Creatives in Confinement: Beatrice Grannò
Words Britta Burger Photography Beatrice Grannò
In this new series, ALSO talks to creative women around the world during the current COVID-19 global pandemic on how their output has changed, coping strategies for isolation and their hopes for the future.
Beatrice Grannò is an Italian actress who has starred in several TV series and a number of film productions. After graduating from acting school in the UK and performing at The Edinburgh Fringe, Beatrice, who is also a classically trained pianist and singer-songwriter, returned to her native Italy. She is currently quarantined with her boyfriend in her house in Rome.
Beatrice in her home in Rome, Italy.
What’s happening in Rome right now, what’s it like for you?
It’s a very strange time, our generation has never experienced anything like this. If you go out and you don’t have certification and you’re not going anywhere in particular you can get fined and you can go to prison, it’s very strict. There is also no work. I was about to start filming a series, but everything is frozen. I had two movies coming out in the cinema, but the cinemas are closed and everything got postponed.
Is there creativity in quarantine?
It’s hard because for me as an actress the house, my home, always used to be a place of rest. Work is outside. I work a lot and then I go home and want to sleep and watch TV, maybe sometimes I play the piano and write some music. So finding myself in the house, it was really hard to get my brain thinking. You feel you have all this time, you feel the pressure that you should be doing something.
And there are quite a few creatives who seem pretty productive and share it on all their social media platforms…
In the first phase at home you want to create something but this problem is so big outside that other things don’t feel important. What are you supposed to talk about while people are dying outside?
I like writing music so I went through my old songs and many of them actually seemed to be about this specific time of isolation. In the next episode of a TV series I’m in there will be a song I wrote, Mani Calme, which means calm hands. I wrote it a last year and it’s about wanting to find connection with somebody, and about wanting to go out and be calm and happy about touching hands.
So your metaphor or your feeling became concrete reality.
It’s something our generation lives every day, with social media, feeling disconnected, feeling alienated.
Do you think the younger generation finds it easier to stay in isolation because of that?
We tolerate it somehow. My parents are freaking out more. I told my mum that this time could be useful because you are forced to deal with your problems if you’re stuck in your house. But she feels this is too dangerous and people might just go crazy. Many of my friends are taking it really well. They’re saying they needed a break and the feeling they were in the same position as everyone else. Sometimes you feel that life is a race.
“Finding myself in the house, it was really hard to get my brain thinking. You feel you have all this time, you feel the pressure that you should be doing something.”
So it’s a break from having to compete?
Yes, but now we have a massive campaign about staying home, and it’s funny because we’re slowly starting to compete about staying home. But it’s still better than before. I just tried to change everything around, I cleaned the house, lit candles, burnt incense and made my house a temple.
As soon as the quarantines started I was spammed with ads for candle holders and vases. Businesses are clearly trying to survive.
There are so many bars and places that are probably going to be closed. Before quarantine I was talking to the lady who runs the bar just next to my house and she was very scared, she might not be able to go on.
What’s your take on the impact of all this on the economy?
The economy will suffer dramatically, and then in order to make it start again, everything is going to happen so fast, faster than before. I worry about climate change. Now everything has slowed down, the air is very clean, every time I open the window it smells like the countryside. My fear is that when quarantine is over and we are safe hopefully, everything will speed up so much that the situation will be worse than before.
What will happen after all this for you?
As an actress you don’t always have work, but it was a very good time for me. I was involved in an Italian Netflix series, we don’t know if it’s going to happen or not now, but we’ll see. I’m also lucky because all we have at this time is art, music, TV, films. I will hopefully be able to create something out of this, it’s my job.