Interview with Daniela Rambaldi, vice president of Carlo Rambaldi Foundation, on the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to the “creatures” of Carlo Rambaldi at Romics.
Romics presents a special exhibition dedicated to the three films which earned to your father the Oscars: E.T, Alien and King Kong. How important are events such as these for the memory of your father?
Every situation that is offered to me is an important opportunity to divulge the Foundation and promote the Museum, every event is an important step for the knowledge of my father’s work.
Among the ‘’creatures’’ born from the creativity of your father, which one are you mainly attached to?
Definetly E.T., I was 12 and I saw it come to life; can see it in the spotlight after 35 years is truly exciting.
How was E.T. born?
My father did not receive any indications from Spielberg, he was only told it needed to be ugly, but it would have to deal with children, and therefore it should have an innocent expression and it had to infuse a noble soul.
At that time we had an himalayan cat, which is a very specific race and one day my father asked me: “How would you describe these eyes?”. Cats usually have enlonged eyes , I answered “Big, pale blue and round”, tender eyes, different from those that the cats usually have. From this my father acquired his first idea. Then following the indications, E.T. had to interact with three kids including a small girl and a tall boy. For this reason he thought to an extendible neck, in order that he could talk and interact with all the kids at the same level. This is because when you talk to a child and you bend over to “be at his same eye height” he trusts you. Instead for the protuberance on the forehead my father was inspired by a painting made by himself “Le donne del delta del Po”.
How was the collaboration with Steven Spielberg born?
E.T is the second film my father has ‘’saved’’ for Spielberg. I say this because it is the second film he has worked on with the american director, the first was “Close encounters of the third kind”. Spielberg called my father at midnight asking him for help. He went over budget and each day of production were expensive. At this point my father after reading the screenplay requested a six-months period of work. Spielberg granted him only three months. He worked day and night, because each day of delay would have activated a penalty.
What is the role of Carlo Rambaldi Foundation and Museum of which you are vice-president?
The Foundation gathers memorabilia and preserves the work of Carlo Rambaldi. It is also involved in the training of future professionals in this field. The project also includes a Cinema Academy. The Museum will exhibit several artifacts from the films in which my father has worked: we will inaugurate it by the end of the year.
Another further aspect of the Foundation is the charity and I personally take care of this activity: I organize charity events and make use of my father’s creations for drawing attention. The proceeds are spent to acquire goods which will be donated to specific institutions. Recently, for example, we acquired recliners, headboards and materials for the playful room of a pediatric hospital in Calabria.