CATALDI-TASSONI: by Owen
born Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni was
destined for an artists life. Her
lineage practically demands it! Her
mother was a Lyric singer - her father
was a musician and Lyric director - her
grandfather a composer - her grandmother
a musician, etc. She is a painter,
trained to be an opera star, a
singer/songwriter (her CD Limbo
Balloon is now available), and an
actress of stage and screen as well. On
film she has appeared in some great
horror films for some wonderful
directors. She has worked twice with
Dario Argento as the seamstress Guila in
Opera (1987) and in
Terror at the Opera (as
Honorine) with Julian Sands and Asia
Argento (1998). She did an Italian TV
show with Argento called
Giallo and even acted with
his daughter Asia Argento (a second time)
in Demons 2 (1986) directed
by Lamberto Bava. In the
classic Ms. Cataldi-Tassoni played Sally,
the girl who is having her sweet 16 party
and ends up turning into a demon! She
also recently wrapped filming on Mr.
Bavas latest film Ghost
Son. Her addition films include her
role as Sister Candida in Luciano
(1986), the Nurse in Fabrizio Laurenti's
The Room Next Door (1994),
Pupi Avati's The Childhood
Friend (1994), Andrea Marfori's
The Evil Clutch (1988), as
well as playing the part of Cora in
Via Paradiso. In addition she
has also garnered a solid reputation as a
stage actress appearing in roles as Rizzo
in Grease and Laura in The
Glass Menagerie. Recently I had the
chance to chat with her via
and I wasnt
Owen: Ive heard you mention that you always play
the soundtrack to Dario Argento's 'Profundo
Rosso (Deep Red)' on your stereo when
you write interviews. Is it on your
Owen: Excellent. You recently
returned from filming 'Ghost Son' in South Africa
with Lamberto Bava. Would you tell me
a little something about the project?
Coralina: I describe it as a
love story with a "twist". The cast is
a small international one- Oscar nominee Pete
Posteltwaite, John Hannah (Sliding Doors,
The Mummy), Laura Harring (Mullholland
Drive) and young Musa Keiser (Hotel
Rwanda). Should be coming out in a few
months. It was the best time in my life. My motto
is "I saw God in South Africa"...Mind
you it was an Elephant-but that's what I saw. I
will never be the same person again. If one day I
vanish...you will know where to find me.
Owen: You had also worked for
Bava previously in 'Demons 2'
almost 20 years ago. Had his style of
directing changed much in the interim what with
the changes in technology and such?
Coralina: As always Lamberto
showed his professionalism and attention to his
work and with that I am sure comes his growth
with all the new technology. What remained
unwavered was his care and understanding towards
me. Demons 2 will bond us both
Owen: Many fans associate you
with the two opera films of Dario Argento, 'Opera'
(87) and 'Phantom of the Opera'
(98). What is unique about working
on an Argento film? I've heard it is
almost a transformative experience?
Owen: Did your previous study of
opera prove effective when it came to filming
Coralina: My parents are from
the Opera world-so I lived it and I guess
subconsciously studied it. Maybe others felt they
were going from their hotel to the opera house to
film every morning-I felt like I was going home.
Owen: You've also worked with
Asia Argento on 'Demons 2' as
well as 'Phantom of The Opera'.
What common trait do you see reflected in father
Coralina: An incredible desire
to work and learn as much as they can.
Owen: Tell me about the 3 month
TV show you did with Dario Argento called 'Giallo'.
Coralina: Incredibly rich with
memories of all kinds. Dario and I, for a few
months had a "live" segment on this
show every Friday night for R.A.I. We interviewed
people like Anthony Perkins, Pink Floyd, traveled
to Saudi Arabia where we did what I like to call
a warped Bob Hope show-where for Christmas we
went to salute the Italian navy on their ships.
..And so many more stories... exorcists,
monsters, FX, war, camels, dreams...
Owen: You also recently released
your debut CD 'Limbo Balloon'. How
would you describe you musical style?
Coralina: Music with a very
operatic and punkish-gothish thing going on. Not
what others tell me-I really cannot
personally answer that question.
Owen: On the CD you even have a
song to Dario called 'Argento'.
What did you want to convey with the song?
Coralina: When Dario kills
me....I finally come to life. We both come to
life. We love.
Owen: You also starred in the
strange film, Agnese Fontanas' 'The
Evil Clutch'. Tell me something
about filming that odd movie.
Coralina: Strange? Odd? You are
being very kind. All I can say is if I had the
powers to destroy every tape of that
"whatever we can call it" around, I
would die without any regrets of what I am
Tell me about your work in Luciano
Odorisio's 'The Devils of Monza'
Coralina: I was to do a bigger
role-but my schedule with Demons 2 was
a conflict. The director wanted me to drop Demons
2 but I refused and he gave me another
role much smaller and told me that one day I
would regret my choice of doing a horror. But you
know what? I look at all my fans through the
years and I see how special and kind they all are
and I know in my heart I did the right thing. How
could ANYONE EVER say no to an Argento project.
Not me. Ever.
Owen: What is your primary force
that draws you to your film projects
Coralina: My respect for the few
old school directors of Italian cinema left.
I am so fortunate to have worked with these
people...filmmakers that will never be forgotten
in cinema history
Owen: You an Italian-American
and yet you appear in so many Italian
films. Is it a specific something in
Italian cinema that you are drawn to, or
merely that Italian directors seek you out?
Coralina: I guess if you love
something or someone it can find you for it
feels some crazy force.
Owen: You write, paint, act, and
are a musician and songwriter as well.
As such a rounded artist how solid is the
border between the arts for you or do they
all flow and intermingle under a larger banner
Coralina: They all live
Co-dependently happily ever after. Free to be as
screwed up as they can be amongst themselves.
Owen: Which form of artistic
expression do you prefer?
Coralina: Music is my heart and
whatever artistic form comes out from there-as a
child... is loved as well.
Owen: I've also heard you are a
UFO enthusiast. What are your theories
or beliefs in that area? Have you ever
seen one yourself?
Coralina: Yes - I have. I would
not say, "I believe" as if it were a
religion, or that I am taking some bizarre
leap of faith. It is like a learned logic I was
born with and acquired. Put together
all that science, chemistry, atmospheric
states have to show us; add to that an infinite
universe.... and if our big, insecure ego's
still think we are the only ones in the universe.
Then you know what? - I hope we are, the only
stupid ones around-for one planet like this would
Owen: In addition to 'Ghost
Son', do you have any other projects
coming in the near future?
Coralina: I live in NYC and have
an art exhibit in at the HPGRPGALLERY coming up
.Nov 9th is the opening. 32-36 little west 12th
street-you should come and visit I will be there.
Owen: Very tempting. It would be
a nice road trip from Chicago. What makes you
scream in real life?