyn Ker, A nos amours, France, 1983.     The French Gaumont company wanted Mrs Fellini… and some  Italian co-production money! Obnoxious realisateur Maurice Pialat did not. And selected Ker, a close friend  of the Langmann family – Claude Berri and his sister, Arlette Langmann, Pialat’s co-scenarist, editor and lover – the film is based on their turbulent relationship. 


 Birth year: 1921Death year: 1994Other name: Casting Calls:  5