Ricky Tognazzi: “On ‘Dancing with the Stars’ I lost… 10 kilos”

The director to Adnkronos: ”I didn’t dance well on Saturday night, now I’ll have to train for the repechage”

”I didn’t dance well on Saturday night. The day before, at the dress rehearsal, I had done much better. I’m sorry because I believe that, in the sum of the performances, I made a good impression”. So the actor and director Ricky Tognazzi in an exclusive interview with Adnkronos he talks about his experience at ‘Dancing with the Stars’ of Milly Carlucci and hers elimination last Saturday, after playoff with Lorenzo Tano and dance teacher Lucrezia Lando, who, thanks to the support on social media, emerged triumphant from the ballot.

”Maybe it was the emotion – admits the actor – if you make a mistake during the rehearsal it creates a domino effect that distracts you”. Aware of not knowing how to dance, Ricky explains, ”I still wanted to get involved – he explains – I never went dancing, in the 70s I remember going to the ‘Piper’ in Rome because it was the place where they played rock but no one has ever seen me on the dance floor”. What pushed him to accept Carlucci’s proposal, explains Tognazzi, ”was also the fact that I had never danced and this seemed like a good opportunity to learn how to do it. I also knew how much good this activity does because it is a psychomotor activity that is good for both the body and the soul. I was overweight, to this day I lost almost 10 kilos. I remember that on August 15th I went into a pharmacy and got on those talking scales which said aloud 108 kilos and I had a stroke – Tognazzi continues – so after the holidays I finally managed to go on a diet and I started to love me more. Then this proposal arrived and I immediately seized this opportunity”.

”I know how to be a director and I can be a decent author – Tognazzi continues ironically – so I said to myself: ‘Let me be a dancer too’ and I have to say I had a lot of fun but it was a arduous effort – he admits bursting into laughter – I hoped to get by by trying once a week but instead I had to train every day. Early in the morning I did some exercises with the my personal trainer and then a lesson that lasted at least an hour and a half but there was never enough time because, not knowing how to do anything, it took me much longer to learn how to choreograph”. After ‘Dancing’ will you continue to train? ”Now that I have lost weight I will continue to train and love myself”. But the adventure on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is not over. In fact, Ricky will have to continue training for the play-off dance which will give him the chance to be rescued. In fact, like every year, the program will dedicate an episode to the ‘repeechage’. All couples of eliminated competitors will have the chance to be reinstated, but only one couple will be able to re-enter the game. ”Saturday evening for me the consolation prize was the end of this torture but then I realized that the most tiring phase of the program was about to begin – adds the actor – I hadn’t understood this, now I will have to prepare at least five dances and take one of them like for exams at school so I think that from next week I will have to start again train”, he concludes.

On the numerous bickerings that occurred in the studio between him, the juror Selvaggia Lucarelli and his wife Simona Izzo, Tognazzi cuts short

: Selvaggia is there to provoke, it’s his role, he’s there on purpose. Last Saturday Simona replied to her in kind, she certainly doesn’t lack a joke. She kept talking about my wife then Simona told her that she isn’t even a lady in the registry office – he recalls with amusement – I would like to remind everyone that ‘Ballando’ is not a dancing competition, Carolyn Smith, is the only queen of the jury but probably if there were five Carolyns on the jury the program would become boring. Selvaggia has the role of being the pungent, spicy one, but sometimes it comes close to being offensive”. Returning to the skirmishes with Lucarelli who, during the second episode of ‘Ballando’ had stated that ”the problem is that if the couple has too much light outside this track, the couple on this track does not have enough light” and that ” then, it happens that you dance well, I like the way you dance but you disappear because you are completely obscured by these little curtains which are totally useless frills”, the actor comments: ”Me overshadowed by my wife? If anything the opposite. I have been married to her for 38 years, it has always been Simona who has been overshadowed by me because she does a job which is that of a screenwriter who, unlike the director and the actor, must never be seen”.

”I remember – continues Ricky – that when they called me to Berlin because I had won the Silver Bear for ‘Ultrà’ as best director, I received a phone call, Simone answered and asked: ‘But is the screenwriter also invited?’ and they told her: ‘No only the director and of course the wife’. At that point – Tognazzi concludes jokingly – Simana said: ‘ok, then I’ll come as a wife’. Izzo also wants to intervene regarding the post published by Selvaggia on Instagram who, after the episode of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ commented on her stories: ”Now Simona Izzo is waiting for me in the car park…”. ”Would I wait for Selvaggia in the parking lot? – he tells Adnkronos – I don’t wait for anyone in the car park, I have no time to lose. I’ve already responded to her by telling her that she’s not even a lady at the registry office, perhaps
he hoped to
meet me to have
a bit of notoriety

. I’m sorry for you, but after the show I went to the restaurant, I’m afraid it will wait for me all my life. Selvaggia seeks visibility in every way – she continues – but I have a job and I don’t have time to respond to her constant provocations. What she wrote on Instagram isn’t even a joke – Izzo says annoyed – but this is her job: to provoke and look for a fight”, concludes Tognazzi’s wife.

(Of Alisa Toaff)