Certainly you’ve seen photos and drawings of earlier iterations of Aunt May—they don’t look like the version in theaters currently. Can you talk about your approach to playing a younger, cooler, never-before-seen take on the character?I tried hard to understand the cultural split: how to be very maternal but also very desirable. On the one hand, it was kind of the mandate of the character and the way it was being preconceived . But there was what I thought the fans expected from the character, which was a strong maternal presence tending to home fires. In combining those things, I became a little flummoxed. As for the look, I tried on a lot of wigs, but ultimately we went with the long hair.

As for toeing the line between desirable and maternal, in a way, isn’t that what you always do with your characters?Well, I’ve always been very interested in and drawn to either illuminating or playing with this knitting together of both the innocent and the wild, the maternal and the sexual, and not having them be a cultural paradox. And I wanted to figure out how to have something that was still a signature for her, because I consider May a real-life hero. She’s the one giving his values, and she’s also very involved in the community.

What did you do to prepare for this role, physically, and what do you do to stay fit and look great on the regular?On the regular! Mostly, it’s an inside-out thing. By that, I mean what you put into you body is even more crucial than what you’re doing in terms of your exterior. What I eat and how I connect with my body feed my external. Right before the press tour, I went to Greece for a few weeks because I was at a stressful point in my personal life. I got really relaxed, which really helped ! In terms of brass tacks, I try to eat seasonal, local, and organic foods as much as possible, almost all the time. Moving meditation, like dance meditation, makes me feel at home in my skin; it helps me on a spiritual, mental, and, ultimately, physical level. I still hike and do calisthenics and yoga from time to time, but the cornerstone of it all is the inner stuff.

It all sounds so . . . easy. There has got to be some trick up your sleeve!Lately, I have been going to the infrared sauna for detoxes, which I absolutely love. It heats up the body from the inside out, so I get a lot of energy afterward and I feel so light. It gets rid of any poisons, especially if I had to take medicine or had a lot of sugar or alcohol. It’s a great place to be in and do meditation, too. Multitasking! I don’t believe in tricks or even a routine; I listen to what my body wants me to do and follow suit. I’m just trying to keep it together like everybody else!

Marisa Tomei’s Pleasure Principles

The moment Marisa Tomei starts to speak in her distinctive New York accent, you can almost hear her saying her most famous line from My Cousin Vinny: “My biological clock is ticking (foot stomp) like (foot stomp) this (foot stomp)!” It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Mona Lisa Vito-she hasn’t seemed to age at all. In her recent film, Cyrus, she plays the single mother of a man in his 20s. At 45, she looks almost too young to play the part. Find out her secrets to looking and feeling young, vibrant, and fit.

1. Detox Your Day

Whether she’s on location for a new film or at home in Los Angeles, Marisa begins every day with the same ritual: drinking a cup of hot water with lemon. “I never got into coffee,” she says. “It may take me a little longer to get going than other people, but this just feels really cleansing in the morning.” She follows that with a boiled egg drizzled with a little olive oil or some fresh berries and granola with whole-milk yogurt. “I find that protein wakes up my brain and gets me ready for the rest of my day,” she says. To maintain that “get up and go,” Marisa keeps high protein snacks on hand. “I’m a person who has to eat!” she says. “I graze every few hours.”

2. Be Eco, Shop Local

Every weekend, Marisa and her boyfriend, actor Logan Marshall-Green, walk to their farmers’ market to pick up produce. “I love being outside and getting fresh air,” she says. “And it’s not just about buying local, fresh food, which then, of course, translates into healthy things for your body and your skin. It’s also about being part of the community and looking the people in the eye who have grown that food. All of these connections add to the vibrancy of life.”

3. Learn How to Dance!

Like a lot of women, Marisa does a variety of activities, but she’s found that a mind-body approach feels best for her. When she moved to Los Angeles she studied yoga, then moved on to belly dancing, which she says “not only keeps you in incredible shape, it’s good for women’s reproductive organs and hormones too.” That led her to Nita Rubio, a teacher of devotional dance and body movement. Once a week, Marisa attends an all-female class that combines meditation, music, and dance. “There’s such a sense of freedom,” she says. “It’s not like jogging, where you’re working on your exterior. It’s about feeling the interior and being at home in your body. Movement is truly transformative!”

Tips: Check out these stay-fit secrets from Marisa and other celebs over 40.

4. Have Fun Every Day

One of the benefits of these classes, says Marisa, has been learning to listen to her inner voice. “I trust my body’s wisdom now. If a period of time goes by where I don’t do something physical and connect with my body, I feel like I’m losing my intuition. But I don’t want you to think I’m only about being all healthy-crunchy,”she says, laughing. “It’s about feeling pleasure too. I love to play, play, play! To go out dancing and be boisterous. It’s fun to be a night owl, or feel naughty, drink wine, and have sex! Now that’s the best kind of play there is!”

Bonus: See what other things Marisa can’t live without.

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Marisa Tomei is timeless — just as charming and talented as when she lit up the scene following the success of her first major role in My Cousin Vinny. Twenty-five years have past, yet the actress still looks as fresh as ever — and now she’s sharing her secrets!

Tomei revealed in an interview with Vogue just how she stays fresh and keeps healthy. First and foremost, the Crazy, Stupid, Love actress relies on healthy eating to keep herself looking great because it’s “an inside-out thing.” Tomei explained, “What I eat and how I connect with my body, feed my external … In terms of brass tacks, I try to eat seasonal, local, and organic foods as much as possible, almost all the time. Moving meditation, like dance meditation, makes me feel at home in my skin; it helps me on a spiritual, mental, and, ultimately, physical level.” Though she relies on exercise, the Wrestler star says the cornerstone of her beauty routine starts internally.

As for her beauty tricks, Tomei explained that she’s into infrared saunas for detoxing. “ It heats up the body from the inside out, so I get a lot of energy afterward and I feel so light.” she said.

The Academy Award nominee revealed that she uses Persephenie moisturizer and serum to keep her skin glowing, but relies on the cleansing classic, Cetaphil, to wash her face. Another Tomei beauty secret? Dry brushing. The Spiderman: Homecoming actress said that she uses a dry round brush on her skin before she showers, brushing lightly in the direction of her heart because it “keeps your lymph glands moving and makes your skin smooth on your body.”

While the actress says that her look is all about her skin, when she does use beauty products, she reaches for Clé de Peau concealer, which she calls “liquid gold,” Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara and BrowFood.

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Marisa Tomei Knows What She’s Worth

Marisa Tomei is in her early 50s: I have to keep telling myself that as we speak. She exudes warmth and health, along with an ageless quality that makes her seem simultaneously stylish, sexy, and cute — not an easy combination to pull off, and one I’ve come to appreciate even more with age. For a generation of wiseass Brooklyn brunettes like myself, Tomei was a Hollywood anomaly, the rare breakthrough character actor who didn’t apologize for or abandon her New Yorkiness. And like many in her Gen-X cohort, she almost seems to thrive on being underestimated. After her 1993 Oscar for My Cousin Vinny became the object of controversy (a now-debunked rumor held that it had been awarded by mistake), Tomei went on to earn two more Oscar nominations, for In the Bedroom in 2002 and The Wrestler in 2009.

She’s had more than 80 credited roles in film, television, and theater; and like anybody who’s stayed steadily employed in show business for as long as she has, Tomei has industry secrets and crazy beauty routines, of course, but also wells of stamina. She works all the time, turning up in projects as varied as Spider-Man and The Handmaid’s Tale. This year she’s in two summer movies, The First Purge and Behold My Heart, and she’s about to start filming a movie with Isabelle Huppert. She’s also just sold a show in which she’ll play a “death doula,” a role she created with the playwright Amy Herzog, and which Plan B has just signed on to produce. “The character is flailing about in life trying to find her purpose, and lo and behold it’s to help people die,” Tomei says, pausing to laugh before continuing. “She’s able to zoom out and have a bird’s-eye view on this situation where things are ironic or very funny, as well as very moving.”

Funny and moving are right in Tomei’s wheelhouse. She laughs all the time, not because things are great, but precisely because they aren’t. As we spoke, I found myself wondering how many times over the years she’s used that laughter as a conversational peace offering — inviting people in, but also letting it surround her, like a force field.

Stella: I don’t want to talk about food, or what you’re wearing, or your beauty routine just yet — even though your hair is amazing and we’ll get to that in a minute. I want to go straight to the patriarchy.
Marisa: Oh my God, these are scary times!

They are! But there’s been some good changes to come out of it all.
Yes! One of the best things about this moment is that actresses are talking to each other. We’re so alone most of the time on a set — I cannot even tell you, with every cell of my body, how wonderful it is to be in communication with people I’ve admired all these years but never had a chance to get into this kind of stuff with. Just today I was able to reach out to someone to ask her advice about a negotiation. I never would have done that before!

Céline cotton top, $1,450, and wool garbardine skirt at 870 Madison Ave. Sergio Rossi heels, $650 at Sergio Rossi.Michael Kors Collection patent coat, $3,995 at Michael Kors.

Was there shame about talking to each other because you might discover that you were being treated worse than someone else?
Yeah. No one really wants to talk about money, it’s very taboo and you’ve got to respect those privacy lines.

Do you think that sex scandals and money scandals are tied together, in the sense that nobody wanted to air any of the dirtiness?
Yes. Both things are telling you that you’re not worth very much — that you’re disposable.

Why do you think the entertainment industry treats women like that?
Well, it’s probably economics. You’re gonna pay people who are just starting out a lot less, so try to get rid of the people who’ve been around and replace them with a cheaper, fresh face that probably saves time in make up . But also, when you’re older, you have more opinions. You’re more able to to speak up. You have experience and the experience does count for something — you’re worth something and you want to have a conversation about things, and it’s probably just a headache for some people.

So you think it has more to do with economics than anything else?
No, no, no. I think it has to do with internalized misogyny! More than anything else. But I’m trying to break it down to what could maaaaybe be the justification, like, “Oh, it makes sense on paper.” But no, I think it’s absolutely just internalized misogyny. But even now, speaking to you about this, I feel vulnerable.

Vulnerable like if someone reads this they will think you’ve said too much? Stepped over a line?
I have all of these little negative voices, doubts, and it makes it — it’s my internalized misogyny — like, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Let’s talk about some of the work you’ve done. You’ve made a career of playing strong supporting roles that could have been main roles if a different person was writing, or if there were more of an emphasis on women’s stories.
Well, I never intended to get into only supporting roles … that wasn’t really my goal. My feeling was, all roles are great and it’s just what you want to do with it and whether you want to be part of a certain project or you feel like this would be a fun character to try on. Usually the “wing man” has a lot more interest, is funnier, has a lot more character. I want to know that person’s life and their insides.

What do you look for in a role?
Usually what the whole piece is talking about. Do I want to be part of The Handmaid’s Tale, for example — what’s the discussion around it? I’m still looking for those Barbara Stanwyck roles, which are very rare. I think it’s great that a lot of women are starting to create their own production companies and creating roles for themselves and for other women. I’m taking a swing at that now. We’ll see how that pans out.

Was that something you thought you might ever do or was this something that came up post-Weinstein?
It doesn’t have to do with Weinstein; it has to do with the business in general and what kind of material there is. Right after the Harvey stuff broke, I went to work with a male producer and I felt, actually, like my whole body relaxed because we joked about it. We were both like, “Oh, we’re not going to have to flirt.” Either of us. Of course it’s fun to flirt sometimes, but it’s not the thing we have to lead with.

And it would have been before?
Yeah! I realized — and again, this is my internalized stuff — that I would go to the set and it might have taken a really long time to dance around and see where this person’s ego was. I didn’t know him, so I’d kind of suss it out before jumping in.

Did you and this person acknowledge this new shift or leave it unspoken?
We acknowledged it right away! We laughed about it.

Was this role particularly sexual?
No! Not at all.

Was this the first time in your life that you’ve had that experience?
No, it was just that it was so palpable. It made me able to check in on myself — like, OH MY GOSH, I’ve been carrying all this tension all these years! And not just first-day jitters, it was a litany of specific things, specific female things that I was carrying.

Balenciaga wool sweater, $1,790 at 148 Mercer St.Valentino dress, $9,600 at 693 Fifth Ave. Sergio Rossi heels, $650 at Sergio Rossi.

Can we talk about your role in The Wrestler? I read that Darren Aronofsky told you he saw parallels between Mickey Rourke’s character, who’s a wrestler, and yours, who’s a stripper, in that they were both forced out of their jobs —
Due to their bodies.

Yes. And you had said, at the time, “That’s an actor’s story.”
Yeah.

And yet that was like ten years ago, and here you are, still making work. Do you revise that thought? Have you overcome that?
I think it was different at that time. I feel differently now. I think that the consciousness has changed. It might take time for all the people who are being hired at the agencies, at the studios, who are being given female directors and for their work to make it out into the culture and for people to be mentored … but I see it happening.

How do you think being from New York helped you navigate Hollywood?
It didn’t! Well … maybe in terms of the subject of harassment … because when anything occurred in an overt way, hands on a shoulder or a leg or in the back of a car … I was always, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Just very … New York.

Like a real Brooklyn “Ged-the-fuh-off-uh-me.”
Just a “broad.” A straight-up broad’s reaction. But the subtle things were really taxing. Thinking about things like, Is he really saying what he means? I remember when I first started auditioning I had these Betsey Johnson flower pants. And every time I wore them I got a job and I thought, Oh my God, they’re my lucky pants! And I look back and now I’m like, no, they were just tight and my ass looked good in them, I suppose. I was naïve. I wasn’t really a wise Brooklyn kid, in terms of Hollywood.

What were you thinking when the Harvey story broke? How did you hear about it?
I knew that it was coming, but not to the degree that it was coming. I had been interviewed for it because I had worked with Harvey when I was 21, and someone had seen me crying on the set. Word got back to the reporters, and they thought maybe they should talk to me.

You weren’t named in that article, though.
No, because I just told them, “I probably cried every day when I was 21.” I am sure it was just something else. But I did call some of my longtime girlfriends to ask, “Did something happen that I am actually not remembering right now?” Because I know I would have told them. And nothing overt did.

Did a lot of people ask you about it afterward? Like, if it happened to you? Was that one of the first conversations people wanted to have with you?
Yeah. But I was surprised because I thought people would be pretty concerned for me , but they weren’t. I’d have to bring it up and they’d be like, “Oh no, I figured you could take care of yourself.” It actually showed me something about myself, because that is not how I was feeling inside. I certainly was young — I needed help and I needed guidance and I was super vulnerable. But I guess I didn’t really seem that way. And I had to really own that, part of that’s true. I can take care of myself even though I can identify with these raw feelings.

Are you in therapy?
I’m not in therapy. Except for this right now with you .

Can we talk about your hair? Why don’t you have a hair contract?
Yeah, why don’t I? I’ve only come to terms with my hair recently. I’ve always felt like it was just too much for me. It’s kind of like “babe” hair, and I was like, I’m just not a babe, I can’t work with this. I put olive oil in it to keep it healthy.

Olive oil? This is a very good secret.
Once a month I put it on — not exactly at the root, because it’s hard to get out when it’s really close to the root — and then shampoo it without wetting it; otherwise it’s really hard to get it out.

Any particular olive oil? Does it have to be organic?
I use organic — just because that’s what’s in my house. There’s no particular brand. You don’t have to use the extra virgin either. Scalp massages are really good too, if you can convince anyone to give you them.

I need to work on that.

Marissa Tomei Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Marisa Tomei is timeless — just as charming and talented as when she lit up the scene following the success of her first major role in My Cousin Vinny. Twenty-five years have past, yet the actress still looks as fresh as ever — and now she’s sharing her secrets!

Tomei revealed in an interview with Vogue just how she stays fresh and keeps healthy. First and foremost, the Crazy, Stupid, Love actress relies on healthy eating to keep herself looking great because it’s “an inside-out thing.” Tomei explained, “What I eat and how I connect with my body, feed my external … In terms of brass tacks, I try to eat seasonal, local, and organic foods as much as possible, almost all the time. Moving meditation, like dance meditation, makes me feel at home in my skin; it helps me on a spiritual, mental, and, ultimately, physical level.” Though she relies on exercise, the Wrestler star says the cornerstone of her beauty routine starts internally.

As for her beauty tricks, Tomei explained that she’s into infrared saunas for detoxing. “ It heats up the body from the inside out, so I get a lot of energy afterward and I feel so light.” she said.

The Academy Award nominee revealed that she uses Persephenie moisturizer and serum to keep her skin glowing, but relies on the cleansing classic, Cetaphil, to wash her face. Another Tomei beauty secret? Dry brushing. The Spiderman: Homecoming actress said that she uses a dry round brush on her skin before she showers, brushing lightly in the direction of her heart because it “keeps your lymph glands moving and makes your skin smooth on your body.”

While the actress says that her look is all about her skin, when she does use beauty products, she reaches for Clé de Peau concealer, which she calls “liquid gold,” Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara and BrowFood.

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei is an incredibly talented actress famed for flawlessly portraying the May Parker character in various Marvel comic movies.

Early Accomplishments

Marisa’s acting career was launched in the early 80’s as she was cast as a series regular in the soap opera, As The World Turns. Not long after, she branched into the movie industry featuring the comedy film The Flamingo Kid.

Best Known For

She experienced the first peak of her career in 1992 as she played the Mona Lisa character in the movie My Cousin Vinny. This role eventually earned her an Academy Award.

Sexual Orientation

Marisa is straight. Upholding her reputation for dating famous celebrities, she began dating the actor Josh Radnor in 2014. Though the timeline of their relationship is unknown, they are no longer together.

Previously, she had been romantically linked with Frank Pugliese, Robert Downey Jr., Nicholas Carpenter, Dana Ashbrook and Logan Marshall-Green.

Family

Her parents are Adelaide and Gary Tomei.

She is the first child and has a brother named Adam who is also in the entertainment industry.

Religion

When it comes to her religious beliefs Marisa prefers to be rather discreet, therefore, it is difficult to determine what religious association she has had any connections with. Still some sources say that she was raised as Catholic.

Worth To Know

Before her acting career kicked off, she used to be a waitress at Tony Ramos.

She used to live with the famous actress Lisa Bonet.

She has done a bit of voice acting as she was the voice of Bree in the 2002 animation The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

She got an Oscar for her role in 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny.

Actress Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Patricia Addie Tomei and Gary A. Tomei. She has a younger brother, actor Adam Tomei. She belongs to Italian descent. In a career spanning three decades, Tomei had initial success in films as a young actress, followed by a series of unsuccessful films, then a resurgence with a series of critically acclaimed films. She has a perfect body which measures breast 34, waist 25 and hip 35. She has a height of 5 feet and 4½ inches which is around 164 cm.

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei Personal Details:
Date Of Birth: 4 December 1964
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Birth Name: Marisa Tomei
Nick Name: Marisa
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
Occupation: Actress
Nationality: American
Race/Ethnicity: White
Religion: Christian
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Dark Brown

Marisa Tomei Family Details:
Father: Gary A. Tomei (Lawyer)
Mother: Patricia Addie Tomei (English teacher)
Spouse: Not Yet
Children: Not Yet
Siblings: Adam Tomei (Brother)

Marisa Tomei Partner:
Logan Marshall-Green (2008-2013)

Marisa Tomei Education:
Edward R. Murrow High School (1982)
New York University
Boston University
*She attended Boston University.
*She attended and graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York. Her brother, Adam Tomei, and Darren Aronofsky also attended this high school.

Marisa Tomei TV shows:
A Different World
Seinfeld
Game Over
Leg Work

Marisa Tomei Facts:
*She is of Italian descent.
*Older sister of actor Adam Tomei.
*She has a tattoo of the Egyptian Eye of Ra on her right foot.
*She has dual citizenship between United States and Italy.
*One of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People 2009.
*She was born on the same day as Chelsea Noble.
*Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Is Marisa Tomei LGBTQ? Updated on: 24th December, 2018, 1:18 AM

Who is Marisa Tomei?

Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomie is a famous actress who is known for appearing in several movies and TV shows. She has portrayed in different well-known movies like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain America, Love the Coopers to name a few. She also has been awarded many awards for her role in different movies.

Marisa Tomei: Birthday, Family, Facts

Famous actress Marisa Tomei celebrates her birthday on every 4TH December. She was born in the year 1964. She was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was born to an Italian family. Her father Gary A. Tomei was a Trial lawyer and mother Patricia Adelaide “Addie” Tomei was an English teacher. Her birth sign is Sagittarius.

Marisa went to Andries Hudde Junior High School for her schooling. Then in 1982, she completed her graduation from the Edward R. Murrow High School from Brooklyn, New York. She then attended Boston University, Massachusetts from 1982 to 1983. Later, she dropped out to pursue debut acting with the CBS television series “As the World Turns.”

Early Profession and Career

Marisa started her career as an actress since 1983. She debuted with the television series “As the World Turns” where she acted till 1985. She went to play big screen movies in 1984. She acted as Mandy in the film ‘The Flamingo Kid.’

After a couple of movies in the 90s, she did the comic role of Mona Lisa Vito in the 1992 film ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ She earned worldwide recognition and positive views for her character and won the Academy Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1993.

Her successful movies are 2001 film ‘In The Bedroom,’ ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead‘ in 2007, ‘The Wrestler‘ in 2008’, ‘Cyrus‘ in 2010 and ‘Love is Strange‘ in 2014. She got selected for the ‘Academy Award’ for her role for the movie ‘In The Bedroom.’ While enjoying her career as an actress, she did the role of Angie Gavin in the 2006 TV series ‘Rescue Me‘ for four scenes and got the ‘Gracie Allen Award.’

She was recognized from the role of a stripper Cassidy/Pam in the 2008 film ‘The Wrestler‘ that got her ‘Academy Awards,’ ‘Brilliant Globe’ and ‘BAFTA’ nomination. The film got her few critics’ awards including that of ‘Detroit Film Critics Society,’ ‘Florida Film Critics Circle,’ ‘Online Film Critics Society’ and ‘San Francisco Film Critics Circle’ among others.

Marisa Tomei: Net Worth and Salary

Marisa has a total net worth of $20 million which she earns from her entertainment career.

Marisa Tomei: Dating, Boyfriend, Affairs

Regarding her personal life, Marisa current status is single. Fifty-Four years old actress is still single. It seems that she hasn’t found anyone who she can shares her emotion and live a happy life with.

Furthermore, it also may be possible that she is keeping her daily life away with other people and focusing in her professional people.

Height, Weight, Body Measurements

She stands tall at with the height of 5 feet 5 inches. She weighs about 55 kilograms. She has her hair colored with dark brown and has light brown eyes.

Social Media Profiles

Marisa has 500k followers on her Instagram, 95k followers on Twitter and 321k followers on her Facebook.

Education Dramaturg Ted Sod spoke with Marisa Tomei about her work on The Rose Tattoo.

Ted Sod: Where were you born and educated, and where did you get your training as an actor?

Marisa Tomei: I was born in Brooklyn. My training is an ongoing process learning from many different teachers and different sources: literature, feminist studies, spiritual texts, inspired by Carol Burnett, Giuletta Mesina, and many others. More in the vein of traditional acting: Fred Kareman, Nancy Donahue, Natsuko Ohama, Joan Lader. As well as my Aunt Eileen Delgado and Fred Albee, who taught me to tap dance.

I have studied with Kate McGregor-Stuart for most of my life. I met her when I was in my early twenties, and we’ve had a life long relationship of pondering plays and movie scripts and laughing and learning together.

Marisa Tomei and Carolyn Mignini

Daniel Rader

TS: Why did you choose to do this role? Why do you feel it is important to do this play now?

MT: Tennessee Williams wrote this when he was very much in love with his longtime companion Frank Merlo. It’s a real journey of rebirth, about pure joy, ecstasy, the Dionysian spirit, and the human heart bursting open. I think it’s important to do this play now because the play’s mysticism and poetry are extremely uplifting, especially in the context of the intense grief in our world right now.

Also, I’m a quarter Sicilian, yet that part wasn’t really paid attention to in my family. It was certainly not honored; it was a bit degraded. Through this play, I reclaimed Sicily and a part of my mother’s lineage. Great roles bring so many things to your life that you were never expecting.

The “Infiorata” in Noto, Sicily is a festival of flowers celebrated at the end of the Easter season

Stefano Mortellaro

TS: What research did you do in order to play Serafina?

MT: The name Serafina means “fiery one.” She is a character who is re-experiencing joy through laughter and eroticism, getting out of the depths of her grief and the betrayal she experiences.

Joan Marcus

I studied Southern Italian song, dance, history, and Healing Ways, as well as the Black Madonna Herself. I am diving into the feelings of what it means to emigrate. Serafina is a self-made woman supporting herself and her daughter. She’s been ostracized and degraded.

There’s a too-long tradition of women being repressed by the culture and the church, and one of the ways they found to come back to life was through song and movement. Tarantella is a “Spider Dance.” The Dance was a mini-exorcism for women to come back to their life force and unleash their repressed sexual energy. Serafina taps into that energy.

The Dance of the “Tarantella”, dating from 1840 – 1848

New York Public Library

TS: What is your understanding of the relationship between Serafina and her daughter Rosa?

MT: Serafina probably met her husband and immigrated to America when she was very young, around her daughter’s age now, and her daughter is coming into her own raw sensuality. There’s resistance and transference that is enraging Serafina, but at the same time, she understands. Her heart is so soft. Serafina has so many opinions and she is fierce. She really melts when love is brought into the conversation.

Also, there’s a disconnect because her daughter is first-generation Sicilian-American. All the rules that Serafina grew up with, which are very strict regarding how women are to behave in relation to men and what their place is in society, are absolutely up for grabs now. I don’t think she was expecting that her core customs were going to be shaken by her own daughter.

TS: What do you look for from a director when you are working on a role like this?

MT: A sense of play and humor in the rehearsal room throughout the process is paramount. I look for a collaborative spirit, a director who creates a safe space where actors can make mistakes and surprise one another. I look for someone who is not solely intellectual; someone who respects the instincts that the body brings forth. Trip is a joy to work with. He has a great laugh and unending passion for the project.

View this post on Instagram

In final rehearsal with director Trip Cullman

A post shared by Marisa Tomei (@marisatomei) on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:17pm PDT

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Marisa tomei see through

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