If you want to know what a star is made of, let go of the hired experts in trends and divism, and go one evening to El Landó, a restaurant in Madrid.
The owner Ángel González hung something like five hundred framed photographs on the walls with as many famous people, from the King of Spain to the Kings of Hollywood. It's a selfie sample from before they invented the selfie.
I was there for dinner with Madalina Ghenea, in the city to shoot an advertising campaign. After walking around our table for a while, Ángel González came to me with the air of someone who knows his stuff and whispered to me: "La señorita con lei is an actress, isn't it?"
To my "He has done little for now, but he has just filmed an important film", he ran into the kitchen, took the camera (a series, not the mobile phone) and got himself immortalized with Madalina. Angel has believed in her and the next time I go to eat with him, I already know, I will find her framed between a Tom Cruise and a Kate Winslet.
Paolo Sorrentino also believes in her and has chosen her to be part of the cast of Youth – Youth, in competition at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, a much awaited film (the first after the Oscar for The great beauty) and with high-caliber interpreters: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda. Among them also Madalina, who still does not believe it. "I, born in a small town in Romania where there is only one aluminum factory, I will be on the red carpet in Cannes for a film in competition, I can't believe it!" He says. She tells that Sorrentino called her and called her back for a long series of auditions and, when he finally told her that he had the part, for the first time in her life Madalina burst into tears over good news.
Others followed, of good news. Indeed, later Youth – Youth we will see the Ghenea in a much talked about sequel set in the fashion world of which she, by contract, cannot even say the title (but we can imagine that it is Zoolander 2) and in Condemned To Love, directed by Barry Morrow (Oscar for the screenplay of Rain Man), which will start running in July.
The fact is that the great occasion of Sorrentino's film came in the middle of a very sad period. There were health problems. And there were heart problems: the end of the relationship with actor Michael Fassbender that seemed more stable than ever, complete with ring to the finger, presentations to relatives, plans to start a family. Madalina was so low-key that she even thought of changing her job, returning to Romania and becoming a real estate agent.
Then he changed his mind.
"Thanks to my mother Costanza. It was you who told me: "If you don't seriously try this age, when?" And then, I made a series of decisions. I closed the house in Milan, on my birthday. On 8 August I returned the keys and packed all the things in my life in boxes that I sent to my mother in Romania. And then I found myself an apartment to stay in Los Angeles. I enrolled in acting classes. I don't want to feel guilty anymore because I'm not prepared enough to go to an audition ».
In Sorrentino's film he has a frontal nude. Problems?
"It wasn't easy. I had never undressed like that. Perhaps the closeness with Fassbender, who made more than one in the cinema, inspired me? (Laughs). Seriously, I'm glad to have undressed for such a beautiful movie, but I don't think I'll do it again. I also talked about it with Michael Caine, he says that certain choices make sense only with great directors ".
For a year he has been single, it will be difficult to keep suitors at bay.
"I'm not particularly interested in finding another companion now. I realized that this is the time to concentrate on work. And then, don't believe, it's not like there are all these suitors. In love we are all the same, we all suffer the same way. I, then, am a complicated type, hypercritical towards myself. If something's not right, I always think it's my fault. That's why now I want to dedicate myself to work and not think about anything else ".
Explain yourself better.
"Well, I had two relationships with men more famous than me and I realized that when I'm in love I tend to stand back, to devote too much to my partner and too little to myself. I don't think it was good. "
Why did it end with Gerard Butler? Three years ago he told me that he would love him forever …
"The stories end. With Gerry I remained on excellent terms, he is a friend I can always count on, a good and affectionate man ».
"The conclusion was complicated and painful for reasons I don't feel like talking about."
He will also be in Cannes with a film in competition: Macbeth.
"The famous Scottish drama, it will mean. Does he not know that, in the entertainment world, he is said to bring bad luck? ».
I did not know.
"Me neither. I found out, exactly, when I accompanied Michael on the set to Scotland ».
Are you superstitious?
"Quite a lot of. I'm careful about certain things. And I believe in astrology ".
But not in great love.
"We all want to believe, don't we?" Whether I arrive or not, but I have one dream: to become a mother. A few months ago I am aunt, my brother Alin had a beautiful child, Alexander, and my wish became even stronger. Yes, I want a child, I want it soon and I am willing to adopt it as a single ».