Season 2 of HBO’s hit series The White Lotus was a smash success, earning an SAG nomination for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series and winning the hearts of plenty of fans worldwide.
One of the newcomers of the season, Eleonora Romandini, plays the role of Isabella, the receptionist who captured the attention of Valentina (played by Sabrina Impacciatore). Romandini is an Italian actress born in Milan who gives her all into her performances, whether in acting or in studying. Her resume reflects her well-roundedness from being a graduate of law to being casted in the short film Mythe Dior directed by Matteo Garron; and most recently as Lucia in the film Il nostro generale directed by Lucio Pellegrini.
She shares with us, ‘I think I'm motivated by the desire to do what I love all my life, to make something beautiful that will last, to convey something, to tell stories and to move audiences in the same way that I was moved by living those moments’.
In this exclusive interview, she shares her insights and experiences before, during, and after her time on The White Lotus.
1. Can you tell us what it was like growing up in Milan, Italy?
Growing up in Milan was beautiful, I love my city. It's very Italian and very European at the same time, being full of art, design and fashion. I used to walk to school and often strolled with my mom in the historic center. As soon as I became a teenager I bought a used bike from a friend and started exploring it more and more: it is a great city.
Growing up in contact with Milan's elegant beauty shaped me a lot and formed the basis of my aesthetic research and style. "Unfortunately," the Italian version of Los Angeles is Rome, in terms of opportunities, so I moved here as soon as I finished my law degree to finally pursue my dream of being an actress. And now I have the honour of filling my eyes with the very different but breathtaking beauty of Rome.
2. How did you discover your passion for acting?
I have always loved art in all its forms, I have always sought it out and adored it, and acting and film is the form that I felt was mine from the very beginning, but my road to it was not linear at all.
I have always studied acting since I was a child, but the way you can study it in elementary school, it was more a kind of meditation, of discovering yourself in movements and then the preparation of amateur performances. I couldn't really believe that it was a profession, a real possibility for my future, I thought that only the best of the best could even attempt to do that work. I thought it was going to be just a hobby for me: I did not believe in myself and I knew nothing of the industry, I just loved movies. When I finished high school, I chose law school, but in the course of my studies, acting found me again with an audition, and for the first time I realised it was a profession I could pursue for real and every piece fell into place and I found my path. So I enrolled in a professional acting course and pursued both paths of study. Two days after graduating from law school, I moved to Rome.
3. How did you prepare for your role as Isabella in the HBO series The White Lotus?
I felt that the role of Isabella resonated strongly with me from the very first self-tape. During college I worked for years as a hostess at events and I know very well the difficulty of working in contact with the public, you never know who is in front of you and you always have to be smiling, welcoming and professional. So I did the self-tape, then the call back and a few weeks later I was in Taormina shooting the series.
It's been the most incredible, important and satisfying work experience of my life so far. Then as far as the relationship with Valentina is concerned, I let myself be surprised, I think it is very important to find out even in the moment how certain circumstances make you feel (in acting it is said that a key aspect is just the reaction) and with Sabrina it was very easy to act. Her talent, her naturalness really made me feel so many different emotions. A beautiful chemistry was created and our scenes were always spontaneous, I learned so much.
"I have always loved art in all its forms, I have always sought it out and adored it, and acting and film is the form that I felt was mine from the very beginning, but my road to it was not linear at all."
- Actress Eleonora Romandini
4. How are you finding fame from the show’s success?
So far I can't say I'm living a different life than I did before The White Lotus, I don't think I can call it fame in the conventional meaning of the word. Certainly, the recognition I received by winning the SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series was the biggest thrill of my life. That dreamy, surreal night was perhaps the closest thing to my meaning of the word "fame": doing something special that is seen, appreciated and recognised as such, and I am deeply grateful to have been able to experience that.
I think I'm motivated by the desire to do what I love all my life, to make something beautiful that will last, to convey something, to tell stories and to move audiences in the same way that I was moved by living those moments.
- Actress Eleonora Romandini
5. What were some of the most memorable moments from filming The White Lotus?
There are so many. First of all filming was beautiful, being such an important set with such a wonderful and generous director like Mike White and with fantastic actors whom I deeply admire. I tried to enjoy every minute, to learn from each of them and to photograph those moments mentally. Then I would say that all the dinners with the cast were so much fun, it was amazing to actually be at the table together and share special memories with all of them. One memory I remember with such joy is Sabrina's birthday. We celebrated from midnight to the next day.
6. What are you motivated by?
I think I'm motivated by the desire to do what I love all my life, to make something beautiful that will last, to convey something, to tell stories and to move audiences in the same way that I was moved by living those moments. I love this work with all of myself. I feel that it is my place in the world and I will always do my best to build a quality career that I can be proud of.
7. Are there any other upcoming projects you can share with us to look out for?
I'm working on an amazing next project that I can't tell you much about yet! However, if haven't seen me yet, it's a long way from me and Isabella. I can't wait!