Under the Tuscan Sun
"It's always important what you're doing, it's not important where." Raoul Bova.
Italian actor Raoul Bova gained initial success in his country while starring in the films Comincio Tutto per Caso (It All Happened by Chance; 1993), Francesca e Nunziata (TV; 2001; alongside Sophia Loren), and the Donatello-winning (the Italian equivalent to the Oscar) La Finestra di Fronte (a.k.a. Facing Windows; 2003). He was exposed to American audience in 2003 when he co-starred opposite Oscar nominee Diane Lane in the romantic drama comedy Under the Tuscan Sun, playing the romantic interest to Lane's character. He subsequently starred in the 2004 sci-fi thriller AVP: Alien vs. Predator and played Angelo Varzi (2006) in the first season of ABC’s drama series "What About Brian." His upcoming projects include Io, l'altro, Milano-Palermo: il ritorno, and the miniseries "The Company."
Besides acting, the 5' 11¼" tall, athletic actor who once a swimming champ has also been the face of Giorgio Armani eyewear and Gap. He was featured with Madonna in a Max Factor commercial shoot directed by Alek Keshishian in 1999 and made a nude artistic calendar for the Italian magazine Max in 2000. More personally, the ex-boyfriend of actress Romina Mondello is now married to a veterinarian and has two sons.
Childhood and Family:
"What's better: man or woman? Well...to love: the women, to born: I am satisfied to have been a man." Raoul Bova.
In a white collar family in Rome, Italy, Raoul Bova was born on August 14, 1971. His parents are from southern Italy; his father, Giuseppe, was an employee of Alitalia Airlines who comes from Reggio Calabria, and his mother, Rosa, is a housewife from Naples. Raoul has two sisters: Tiziana and Daniela, and now has two little nieces: Flaminia and Beatrice.
"I spent the first 14 years of my life swimming, which is very important to me. Wherever I'm filming I always try and find a swimming pool." Raoul Bova.
As a child, Raoul, nicknamed Rollo, nearly drowned in the sea. In order to get over the trauma, he started to follow swimming lessons. At 16, he won the Italian swimming championship for the 100 meter backstroke competing for the team S.S. Lazio team of Rome, the oldest and most important sport club in Europe. He performed his military duty in the "Bersaglieri" and studied at the Italian Institute of Physical Education.
"Meeting her was a sign of the destiny, and I thank God for that: our union is cemented by the same principles, by the same ideals of life." Raoul Bova (talking about his wife Chiara Giordano).
In March of 2000, Raoul married his girlfriend, Chiara Giordano (born in 1973; veterinarian), three months after the birth of their first son Alessandro Leon (born on January 29, 2000). The baby was baptized on the same day of the marriage, near Perugia, in Italy. The couple later has another son.
"Our son (with his wife) was born in the water, in our home's bath tub. Every evening, if I'm in Rome, we take the bath together. The love for water unites us. Now he is older than one year old and like a foreigner to whom I'd like to make known my world." Raoul Bova (about his first child Alessandro-Leon).
Raoul collects ethnic wood-carved sculptures and likes cooking with his father. He owns a scooter and two dogs: Jackie and Ofelia.
"Actually, I had my first fan the other day. I was reading a magazine and she was looking at me. ‘Can I ask a favor?' And I say yes, what? ‘Can you sign me an autograph' and I was oh, yes. And really I was dying blushing because I never expect." Raoul Bova.
A former swimming champ, Raoul Bova later turned to acting and studied extensively at the school Beatrice Bracco and with Michael Margotta in Rome, Italy. He performed acting on local stage in 3 plays: "Mexico and Clouds," "Macbeth Clan" and "Cold Blooded Animals." In 1992, he made his on screen debut in the TV movie Una Story Italiana, and followed it up with the next year’s box office hit and the critically praised romantic comedy Comincio Tutto per Caso (It All Happened by Chance; alongside Italian film star Margherita Buy).
After starring as a swimming teacher who falls for a princess from a Nordic European country (played by Barbara Snellenburg) in the romantic drama Piccolo Grande Amore (Pretty Princess; 1993), Raoul joined the popular mafia drama series “La Piovra” in its seventh season, playing Commissario Gianni Breda, as well as in its TV movies and miniseries versions. Back on the big screen, he teamed with Anthony Quinn and Maria Grazia Cucinotta in an adaptation of Eduardo De Filippo's play, Il Sindaco (The Mayor), and with Giancarlo Giannini and Donatello (the Italian equivalent to the Oscar) nominee Monica Guerritore in a drama movie based on Giovanni Verga's novel, La Lupa (The She-Wolf; both in 1996).
2001 saw Raoul sharing the screen with the most famous Italian performer Sophia Loren, playing her son Federico Montorsi, in a TV movie adaptation of Maria Orsini Natale's novel, Francesca e Nunziata. Helmed by Lina Wertmuller (of Love and Anarchy and Seven Beauties fame), the film, which was filmed in Naples, competed at the Montreal World Film Festival. The following year, he was cast alongside Sylvester Stallone, Madeleine Stowe and Anthony Quinn in Martyn Burke's action-comedy movie Avenging Angelo. The film, in which Quinn made his last appearance, was released a few months after Quinn’s death.
Next, Raoul starred as Lorenzo, Giovanna Mezzogiorno's neighbor who lives in the block opposite hers and develops stronger relationship with her, in a 2003 Italian romantic drama, La Finestra di Fronte (a.k.a. Facing Windows). Directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, the film won a total of five Donatello awards and was also the country’s top-grossing film that year. Additionally, Raoul’s brilliant performance in the film was awarded the President’s Award for Best Actor.
Following the success of La Finestra di Fronte, Raoul was exposed to American audience as he co-starred opposite Oscar nominee Diane Lane in Audrey Wells' film based on a book by Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun. In the 2003 romantic drama comedy, he played an intriguing Portobello antiques dealer named Marcello who becomes the romantic interest to Lane's character.
Raoul subsequently co-starred with Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen in Paul W.S. Anderson's sci-fi thriller AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), based both on several series of Alien vs. Predator comic books published by Dark Horse Comics and on the characters of the films Alien and Predator. In 2006, he returned to his home country to star as a mathematician who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a disease that prevents him from experiencing any type of emotion, in the romantic drama La Fiamma Sul Ghiaccio, alongside Donatella Finocchiaro. American TV viewers also catch him as Angelo Varzi (2006) in the first season of ABC’s drama series "What About Brian."
As for his upcoming projects, Raoul will star in two Italian films: Melliti Mohsen Ben Ahmed and Mohsen Melliti's drama, Io, l'altro, and Claudio Fragasso's action-drama, Milano-Palermo: il ritorno. He will also appear in an American miniseries that traces CIA activities over a 40-year period, "The Company," adapted from Robert Littell's book.
Aside acting, Raoul was featured with Madonna in a Max Factor commercial shoot directed by Alek Keshishian in 1999 and made a nude artistic calendar for the Italian magazine Max in 2000. A good friend with Giorgio Armani, he also has been the face of Armani’s eyewear and Gap.
Raoul is a supporter of the charity project "Vento e sole" (wind and sun), which aimed to develop an ecological system of electrification for the third-world countries (especially in Guatemala), and the face of ecologist organization “ForPlanet.”
“Anything I can do to make the world a better place, even the smallest thing, is something feeding my soul.” Raoul Bova.