You want weird? Aniello Arena, the star of Matteo Garrone’s brilliant new film, “Reality,” is in prison for life for murder. In Italy. He was cast by Garrone from his prison theatre troupe.
Watching the movie, a sort of Truman Show look at the effect of reality TV on a Naples village family, you’d never guess that the charismatic fellow playing Luciano is in real life a murderer serving a 20 year to life term. He was able to make the under some kind of Italian work release program. He’s described in Italian newspaper reports a “lifer” in his prison. And a brilliant actor.
Arena could easily wind up winning Best Actor here. He won’t be able to attend the ceremony if so. Whoever gets “Reality” for American distribution gets quite a story. Details are sketchy but more to comeâ¿¦