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The great contender

Photographs by Charlotte Hadden
Styled by Sophie Paxton

Filippo Scotti’s parents gave him a year to make a success of acting before he had to return to university. Thank heaven they did, as in The Hand of God he’s played a blinder. Douglas Greenwood meets European cinema’s new art-throb

Sitting in the make-up chair of a photography studio in north London, Filippo Scotti is having his hair tousled by his groomer and stylist. They are trying to figure out whether to make their subject’s Chalamet-esque mop — by turns both unruly and angelic — bigger or more modest.

‘Is your hair from your mum or dad’s side?’ the stylist asks.
‘My dad,’ comes the reply, delivered in a mellifluous, soft Italian accent with drawn out vowels. ‘But now? He is bald.’
Scotti, it quickly becomes clear, is a wisecracker: funny in ways men this handsome seldom need to be. Hair now finished, we head to the dressing room where lunch has arrived: though pizza, I suggest, might be a bold choice for a man from where it’s made best. ‘Let’s be open,’ he says, smiling as he bites into a slice. He chews, thinks and then, with his mouth still full, delivers the verdict. ‘You know, it’s not so bad!’

‘Not so bad’ is a phrase that could also be used — were one
understatement-prone — to describe the trajectory of this 21-year-old from Dongo, a small commune that lies on the north-western shore of Lake Como. Eighteen months ago, Scotti was a university student desperately trying to prepare for his exams during the pandemic.

Today, he’s weeks in to an intense global press tour that began at the Venice Film Festival in September, and has thus far taken in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Colorado, Rome and many more locales. Having only done his first proper interview two months previously, this plunge into the deep end of promo, with all the jetting around that it entails, initially felt ‘new and strange’.

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