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Riccardo Frascari, the Italian of the Latin boom: from working in a cinema to taking over the screen

It’s like a Marty McFly Centennial. An inadvertent version of Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. A boy from 1957 who now travels to 1987, provokes temporal paradoxes and runs the risk of disintegrating. The Italian behind these crossings of dimension is Riccardo Frascari, alias JJ, a Bolognese who one day recorded himself with his cell phone, pressed “send” and ended up being a boom in another hemisphere.

Son of an orthodontist, He worked in a movie theater but ended up trading the pop machine for acting. He did not imagine that Latin American child-youth phenomenon that started him from Bologna and has him living for a few months in Miami. Protagonist of Club 57, the series with Evaluna Montaner that they emit Nickelodeon and Telefe, he studied Spanish in speed and began to examine three men with a magnifying glass who helped him compose his vintage ragazzo: Elvis Presley, James Dean and Danny Zuko (John Travolta in Grease).

The story reminiscent of Back to the Future it does not incorporate a DeLorean vehicle as a time machine. Hardly an old tube television is enough for Eva (Ricardo Montaner’s daughter) to de-calibrate everything by getting into another decade and falling in love with JJ Fontana. The great setback: the time-space lines and the molecules of the human body can be altered until causing a world-wide chaos. In the middle, Riccardo sings and dances in fifties attire.

The time travel boy. Riccardo Frascari.

He was born on September 9, 1997. His hometown, 15 minutes from the center of Bologna, is framed by countryside, mountains and forest. In that geography it was his grandfather Franco, an amateur opera singer, who inspired him to the artistic path and to perfect himself in guitar in a house where his father and brother followed the path of dentistry.

His film debut occurred at the age of 18, directly with a leading man. Italian director Germano Maccioni started a project and decided to search high schools for non-professional actors. Thus, he came to Riccardo’s school, the Istituto Tecnico Commerciale Gaetano Salvemini. Five weeks of school was enough to keep an eye on Frascari and a dozen other students. After several auditions, he was chosen to Asteroids, a film about three teenagers disengaged in the middle of a crisis. The 2016 drama led to it being applauded at the Locarno Film Festival.

Riccardo Frascari of "Club 57"

Riccardo Frascari of “Club 57”

With the happiness of his first 1,500 euros earned, which were invested in a PlayStation 4, the next step was to try some commercials of tomato sauce and banks. Meanwhile, he made a living in a movie theater. “I made popcorn, cleaned the rooms, worked in the kitchen of the complex,” he laughs. “One morning I wake up and find an email from my agent who tells me about a casting. They were looking for an Italian actor who could sing, dance and speak Spanish. I had studied Spanish for two years at school, but I hardly spoke it. I sent the presentation video, which I recorded with a cell phone at home, and after four or five days they asked me to see myself playing and singing. “

With the theme Auga, from Jarabe de Palo, Riccardo moved the producers. A new request arrived for him to dress as if he had come out of the 1950s, and immediately, the invitation to travel to Rome. “I got a little scared, I did the casting, I felt that I had done it wrong, and on the train from Bologna to Rome I called my mother to tell her that I had missed an opportunity “.

Riccardo Frascari (Instagram)

Riccardo Frascari (Instagram)

The result was the opposite of what was imagined. With the role won, he had to learn Spanish in intensive classes with a Colombian teacher. Manu Chao’s songs collaborated. Today – because of his accent – he could disguise himself as a Mexican neutral specialist.

He spent nights reading historical context for the Viacom CBS International Studios-produced adventure that has now premiered season two. “I studied the manners of the 1957 boys, how they walked, how they behaved with the girls. I went looking for the colors. I feel that the eighties that the series now deals with are simpler, because we are closer temporarily.”

Riccardo Frascari and his girlfriend, actress Ángela Rincón (Instagram).

Riccardo Frascari and his girlfriend, actress Ángela Rincón (Instagram).

Neither Europe nor Latin America. His life seems to continue in the United States. He still has a tourist visa, but he plans a residence in Los Angeles, closer to the Hollywood Mecca than to Cinecittà.

The first time he visited Argentina, briefly in 2019, he knew little about these latitudes: his only reference was Astor Piazzolla. At first glance, he did not like the payments. He briefly disembarked with the cast of Club 57, saw the weather “too gray”, but there was revenge seven months later, when it was his turn to act in the Great Rex. “I stayed a month and ended up loving Buenos Aires. I also visited Iguazu Falls and was shocked by so much beauty. Next I plan to rent a motorcycle and tour Patagonia.”

Eva Luna Montaner and Riccardo Frascari, from Club 57

Eva Luna Montaner and Riccardo Frascari, from Club 57

His environment does not understand him in the strange rite he adopted after that Buenos Aires stay: fattening and sharing a mate. “Every two weeks I prepare one”, he warns from the heat of Florida, where he enjoys with his girlfriend, the Venezuelan-American actress Ángela Rincón (also from Club 57).

At 23, the Kids Choice Award nominee for “Favorite Actor” feels “a boy of ancient tastes”. He loves Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese and dreams of being Napoleon or Einstein in his next fictions. Nothing rushes it. “What I miss most about the cinema where I worked are the free tickets and the discount at Popcorn,” he jokes away from that little room where he didn’t even dream of being the center of a record. Only the video clip of Time runs backwards has over 15 million views on YouTube. The clock is in your favor.

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