A Day In The Life Of: Caterina Murino
As a former Bond Girl, Caterina Murino is no stranger to the global stage. Her breakout role in ‘Casino Royale’ alongside Daniel Craig, saw her travelling around the world to promote the film in an international career that hasn’t stopped since. But when we talk it’s her passion for her home country of Sardinia that keeps her grounded. We talk to the actress on keeping positive in a challenging environment, plus how her latest venture ‘Caterina Murino Jewellery’ is working to save Sardinia’s jewellery heritage…
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER?
As you know I’m an actress, since 2000 so in London and the UK and I used to work everywhere. I’m very lucky, this job is not just about acting it’s up and down and sometimes it can be great and then bad, but I think that the biggest present that this kind of life and work can give to you is to travel. This is what I’ve learnt thanks to Bond, Casino Royale gave me the chance to be part of one of the biggest franchises in history, but it also gave me the chance to be known all over the world. I did all the press from New York to Sydney and I crossed over all the different cultures.
Thanks to Bond I’m still working in China, in India – when it’s a real local production you’re part of that and they try to show you the best part of themselves through local ways. I’ve worked in Argentina a few times in BA and last November I was out in China. Of course, I’m still acting, and I just finished three months of theatre in Italy and I’m shooting another film in Italy, and then I’m doing a big French series until January and then in January we start the theatre run again…!
One year I did just the Chinese movie and then the play and then everything’s up in the air again. Your normal life is destroyed because you must go everywhere and then you get your normal life back again – I don’t live a boring life!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO JEWELLERY DESIGN?
A few years ago, about January 2017 everything started because a few years ago I studied gemmology in Paris. I’m from Sardinia, we have our own way to work with gold. It’s called ‘filaggrin’ or filigree, which is an ancient tradition from hundreds of years ago that came from the Arabs, Jews and Venetians that came to Sardinia. During my trips back I talked with one of the sons of the artisans who is using this technique. And this guy was around my age, telling me that 10 years ago he wasn’t taking the work of his father because his work didn’t have a future. We live particularly off tourism – 4 months of the year – and there wasn’t enough work to live from. 20 years ago, we had 400 artisans working this technique, and now we have just 15. In that moment when that guy told me that, I said ok you are one of the 15 if one of you is not keeping it going, it will be one less and then in 8 years this technique will be gone forever.
So, in September 2016 someone proposed me to make an exhibition in Paris with my jewellery, I had just a few pieces and then in 4 months I started to produce all these pieces and that was the beginning of Caterina Murino jewellery starting in 2017. And that’s my second job! Its growing quickly and many people are asking about it so it’s going well, I have to say.
DO YOUR TRAVELS INSPIRE YOUR DESIGNS?
I was very curious as a huge jewellery addict, I lived in China for a long time with my ex-boyfriend and he was working all the time and I had a lot of spare time, so I used to go around hunting for jewellery – I’m very lucky in that I don’t think too much about clothes as I’m the lucky girl who gets to be dressed by Dolce & Gabbana and I’m not that into shoes, but jewellery is my thing. I was always thinking about the gold! To see a new jewellery designer to try and understand which jewellery works in each country of the world, and this was always my goal when I was going to look at pieces. How can I work filigree but in a modern way? Today I am trying to get inspiration and transform that in filigree. Everything that I create is always made of filigree by 3 of my artisans or is inspired by Sardinia. So, I read a lot of books and go there and see how the nature and the people of Sardinia inspires me.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
When I live here in my apartment, 3 days I go to run at 7.30am in the morning with my neighbours, we run up to Montmartre. Afterwards I might be preparing a role with my coach on Skype or I go and have coffee meetings with people around Paris for movies or just for the jewellery brand. I really must find a good time for both jobs! Around 5 or 6 I must think what to cook for my boyfriend. So, I could say that was a typical day. I have to say he’s a very good chef but he’s a lawyer and he comes home late, but Saturday or Sunday morning the kitchen is his! He loves to cook breakfasts and brunches.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
The jewellery thing is quite new so it’s more exciting – my dream was to be a pediatrician, but life gave me different signals. I heard them I saw them, and I didn’t push back. I tried to understand that life was pushing me in a different direction. Jewellery was the same thing, I had so many bells and little signs that kept pointing me towards it. Two weeks ago, I met a photographer at a birthday party of a friend of mine and he said he wanted to do pictures of me, and he said his grandfather came from Sardinia and so this guy was interested in my jewellery line. So, we did it about ten days ago and now they’re in Vogue (pictured above.)
So, everything happens for a reason. And life points you in the direction you need to be going in. it’s quite funny how things work out. I believe that we must be awake and aware of the signals to understand and make ourselves listen. I’m a very huge character and I decide everything, but life is stronger than me and I must listen to her. I love life! The funny thing is that my boyfriend’s dream was to be a pediatrician too so anyway, in another life we would have met each other at a doctor’s conference or something!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE AS A JEWELLRY DESIGNER AND ACTRESS?
The people around me love what I do because my brand has a history, a story. They always say the “cohérence” of my brand has meaning and that’s what I love about it. That’s what we need today, something that is not just gold, but authenticity is important – jewellery lives forever. There’s memories of the moment you bought it, there’s an energy in this jewellery that you give to your daughter and she can give to her daughter.
In terms of acting I believe it’s the same thing. Its patience, it’s huge patience that comes from inside us as it can be very up and down. In the down period you really see how strong you are, and this career is not very nice it’s very tough. And when you are in the bigger period don’t lose your head. Remember to say hello to all the people as you go up the steps, because you’ll cross again the same people when you go down the steps. Whatever happens to you, stay with your feet on the ground – when you go so high and you fall off if you’re already on the ground it won’t kill you!
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Humanity is very important to me, and I love to take the metro and bus and go through the people and this helps me to transform my characters from paper in to real life. You must absorb the energy from all over the world and all different social levels. And I take inspiration from the energy of Sardinia, from the sun the colours and the myths and legends – we’re very famous for our legends.
Look to Caterina Murino’s jewellery collection, including her latest design ‘Fili de Vento’ whose proceeds supports the AMREF campaign that she is an ambassador for, helping families in Africa.
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Images: Shutterstock and Caterina Murino Jewellery shot for Vogue Italia by Fabien Dettori