Zerocalcare on the Netflix series Tearing along the edges: “Mastandrea is my Armadillo even in life"

The video interview with Zerocalcare, author and director of the animated series Strappare along the edges, in which he dubbed all the characters except the Armadillo, his conscience, who has the voice of Valerio Mastandrea.

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Tear along the edges: a scene from the series

It goes without saying that the serie which he wrote and directed is beautiful: Zerocalcare does not believe it. He is so humble that he sincerely thinks he is not up to par. And maybe that’s exactly why Tear off along the edges, six animated episodes available on Netflix from November 17, it is a masterpiece.

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Tear along the edges: Zerpcalcare and the armadillo in a scene from the series

This word is now overused and emptied of meaning, but in the case of Tearing along the edges it is worth taking it out. The formula is the one adopted by Zerocalcare for the shorts aired in the TV program Propaganda Live: the author portrays himself intent on commenting on what happens in everyday life. Here, however, we find the Armadillo, a fixed presence in comics, personification of his conscience. To dub it is Valerio Mastandrea. All the other characters have the voice of Zerocalcare himself.

Writer, designer, now also director: Zerocalcare has a unique eye on the world. A keen eye, perhaps a bit “whiny and whiny” at times, as they say in the series, but never cynical. Always full of hope and unease. In short, one of us. But better. Tearing along the edges is the definitive consecration of an author who, like few others, knows how to tell his generation. We met him in Rome, at the Rome Film Fest, where the series was premiered.

The video interview with Zerocalcare

Tearing along the edges, the review: Zerocalcare renews its talent on Netflix

Tear along the edges, the series of Zerocalcare

Tear Off Poster Edges

Tear along the edges poster

We knew that Zerocalcare is an excellent author and designer. We didn’t know he’s also a good director. It was not taken for granted.

There are a lot of people who have helped me from that point of view. I wrote the dialogues, the scripts, I made a storyboard that somehow gave my idea, then this stuff was delivered to Movimenti, who then gave me back things done with much more beautiful shots than I was able to draw. . In this sense it can be said that the direction is collective.

Tearing along the edges, Zerocalcare: “The series? Those who are ‘meddled’ like me will like it!”

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Looking at the series I thought: Zerocalcare is our Larry David but with less cynicism and more hope. Do you accept the comparison?

It seems very ambitious to me and I would never go near it. In general I think I’m not a very cynical person. I am a smug. So I actually oscillate between hope and despair. Cynicism, when I have it, is always to somehow put my hands forward and shield myself from bullying. Because otherwise I’m an emo crybaby.

Zero focus on privilege and victimhood

Do you think you are no longer alive when you stop reacting to things? Or are we just troublemakers who always have to put their bite on everything?

I am definitely a pain in the ass who always has to put his beak on everything. Now I say things a little bit of a crybaby, but the fact of reacting and being moved by things, for better or for worse, is part of being able to empathize with others.

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Tear Along The Edges: Zerocalcare in a scene from the animated series

The series talks about the “inalienable right to complain: the whining victim is what is based on male privilege”. Are you convinced of this?

I am quite convinced. Our degree of tolerance, not only of the pain threshold, but of many things, if we were in the shoes of women of all times, would give very funny results.

Not just women. In the series there is the gas station attendant from Bangladesh who says: “He has this privilege and in any case he looks like a jerk”.

Everything is in the awareness of one’s own privilege. I think that one can always complain, because then everyone has the right to be dissatisfied with his individual experience, but he must always be able to put it in proportion with the rest of the world. This thing here if you have it clear you can be complaining as much as you like. If you are not clear, you become an unpleasant mythomaniac.

Tear along the edges: Valerio Mastandrea is the Armadillo

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Tear along the edges: Zerocalcare and the armadillo in a scene from the animated series

In the series Strappando along the edges finally there is Valerio Mastandrea who is the Armadillo. Just as it was meant to be. How nice was it to finally work together?

I love Valerio Aprea very much, I am also very happy with his interpretation. But Mastandrea in my life has precisely the function of the figure of the Armadillo, even extra fictional and from unsuspecting times, long before I asked him to dub and interpret him. So when I first saw the Armadillo speaking with Valerio’s voice, I thought it was perfect. Moreover, it is a very difficult thing, because I had no idea how the Armadillo should speak, I had never asked myself the problem. But I found it perfectly fitting.

Is he a crybaby victim too? Or is it more aggressive?

But he’s old, so he’s processed things differently by now.

Zerocalcare e i social

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Tear along the edges: an image from the animated series

In Tearing along the edges we see this strategy, applied on social media, to never really deal with things and people. Why do we have this problem? Does your series help us understand this?

My series doesn’t help anyone or anything in general. But this thing is super present because now our lives are mediated by social media: they are part of the daily experience of all of us. So the difficulties that one had in life before are now all thrown back in there. I just try to tell them. I am not applying to help anyone.

Do you feel just a blade of grass, or are you a flower now?

Ninth. I do a great job trying to feel like a blade of grass, because I usually feel like a boulder on me. So I always tell myself: you don’t count shit.

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