From Italy’s most handsome to most beloved
By Ciro Acampora
Beppe Convertini, born on July 20th, 1971, in Martina Franca, is a successful Italian actor, tv host, radio host, and former model. Throughout the years, his charm and talents have captured the attention of thousands of fans, who follow his artistic career with great interest and admiration. Convertini, who is devoted to his family, lost his father to an illness when he was 17 years old. But he always had a special relationship with his mother and two sisters which, over the years, further connected him to his hometown. In 1989 he moved to Turin to pursue a college education. During this time he also began working as a model, thanks to his sculpted physique, and walked the runways of top designers in Milan, Paris, and New York, becoming the face of a various national and international brands. In 1993 he won the national competition for “Italy’s Most Handsome” (Il più bello d’Italia) and later graduated with a degree in Business and Economics.
Before becoming Hollywood stars, Jamie Dornan, Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, and many others, appeared on the runways of the world’s top designers. Beppe, you also entered show business as a model. For better or worse, how decisive of a role have looks played in your career?
In show business, like in any profession, I don’t believe you can achieve your goals without talent and a lot of preparation. External beauty is simply a quality that goes hand-in-hand with interior beauty comprised, above all, of humility in your approach to learning and practice, even after years of satisfaction. If I had bet on looks alone, I don’t think I would have accomplished all that I have.
During your rise to fame, how did you handle the separation from your family, and how have they contributed to your career?
At the beginning of my career, it was really hard to leave home. After my father’s death, when I was only 17, I immediately took over caring for my mother, sisters, nieces and nephews. So I left home a few years after my father’s passing with a deep sense of responsibility to fulfill my dreams and give support and satisfaction to my loved ones. It was difficult to be away from my family, in those early years, but their emotional support motivated me, even from afar, to achieve my professional goals and have the moral values that make me who I am today.
During the course of your career, you’ve had the opportunity to try your hand at different artistic fields and have displayed great versatility. From fashion to film, radio to television, as an actor and host. Which has given you the most satisfaction and why?
Two important professional experiences will always remain close to my heart: “La vita in diretta estate” a journalistic talk show, which I had always dreamt of hosting, and “Linea verde” a program on “RAI1” and “Rai Italia” that airs on Sundays and presents Italy’s artistic, historical, cultural, and natural beauty to millions of Italians at home and abroad. Through the stories of great men and women, who ensure that Italian farming and artisanry remain top quality, we document how “Made in Italy” maintains its superior reputation among consumers throughout the world. Thanks to “Linea verde,” I was even able to travel during the long months of the pandemic, and I hope I kept viewers company during the long quarantine, by documenting how Italy is the most beautiful, diverse, and fascinating place in the world. Speaking of which, I invite everyone to visit Italy to revive the tourism sector, which has greatly suffered because of the Covid-19 emergency.
Given your professional versatility, if you could fulfill your dream of working in the United States, would you prefer a role in a film or to host the “Academy Awards?”
My dream has always been to work in the United States. If I were ever given the privilege to choose, I would host the “Academy Awards,” so I could meet the world’s greatest stars and directors, all in one night. I have always watched the event from Italy with great interest, and I admit that to host it would truly be an emotional experience.
You’ve traveled throughout the United States. What place, in particular, has remained in your heart?
I’ve traveled a lot in the United States and, while many places have captivated me, the Grand Canyon holds a special place in my memories. Exploring it was an exhilarating experience. I was mesmerized by the majestic untainted nature, and by how the rocks change color in the sunlight. In terms of cities, I love San Francisco, the most European city in the United States. If you visit the USA, it’s a must, elegant, full of charm, and alternative culture. Obviously, I also like New York, it’s truly a city that never sleeps, where there’s always something to do, whether you live there or are on vacation. I love all of the United States. It’s an immense country that never stops fascinating you with its varied landscape and culture.
What are American artists lacking in comparison to their Italian counterparts and what can Italian artists learn from them?
I don’t think there’s anything one has to learn from the other. Both countries have great artists in theater, television, and film. American artists are just luckier because they often work on the global stage, since Hollywood productions have an international impact. We Italian artists, except in the case of exceptional talent, are only known by Italians and struggle for exposure beyond the national borders.
Another important aspect of your career are humanitarian missions. These experiences have brought you to Syria, Jordan, Burma and inspired the publication of your book “I bambini di nessuno,” a photographic account and travel log of your trips. What led you to these kinds of experiences and how much have they influenced who you are today?
I knew that humanitarian missions would change me, and that these experiences would help me understand the true meaning of life, what matters and what doesn’t. I knew they’d motivate me to appreciate the true values of our existence. The smiles and faces of the Syrian children who survived civil war are always in my heart, as well as those of children who escaped the massacre of the Behrman regime. The innocent faces, of those who have the right to live like everyone else, taught me to appreciate each day, to be thankful for what I have without complaining and desiring the unnecessary.
The famous American comedian and tv host Jimmy Fallon once said: “There’s always going to be someone out there… who doesn’t believe in you or who thinks your head is too big or you’re not smart enough. But those are the people you need to ignore, and those are the times you need to just keep doing what you love doing.” How have you dealt emotionally with closed doors and with people who didn’t believe in you?
Many doors were closed in my face, like so many of us, but you have to consider it a part of awareness and growing up. It’s precisely those “No’s” that help us to mature and better ourselves. It’s important to never give up, even after many rejections, and to continue our studies and other professional experiences, whether big or small. If you love what you do with all your heart, sooner or later your big chance will come.
What advice would you give young Italian artists who want to begin a career in show business?
Show business is a special and unique profession, with lots of highs and lows that can only be overcome with great passion and determination. So I’d advise young people to first understand exactly who they are and what they want to become, and then begin the necessary training and experiences. It is important for new recruits to work hard on their limitations without complaining about the difficulties. They should never give up and, if they lay the groundwork, their big chance will come.
This year you turn 50. What do you wish for the next 50 years that you haven’t already achieved?
For the next 50 years I wish for the same life I’ve had thus far, alongside the people I love. Health and serenity are all I want for the rest of my life.