Striano, Salvatore


Salvatore Striano, born in 1972, has been many things. Born and raised in the heart of Naples, in one of the districts most closely controlled by organized crime, by the age of seven he was selling cigarettes in the lanes of the Spanish quarters. At the age of nine he stole lipstick and mascara in shopping centres and sold them to prostitutes, to whom he would lead the American soldiers who had just disembarked in the harbour. At fourteen he was selling cocaine and became one of the most charismatic figures of the Teste matte (the story he has told in the novel Teste matte, co-written with Guido Lombardi and published by Chiarelettere in 2014). Then came his flight from justice and his attempt to hide in Spain, his arrest, imprisonment, first in Madrid and then in Rebibbia, where he met a master, Fabio Cavalli, who led him to discover literature, Shakespeare and the theatre. Since then, having finally regained his freedom, he has played a Camorrista for Matteo Garrone (in Gomorra), a robber for Guido Lombardi (in Take Five) and many other characters, in the cinema and on TV. In 2012 came the ultimate triumph, with the film Cesare deve morire, based on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival). As in the little theatre of Rebibbia prison, once again Shakespeare has given a new direction to his life.