Name: Martin I. Pterov
Matteo Simoni has quickly become one of Belgium’s most sought-after young talents working in TV, Film and Theater. His television work includes the lead roles in the hit series Callboys, nominated for an International Emmy Award in 2017 and the upcoming The Gang of Jan De Lichte by Robin Pront (D’Ardennen, Belgium’s 2016 Oscar submission). For his star turn on the big screen in Marina directed by Oscar-nominated Stijn Coninx, Simoni received a Best Actor nomination at the Ensors. Most recently, he can be seen in the lead role in Gangsta by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Every so often, Simoni finds that Belgium might be too small for him, thus wanting to meet new people who amaze him with their imagination, creativity and vision; directors who challenge and inspire him and who make him achieve things he didn’t know he had in him.
Now, one of this year’s ten European Shooting Stars, Martin I. Petrov caught up with him at this year’s Berlinale.
What’s the greatest thing about being at the Berlinale as a Shooting Star?
Matteo Simoni: It’s great to meet people with the same goals. I believe in luck and coincidence and that the coin will always fall on the right side at the right moment. I’m really proud to be representing Belgium and I am open to see where this journey will take me. I am fortunate that my job is my passion. Everyone here has their own talent and we all express it in our own way.
You have worked in theatre, film and TV. Do you have a preference?
M.S.: Theatre is always in the core of my heart; this is where I started. Film and TV are fascinating and I would say similar in many aspects; it’s just the amount of time that is shorter in cinema projects. For me, what is interesting is to discover my characters and become them. The danger with TV is that after certain point your character doesn’t have more development potential.
Is there anything you’d really love to do in a role?
M.S.: I felt really inspired by Jared Leto’s work in Dallas Byers Club. I would love to get to do something similar. I also love the Dardenne Brothers and it would be great to get to work with them. I am lucky that I have done different things in the last few years in Belgium, and it’s great that people accept it.
What advice would you give to people just starting in the industry?
M.S.: To keep trying and be themselves. You will fall many times, but it’s only when you get back up that the good things come. If you are too greedy or arrogant, you won’t get far. I love having a balance with my personal life. I travel, surf and do yoga, and it really helps me move on. Also love, friendships and family are the most important and we always get back to that no matter what we do.
If not in Belgium and if not an actor, where and what would you be?
M.S.: A surf teacher in Bali, of course! And to try and enjoy every second in life. We are always looking for something and we always need to try and do our best.
C. Photo Credit: harald fuhr_efp (2018)
Interview with Matteo Simoni:
“I am fortunate that my job is my passion”