JCU student Flavia Del Prete explores her uniqueness and the nuances of her life as she juggles an acting career, an interest in the business world, and starring in Prime Video’s Prisma.
By Sara Segat / Matthew staff || Edited by Ilenia Reale
Flavia Del Prete is a junior at JCU from Rome, Italy, majoring in Marketing and minoring in Business Administration. A flourishing acting talent, she recently starred in Prime Video’s new original series, Prisma, directed by Ludovico Bessegato (director of Skam Italia) and already acclaimed among critics. Prisma explores the nuances that make every human being unique, with a strong focus on gender fluidity and freedom of expression and, at the same time, a certain elegance and modesty in its language. I had the pleasure of meeting Flavia to discuss her background, her experience being part of Prisma, and her own unique prism of colors.
First of all, congrats on such a wonderful release! Was Prisma a big break for you?
Thank you! It was really a great release, indeed. I’d say it was a big break because until now, I had only been studying and having small acting experiences. Of course, when they told me that the director was Ludovico, whom I knew from Skam Italia, I immediately knew it would be a big project. As a result, I felt a great responsibility for myself. It was strange because I did a lot of auditions for it in the beginning. Still, I was immediately treated as a cast member even during these auditions, and I was definitely not used to all this attention. In such big projects like this, there is incredible care for the actors.
How did you get into acting in the first place?
I started studying acting at the age of 11 with theater, also in English and French. Then I enrolled in a film acting school where I took a 2-year course from age 12 to 14, and then I went back to the same school at 17 for a 3-year academic course from which I actually got a film acting degree. In this school, we had courses in film history, diction, acting, stage movement, and improv. I’d say the most significant push to start working in acting came when the acting school awarded me the outstanding student of my year, granting me priority access to artistic representation offered by the school’s management. From there, I really started acting, with lots of auditions, and that was the turning point.
During high school, you were also a radio speaker. Could you tell us more about that experience and how it shaped you?
It was definitely one of the most important formative experiences of my life. In fact, I think that without radio, I would never have realized that, in a way, I was suited for the world of entertainment, art, and show business. I worked for five years as a speaker and coordinator of training activities, events, and production. The thing that shaped me the most was being sent to high schools to do PCTO (ed: skill-building training in the Italian high school system), teaching communication, proxemics, and diction in classes of third- and fourth-year high school students. My favorite part of radio was, basically, speaking: I had several programs that I hosted on my own, collaborations and sponsors that I managed, as well as lots of interviewees, even famous ones. I met a lot of people who really gave me a great deal of advice about this world.
It’s fair to say you can express yourself in many ways, but what would you consider your true medium to be? Is it acting?
I have come to the conclusion that I express myself when I empathize with people. I think it can all be encapsulated in the art of communication, of sharing. I cannot define a single art as the medium by which I can express myself because, in me, there are a thousand different colors and a thousand ways in which I communicate. It’s nuanced. As of right now, acting is the medium I feel most comfortable with. Still, though, I can’t know what the future holds for me. However, I hope I can always find ways to convey ideas and emotions to people.
Prisma is a Prime Video original. What did it mean for you to work on such a big production?
Prisma is an important project, deep in its themes, so it could only be represented by such a cutting-edge platform as Prime Video. The presence of Amazon Studios and Prime Video was felt throughout the course of the project; we met various figures, executives from Amazon, who were always close to us during the auditions and, then, the filming. Every detail was taken care of, along with the director’s vision, by Amazon. Certainly, it was Amazon that provided a lot of resources for us actors especially. As I mentioned before, the care toward us was impeccable, even during the auditions. For example, for the most difficult or demanding scenes, we were supported by a counselor who, together with the director, guided us in dealing psychologically with those shots. I fully experienced being involved in a big project also because we were hardly ever in Rome (ed: Prisma is set in Latina), and so we all lived for several days in an on-location hotel, and every morning they would pick us up to take us to the set, and bring us back in the evening when shooting was over. The importance of this project is also reflected in the size and professionalism of the crew and the various figures who worked alongside us; if Prisma turned out so well, it is definitely thanks to the teamwork.
What was it like to work with Ludovico Bessegato, director of Prisma (and Skam Italia, another Italian success)?
Ludovico is incredibly professional and one of the most brilliant artists I know. He is a director who pays attention to every detail. It is essential to mention that, in addition to directing it, he also wrote Prisma together with Alice Urciolo. Because of this, during the filming, you could sense that he really had a 360-degree view of what he wanted the final result to be. Of course, by this, I do not mean that the series was not worked on for months and months, even through post-production, but he certainly had from the beginning a very clear idea of what Prisma was supposed to be and convey. In practical terms, he is a director who values improvisation and is always open to listening to the actor’s suggestions; for an actor, this is a great honor because we feel like we can really contribute to the character as we feel it is most ours.
Prisma has a very precise, powerful message. What would you say to somebody who’s debating whether to start watching it or not?
Prisma, in my opinion, should be seen because it is not the classic teenage coming-of-age series one would expect. On the contrary, it is a complex series that should be viewed with attention, open-mindedness, and eagerness to learn, and that, at the same time, represents all of us. The beauty of the theme is that this “us” is our nuances, without definitions, without labels, but simply us, represented for who we are. The greatness of this series lies in the effortlessness and ease with which the theme of diversity has been treated because, in fact, there is no diversity conceived as anything other than “normal”; it is simply us in our beautifully complex prism.
Still, inclusion is key. Is that why you chose JCU?
Perfectly consistent with what Prisma wants to be, I could only apply to JCU because it is an environment where different cultures, languages, nationalities, and identities converge and through which we can enrich each other more and more every day. So yes, that was definitely one of the main factors in my choice. I also chose JCU to be able to have an English education here in Rome, but more importantly, to develop my other professional skills through internships, as well as to benefit from the expertise of the professors, who really motivate you and encourage you to give your best.
You’re pursuing a BA in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration. What sparked your interest in this field? Do you plan on combining it with acting?
My interest in marketing has been with me since I was a child; I was fascinated by all the commercials that ran on TV, and I wondered about the specific language behind these kinds of communications. Over time, I found that I was also interested in the psychological aspect behind consumers’ choices, a company’s approach to their customers, and their communication choices. Being a digital native, I am also very interested in the areas of digital marketing and social media marketing. This interest is mainly fueled by the fact that, as an actress, I also want to curate my personal brand and communication channels to convey the ideas and values I bring forth with my projects. So yes, I see these two worlds interconnected because, in the end, it is always about communicating uniqueness, whether it is about a product or an emotion.
What are your plans for the future? Anything you’re working on?
My plans for the future are mainly to continue studying both Marketing & Business Administration, and acting. Of course, I continue auditioning, but for now, all new projects are top secret. I will graduate from JCU in December 2023 and continue my studies in this field as well but knowing that still, life can always throw up surprises. In any case, in the future, I will continue to follow both of my paths because, in general, I am a very determined person, and the world of acting and the world of business are my two great passions. I would advise you, though, if you enjoyed Prisma, to keep your eyes open!