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Three Thousand Years of Longing’s Matteo Bocelli on Making His Acting Debut and Collaborating With Junkie XL

The son of Andrea Bocelli opens up about making his big screen debut in George Miller's newest film

Matteo Bocelli Interview Three Thousand Years of Longing
Matteo Bocelli (photo by Luca Rossetti) and Three Thousand Years of Longing (MGM)

    Here’s a fun thing you might not know about legendary director George Miller — before he started making his wild, wild films, he was an emergency room doctor, and to this day, many people still call him Dr. Miller on set. This is according to Three Thousand Years of Longing actor Matteo Bocelli: “Everyone has huge respect for Dr. Miller,” Bocelli says. “Everyone knows his story.”

    In Miller’s newest film, Bocelli plays Prince Mustafa, an heir to the Ottoman Empire whose story is one of several told by a Djinn (Idris Elba) to a narratologist (Tilda Swinton) who happened to acquire the bottle imprisoning him. It’s the first film role for the Italian-born 24-year-old, who prior to now has been best known for his career in music, as he follows in the footsteps of his father, opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

    Speaking to Consequence via Zoom from his home in Tuscany, Bocelli says that he had always found the film industry to be interesting, and also, “since I was young, like 14 or 15, I was already in music but people from TV and cinema told me, ‘You know, you have a face that could really work in movies. If you really want to, in the future, you could have fun.'”

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    That said, when he was contacted by Miller’s assistant to discuss a potential part in Three Thousand Years, he thought it was a joke. But, he says, “I gave the contact to my manager and then he came back to me and he said, ‘No, this is not a joke. This is reality.'”

    Bocelli believes that Miller discovered him first via a modeling campaign he’d done for Bulgari, after which Miller watched the music video for “Fall On Me,” featuring Bocelli alongside his father. He only learned that a few weeks into the production, though — meanwhile, before his first conversation with the director during the summer of 2020, Bocelli says, “I was so scared because I had to talk with one of the greatest directors about something that I’ve never done in my life.”

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