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Meet Filippo Scotti, the Beguiling Star of The Hand of God

Dress by Stefan Cooke, Socks by Pantherella, Shoes by Church’s.

Filippo Scotti was 13 when, in a tiny theater in Naples, he first encountered Paolo Sorrentino’s scintillating, surrealist drama The Great Beauty. Eight years later, the 21-year-old actor is playing a young version of the director in Sorrentino’s loosely autobiographical new film, The Hand of God. Scotti stars as Fabietto—waifish, tender, buffeted by poor luck—who is saved from a freak accident by his singular passion: the soccer legend Diego Maradona. For Scotti, who began acting a few years ago, filming The Hand of God was full of firsts, including a sex scene, and an improvised moment of grief that will linger with audiences long after the credits roll. —MARA VEITCH


Jacket, Shirt, and Pants by Louis Vuitton.

Filippo on poetry:  “In 2016, I took a poetry workshop in school, and my teacher, an actor, told me that I was very good. Two months later, she called and asked me to play the main character in a little play in Naples. From that moment, things changed.” 

Filippo on violence, blood, and screaming: “When I was nine, my father showed me Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. He taught me how to watch movies. Like, a violent scene isn’t just screaming and blood. It can be beautiful.” 

Filippo on taking direction: “To a young actor, the director is everything. They’re that person who tells you not to be afraid, and shows you how to approach the challenge of bringing a script to life.” 

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Filippo on what he did when he was alone: “I spent the month of August before filming The Hand of God in Naples, alone at home, while my parents were on holiday, kind of like Fabietto does in the film. While I was alone, I asked Paolo to give me some advice about his taste as a teenager. I listened to lots of Talking Heads, U2, and The Cure. I read books about Maradona. I had time to discover parts of this character and create a little world for myself inside of him.” 

Filippo on everything being okay: “When I was shooting my sex scene, I was a bit embarrassed, but at the same time, I was sure it was a great scene. When I watched the finished film, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It touched me a lot, and I suddenly understood that it’s not a sex scene— it’s deeper. It’s that moment in your teenage years when you’re scared of the future, scared of your emotions, but there’s someone telling you that everything is going to be okay.” 

Filippo on the future: “I don’t know if I’m a particularly great actor. I’m only 21, so maybe it’s too early to say. I think I’ll know when I’m 50— if I’m still acting.”

Shirt, Shorts, and Shoes by Prada, Socks by Pantherella.


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Hair: Simon Khan

Grooming: Kyle Dominic using Nars Soft Matte Concealer