“A union like ours, cemented by two daughters, is already perfect,” says the actor. “But one day I’ll surprise you.” Then he confesses the continuous search for balance, also through a particular embrace: that of the Pope
On the marriage with his partner Rocio Munoz Morales, Raoul Bova has clear ideas: “A union like ours, cemented by two daughters, is already perfect”, he tells TODAY. “But one day I’ll surprise you” – photo | video
Roman terrace, in the background the Dome of San Pietro. The opportunity to meet Raoul Bova is called The Christmas Show, his next film in theaters from November 17th. It is a tale about Christmas magic: the extraordinary invades the everyday, opening the door to hope. The actor anticipates: «A sad family in economic crisis becomes the protagonist of a Christmas reality show. I am Pierre, the writer who cannot find the ending of his novel and has lived indoors for four years ». But it is only the starting point for a chat in which Bova speaks of himself with transparent generosity.
We are a stone’s throw from the Holy See. And you met the Pope a few days ago: what did you say to each other?
«With Rocío and the girls we were at the Wednesday general audience, in the midst of all the other faithful. Francis always spends himself against war, invites us to move, not to lose consciousness in the face of horror. I wanted to tell him that I am ready to be a knight of him, that he has all my participation. But when you have the Pope in front of you, you are speechless ».
“I asked him for a hug, sometimes even more meaningful.”
I have read that in order to play your “different” priest, you listen to Don Matteo in the great series, you have attended spiritual retreats and met parish priests. What relationship do you have with faith?
“I was born into a Catholic family, baptized, communicated and confirmed. I was also a cub, I was a scout. Then the choice of the roles I play is never accidental. I absolutely wanted the part of St. Francis (year 2002, ed) and I thank the producer Pietro Valsecchi who satisfied me. It was a moment when I saw the contradictions of the Church, the scandals. In short, I felt in crisis in the search for my own spirituality. The saint of Assisi is the rebel who questioned the system. He preached poverty, the renunciation of the superfluous in view of the essential. When Pope Francis chose that name, I interpreted it as a sign: I knew that sooner or later we would meet. Yes, in my life I have known priests who have left me traces of their vision, but I have always tried to find mine. I’m a rebel in a good way. Then there is Don Massimo of the series, a priest who is in contact with people’s problems. And here I say thanks to Luca Bernabei, who offered me another piece of my inner research ».
Where has it arrived today?
“If a man manages to find within himself that light and that balance, regardless of what religion is, it is an achievement. I haven’t been able to do it yet, but I’m working on it. Today I am much more attentive to the signals that come from life, even in the professional field. For example: thanks to the Red Cross and Red Crescent, I went to Syria to tell not only the war, but also all the beauty that was destroyed (the docu-film The Lost Beauty was presented at the last Venice Film Festival, ed). There are people who dedicate their lives to relief and humanitarian aid, I wanted to do my part (Bova is a volunteer and Cri ambassador, ed). And so also after the Amatrice earthquake. All calls in which you lose the perception of danger. You get an uncontrolled energy which is that of help ».
Rocío, her partner and actress, is always ready to support her. She said: “I’m the light and positive one at home.” Confirmation?
«You play down everything a bit. Often I go deeper into things, I am introspective. And Rocío tells me: “Come on, let it go, don’t get angry”. There can be all kinds of bad things, it can hurt a dispute or what the newspapers write. But if you keep your identity, sooner or later the bad things slip away. And the truth comes out ».
Here: right now, you are dealing with the courts. They wrote that she has evaded taxes for a considerable amount, next hearing on 6 December. How are things?
“There has been no evasion and the news that has recently appeared in some newspapers is totally inaccurate. It saddens me that my reputation is soiled by this totally unjustified media attack without any verification ».
Another problem: he is accused of private violence, threats and injuries for allegedly attacking a motorist in a parking lot. True?
“I tried to defend a woman, who is just by chance my partner, from an act of bullying. That person was almost running over Rocío and I just insisted she apologize. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. In the face of arrogance and prevarication, I am not indifferent. And I’m sure you will be brought justice to me in court. ‘
Let’s go back to Rocío. He also said: «Marriage? I’m a traditionalist, he has to ask me ». Here is Raoul, why doesn’t he ask him?
“Maybe I’ll surprise you when you least expect it. I believe in marriage but above all in love. And I think things have to come at the right time. Alone, without forcing. A union cemented by two daughters is profound, it means getting married in the heart and saying: let us undertake a journey together with the responsibility of our creatures ”.
Every now and then they give you a crisis.
“I find out by reading the newspapers. Then, maybe, it also brings us good. Like when you dream of someone’s death: it is said that it extends your life ».
He called Rocío “my warrior companion”.
«Since we met, mamma mia, how many have we been through!».
They said: it won’t last. And she, Raoul, was going through a difficult separation.
«Rocío had strength, courage. She showed me love and sharing. She is an instinctive woman, not predictable at all. She may not pat you on the shoulder when she sees you in trouble, but she prefers to be silent and leave you to your thoughts. You have often understood that I needed reflection ».
In 2020 she wrote a book, The Rules of Water, which marked her rebirth after a dark period. The disappearance of her parents, the injury to her leg, the many pounds put on her. Do you feel at peace now?
«No, I will be at peace only when I close my eyes. I can’t be because time passes and balance must be constantly sought, age changes and so does the world. We have experienced a pandemic, we are undergoing a war and the nature that man has mistreated presents us with the bill. As long as there are things outside of you that are not right, you cannot say that you are in balance with yourself ».
Why was he gaining weight?
“Those extra pounds were also due to a condition of great pain, in those situations everything is withheld. Then I took the opportunity to make a very crumpled character, in Justice for all. Then came the proposal for Good morning mom! and there, with my character, I learned about parenthood. Sometimes holding onto oneself, undergoing the outbursts of children through silences, and trying to understand them, is productive ».
She has four children, two boys and two girls. What kind of father is he?
“They are of completely different ages and worlds. I have different problems with them. But let’s not call them problems, I don’t experience them as such. Overcoming them together with them is a reason for growth for me. The children need help and closeness and I try to offer this ».
He always said he loved large families. Wish for a fifth child?
“I don’t put limits on providence. But it is one of those things that should not be planned ».
Raoul, on TV you move between Rai and Mediaset. And everything it touches, in terms of audience, becomes gold. Successfully replacing Terence Hill in Don Matteo was not at all obvious, for example. Has an explanation of this superpower of yours been given?
“I’ve also had moments of decline, to be honest. But I think that consistency with the choice of projects and who you are in life can create the affection of the public. I strongly believe in honesty and humility ».
But do they still choose it because it is beautiful, until yesterday the undisputed sex symbol?
«Beauty lies in the light that a person emanates. At 50, you are no longer part of that category, there are many young and handsome. But when I was little and I looked at a man, and I said “what a handsome man”, the reason was that he gave me a feeling of security, of reliability. And if someone trusts me, at the cost of suffering, I never betray him ».