He is the voice par excellence. Those who love cinema know that that particular timbre has given character and style to the most important ones interpreters of the Hollywood star system. It is Massimo Decimo Meridio in the film ‘Gladiator‘, is the interpreter of the monologue “Ezekiel 25:17” in’pulp Fiction‘, is the voice of James Bond and finally that of the protagonist of’The crow‘. Few, very few pen strokes to draw the portrait of one of the most versatile and loved Italian voice actors: Luca Ward.
The man behind the microphone
Actor and director of dubbing, Luca is a Roman from Ostia with a passion for the sea. He loves his boat with all the possibilities it offers him to make sudden solo escapes when he manages to escape from the clutches of his work which right now, among many other radio and television commitments, sees him touring with the show of Massimo Romeo. Piparo ‘Mamma Mia!‘of which he is the protagonist. Man always attentive to the needs of others and attracted by a thousand interests, Luca Ward is strongly inspired by one religious faith that he heard from an early age within the walls of his family where there was not even a nun aunt missing. The Roman artist has three children: Guendalina, born from the first union and also a voice actress, Lupo and Luna, had by his second wife, and has shown great gifts of resilience and considerable sensitivity in managing the suffering oflast daughter, suffering from a serious pathology that would have discouraged anyone. Yet the strength of an unshakable faith and a boundless trust in the values of the world, the natural one willingness to help, the realistic optimism of those who never lose hope, combined with an immense love, have finally managed to break the chains that imprisoned the little Luna. She will never fully heal, but she will have the chance to live his life in full. An existence close to being normal.
The movie ‘7 km from Jerusalem’
To better understand who Luca Ward is, it will be useful to watch the beautiful film from 2007 ‘The property is 4.3 miles from Jerusalem‘, directed by Claudio Malaponti and based on the novel by Pino Farinotti; he is Alessandro Forte. The filming was carried out in Syria, in very suggestive places not far from Aleppo and Damascus, but also in Palmyra, the scene in 2015 of a terrible attack by ISIS terrorists, which culminated in a massacre with the killing of the head of the very important archaeological area.
The film tells of the mystical journey made in the Holy Land by an advertiser tired of routine, tired of being oppressed by the usual daily squabbles. In his wanderings he meets several characters who lead him to a special, incredible, unique appointment: the one with Jesus. After inner conflicts and obvious skepticism, the traveler begins to make sense of that encounter that gives a new impulse to the whole its existence. The answers that Alessandro is looking for relate to meaning of life now lost, ai lost values, to the morality too elastic to be more defined as such, to the unsatisfied need of each one of brotherhood, of authentic friendship, of love. A cinematic story that reveals much of Luca’s intimate nature and certain choices, a profound and reflective person who has set himself as a traveler on the path of the search for himself. This interview aims to shed the right light.
Luca, there is a destiny that binds fathers and sons, as it is said in the film. Do we want to talk about it?
“In my case it is a particular destiny due to situations that have absolutely involved me and in some ways continue to do so. Luna, my daughter who is now 13, was born with a condition called ‘Marfan’s syndrome’ from which she cannot be cured. However, it is true that the giant strides made by her medicine have allowed her to partially fix things. We keep in mind that a Marfanian until recently he had a life expectancy no longer than 25 years while now the prospect is even widening up to 75, therefore close to a condition of normality. After a very invasive and complex operation on Luna’s spine, which was all folded in on itself with a pulmonary compromise so severe that it certainly led to the end, she has now assumed an upright position. Two young and talented orthopedists of the Child Jesus of Rome tried the impossible and the result was excellent ”.
In all this you, who professes to be a believer, have recognized supernatural help …
“Yes, I’m sure. The doctors themselves hesitated and were not at all sure of doing it: the surgery presented many risks because because of that syndrome there is the risk of at least 20% greater blood loss than any other person. But the events took place in such a way that it could be defined as miraculous. Everything had been fixed on a given day, but only at the last moment was it decided to intervene on 23 September. That date was spinning in my head as if it had to evoke something, yet I couldn’t focus on what exactly it could refer to. My wife was electrocuted: it was the day of Padre Pio’s birth. In addition, a statuette that was given to me and kept in the garage – where I enjoy doing odd jobs – was gone. I had then seen it placed on a piece of furniture in the house. Giada also confessed to me that she had taken it: it seemed to her that where I kept it was not the most worthy place for the saint. Maybe? Perhaps truly, thanks to the miraculous intercession of Padre Pio, a whole series of fortunate conditions occurred which made things proceed without obstacles. Even the nurse who had the job of looking after the blood bags and had to go on vacation, gave up and was present. How can we not think that a holy hand protected Luna? ”.
The film alludes to the theme of loneliness. What importance does this condition have for you?
“For me it is indispensable. I need to be alone sometimes so I feel much better. I often travel for my work and I prefer to do it without anyone’s company. Actually, even on the set or during my theatrical performances I don’t frequent my colleagues very much, and it is not a gesture of haughtiness or presumption but an experience that I can share only with myself, hunting for abysses to explore. Going by boat is then the thing that fills me most with joy, I broaden my horizons and compare myself with the vastness of the sea and the sky. These are aspects that nourish the soul and make you feel closer to the absolute. This habit is not much appreciated by my wife who she always fears something might happen to me, but she is stronger than me. I leave and I’m happy to be me and that liquid, boundless vastness that was my father’s great passion. In that dimension I can instantly recharge my head, because physical fatigue is another thing and it needs the necessary rest. By boat they are necessarily in constant activity, the tasks on board are as many as going to traffic, cleaning and arranging in the engine room: but it is a job that I do alone and that therefore I find regenerating. The truth is that we are increasingly stressed and, for this reason, being with yourself is almost an obligation in order not to succumb. In fact, we know that everyday life exposes us to a thousand annoyances. The phone call from the accountant, from the bank, the problems related to collecting the garbage, the speed camera fine, the tax office writes to you … Then you turn on the TV and you are bombarded by the news with terrible news. As if that weren’t enough, the wear and tear from social networks to which I expose myself for work needs or if we want ‘image’ is added, but which if I could I would easily do without “.
Another topic on which the cinematographic story insists is that of solidarity …
“In words we are all very good and available. In reality it is selfishness that prevails. Both on an individual and social level I see many speeches, many proclamations all absolutely acceptable, but empty and devoid of any real content. They are abstractions destined to remain a dead letter because basically everyone thinks of himself. An infinity of calls for help are in fact ignored. Unheard requests for help from people from distant countries, but also those of our neighbors, who may live a few meters away but whose names and faces we have not even memorized. So we pretend not to notice anything, we just turn our backs. I remember the case of a gentleman from our neighborhood who, poor fellow, had gone bankrupt through no fault of his own. Such was the shame and sorrow of not being able to pay his employees that he took his own life. And this had happened in the general indifference, in that ‘splash’ of too many daily events to which we ended up getting used to. Someone, after the suicide, pointed out how that man who went around with his dog, his gaze lost in space, could portend an extreme gesture, but no one had done anything for him. Certainly it is so and I regret it because I consider myself a very generous person and in love with humanity, even though I am aware of the intellectual degradation taking place. I am the first to call a person in difficulty, I go to find them and if necessary I undertake to help them in all possible ways. First of all I like to give my presence because it is too easy to hurry with the message of fake solidarity: if you want to help someone you have to prove it with deeds and not words. “
A particular look is also turned to gender diversity. Ginevra, who in the film is played by an unparalleled Emanuela Rossi, is the prototype of the fatuous, selfish and superficial anchorwoman ready to sell herself and her dignity in order to feed the news and without worrying about stamping the gays interviewed with epithets very picturesque and definitely not very nice …
“The term diversity already bothers me. We are all part of the human race and no specificity can make a person ‘different’. Nature has already created us different from each other, so what other diversification do we want to talk about? The truth is that, especially we Italians, we suffer terribly from a serious form of cultural backwardness. Let’s take the British. They are light years ahead and people’s sexual orientations don’t even care. The fact that the ‘gay pride’ they do not exist clearly demonstrates how they live the condition of homosexuality as a very normal aspect of life. I myself was used from a very young age to meet people with different tastes from mine in my world. I didn’t even notice it, I didn’t investigate it, I wasn’t even interested in making it a topic of conversation. For me they were simply colleagues and friends, men and women I have loved and continue to love ”.