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Culture, Film

What Makes Me: Greta Scacchi

Greta Scacchi

BAFTA-nominated in her first leading role (Heat and Dust, 1983), Greta Scacchi was born in Italy to an English mother and Italian father and later moved first to England and then to Australia after her mother remarried.

She returned to England to train at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Scacchi made her debut in the 1982 German film Das Zweite Gesicht before going on to appear in the films that made her name. She won an Emmy for the role of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna in the television film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and other awards. She played Countess Rostova in the popular BBC adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. She also appears regularly on the stage. Scacchi received Italy’s highest honour, Knight of the Order of Merit, for her services to the arts.

She comes to Oxford for the Literary Festival as part of the event’s Italian day when she will be talking to crime writer and critic Peter Guttridge, a former director of Brighton Literature Festival and founder of Scarborough Book Festival. We wanted to find out…

What Makes Greta...


Meeting up with old friends I haven’t seen for ages and picking up again as if no time had passed.


Losing people I am fond of. Where do they go? I still have imaginary conversations with them and bump into them in my dreams.


Being in the audience of an opening night in the theatre. 


Being in the cast of an opening night in the theatre.


The first signs of seasons changing and the vivid sensations they evoke of nostalgia for the past and hope for the future.


Chatting with friends and fellow actors and realising that I am not alone - most of the things that worry me, dismay me or make me feel insecure (like whether I will ever get another job!) are felt by everyone else too.


That developers are given the greenlight to build more housing estates with endless cul-de-sacs that are designed to rely on cars to get anywhere. No thought for short cuts by foot, integrated public transport systems, community support facilities for all age groups (including schools, infant and old-age care) – let alone recreational facilities. Where are the parks, libraries, swimming pools, tennis courts, cinemas, community halls? And the corner shop? Still, they are not even obliged to incorporate sustainable energy supplies in their designs. It’s crazy!

At One with the World

Swimming in the sea - particularly in New South Wales where the waves toss you aloft and carry you along in their effervescent froth. It feels so energising.

An Audience with Greta Scacchi: Greta Scacchi Interviewed by Peter Guttridge

Friday, 31 March 2023

6:00pm at the Sheldonian Theatre £7 - £12.50


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