TWO FISTS ONE HEART – RAI FAZIO & DANIEL AMALM
IN THE RING WITH YOUR OWN SELF
In the Australian drama, Two Fists One Heart, Rai Fazio and Daniel Amalm play
out a story based on the real life of Rai – but it’s Daniel playing Rai’s
alter-ego, Anthony, an Italian young man whose tough father is pushing him hard
to be a good boxer. And Rai plays Nico – his nemesis, who gets to fight his
on-screen self in the climax. Andrew L. Urban talks to the two young actors
about their roles, their backgrounds and how intense the filmmaking was.
Rai Fazio’s father put his arms around Rai and hugged him after seeing Rai’s
film about their often tumultuous relationship; “That was about the third time
in my life that he hugged me,” says Rai, now reconciled and in a happy
relationship with his father.
When he went home after seeing the film, Rai’s dad looked at his mother with a
smile: “Your son …..he made me look good. I was worse than that.” His dad is 68,
but he’s still down at the gym every day at 5 o’clock.
Rai, who wrote the screenplay, says “it’s about 80% real…” But his own character
of Nico is an amalgam of young men who he had come across while his father
trained them – including a couple from prison.
"the most realistic boxing ever put on screen"
As for the boxing, Rai proudly claims that it’s the most realistic boxing
ever put on screen; “and when I cop it in the big fight, you look closely, I
really cop it.”
While Rai Fazio (pronounced in Sicily roughly as Faccio), is Italian, Daniel,
who plays the Italian character Dino Dibra in three episodes of Underbelly, was
born in Brisbane but is actually Swedish/Maltese. His Maltese mother passed on
her olive skin but the dark hair is from the shared gene pool: in Lapland, where
his father was born, dark hair is not uncommon.
At his audition for the role (after he had submitted a self-screen test) he was
asked to shadow box…and then to take his shirt off, which took him aback but he
complied, and the filmmakers watched him throw a few punches. An occasional
boxer (and bouncer), Daniel won the part for the combination of his boxing and
his acting – both on display in Two Fists One Heart.
He gained a great deal about his character from the script, but he also spent a
week up close and personal with Rai, who gave him plenty of emotive material.
Making the film was “an overwhelming” experience. The big challenge was to make
his character real – and not try to make the audience like him from the start,
and to handle the subtle change.
HOW TO THROW A PUNCH
- by Rai Fazio
Published March 19, 2009
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Rai Fazio & Daniel Amalm
Listen to Andrew’s interview with
RAI FAZIO (9 mins)
Listen to Andrew’s interview with
DANIEL AMALM (9 mins)
TWO FISTS ONE HEART
Written by Rai Fazio
Directed by Shawn Seet
Ever since he was a boy, Anthony Argo (Daniel Amalm) has been pushed to the
limit by his Sicilian ex-boxer father, Joe (Ennio Fantastichini). When
psychology student Kate (Jessica Marais) enters Anthony’s life after a chance
late-night meeting, he begins to see his life, and the role of violence within
it, in a different light. Matters come to a head when Joe meets another
promising Sicilian boxer, Nico Mancini (Rai Fazio) - fresh out of prison and
full of fire to succeed in the ring. Supported by his best mate Theo (Paul
Pantano) and Kate’s colourful brother Tom (Tim Minchin), Anthony is able to
finally lay his ghosts to rest. It is only when Nico betrays Joe, and Anthony
finally learns some painful truths about his father’s past, that the rift
between father and son is finally healed.