Angelo Maggi: we interviewed the voice actor of Tony Stark and Tom Hanks

That his “I love you 3000“, which has now become a mantra for all lovers of pop cinema, still resonates in minds and hearts of Iron Man and Tony Stark fans. But Angelo Maggi (here his official Facebook profile and here his Instagram page) is not only, since 2008, the official voice of the character of Robert Downey Jr. in the universe of the Avengers. Man of theater, of show business, dubbing veteran and interpreter of Tom Hanks in most of his film productions, but also of Dr. Cox in the serial Scrubs or in the comic and hilarious role of Commissioner Winchester I Simpson. Angelo Maggi will be a guest on Twitch at Voice Over, our format dedicated to the main voices of Italian dubbing. Waiting to meet him live on the evening of 11 May, and to be able to interact with him, we offer you an interesting chat with Angelo. Enjoy the reading!

“I am Iron Man” Hi Angelo, we have come from a difficult year for everyone, but among the most affected categories are the workers in the world of entertainment. What changes have you had to face, on the theater and dubbing side, in the last year and a half?

Angelo Maggi: The pandemic has shocked the world and consequently shocked me too, especially as an artist. As for the theater, I had to stop completely and I had to give up the sixth edition of my show, the DoppiAttore and some projects related to music. But the ideas remain, I have many news in store on the DoppiAttore, which remains the only show in the world on dubbing.

I missed the contact with the public very much, but it goes without saying that the greatest pain concerns the thousands of Italian families who have been at home for a year and a half without having seen a penny, and my thoughts go to them.
For the dubbing, however, I must say that the work stopped only during the 2020 lockdown, then it resumed but something has changed. On the other hand, with Hollywood still, it was inevitable. The Blacklist, a TV series that I have doubled for several seasons, I had to do it with incomplete material, because in the United States they hadn’t had time to shoot it all.
The rhythms have changed and moreover, as we age, the roles decrease (even if they increase in charisma or prestige). Among the many actors and characters you dubbed the one currently most prominent is Robert Downey Jr. and his Tony Stark. Can you tell us how you have experienced the explosion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the years? Didn’t you, like many in 2008, expect the Marvel phenomenon to reach these levels?

Angelo Maggi: No one, not even Disney, nor of course the dubbing insiders, could even remotely imagine what would happen within a decade.
You know well that in these cases there are always auditions. Even today, after so many years of doubling Tom Hanks, Spielberg recently wanted to supervise the auditions. That’s right, because over the years the voices change and in the digital age – with an ever more attentive and precise audience – we need to pay the utmost care.
Surprisingly, when the Iron Man adventure began in 2008, there was no audition for my role

I can’t tell you if the role was underestimated or I was overrated. It was a bet by the director Marco Guadagno. So I was literally catapulted into this world, but the bad thing was that the visual material was completely obscured at the time.
For reasons of confidentiality we were forced to dub on a black screen with a tiny rod to reveal only the mouths of the characters. I must say that I have perceived and discovered the real extent of this operation only now that the cycle is over, after Endgame. And how did you live instead l’epilogo di Tony in Endgame? Did you know in advance that it was going to be his last film or did you discover everything by “living it” during the dubbing?

Angelo Maggi: From that “I am Iron Man” in 2008 to the same phrase, repeated in his last scene, the beauty of thirteen years passes and everything has changed. I obviously developed a bond with him and with the character, when at the premiere of the film I saw 500 people crying in the hall I also felt a lot of emotion.
In these thirteen years I have grown up with him despite being a decade older than Robert Downey Jr. and at times it has been tiring to keep up with him – something that doesn’t happen to me in the slightest with Tom Hanks, because we are the same age.

I’ll tell you, the age factor counts a lot in dubbing, for example for the speed in diction, but also for many other factors.
As for the advances you asked me, I will answer you by quoting my friend Luca Ward: we read the scripts all live, and often in a hurry, because maybe you only have an hour to turn and then you have to escape to the other side. of the city to dub something else.
I therefore only discovered Tony’s fate at the end, also because now that he dubbed himself in separate columns we do everything in the chronological order of the film. Before it was different, to put together the voices in certain scenes you would jump from one point to another in the film. Do you prefer dubbing as it was before or now?

Angelo Maggi: Dubbing is best done when acting with someone else. So I prefer it as it was before. Today everything is digitized and in some ways it is simpler, but it is very different.

Tom Hanks and I Simpson Tell me about your relationship with Tom Hanks instead.

Angelo Maggi: A few years ago I met him live. I’ll mention some “gems” that I will tell you during my next show. I met him in Venice, at the time he had to play a character with a foreign accent and I remember that in the dubbing room I had a consultant who helped me to replicate it. I went to dinner with him and was introduced as his official Italian voice in Dreamworks films (in fact his latest work, News from the world, exceptionally I didn’t dubbed it: being from Universal, who works with a dubbing company linked to Roberto Chevalier who dubbed it for many years, they assigned it to him).
I told him, “Hi Tom, I’m your official voice in Dreamworks movies. So please try to always work with Dreamworks!” He burst out laughing! Moving on to the world of television, one of your most iconic characters along with Cox of Scrubs is the Winchester commissioner of the Simpsons. How did you approach the dubbing of the animated show and how did you work, as a Roman, on the accent of the commissioner?

Angelo Maggi: With cartoons, compared to live-action movies, you can afford to come up with the voice you want. The Simpsons are special because, as you well know, linguistically and culturally the original version is very different from the Italian one and it could not be otherwise.
The intuition of “Italianising” the gab of some characters was a brilliant choice of the then director, the great Tonino Accolla.

Being a Neapolitan Winchester, I had to dig into my past and revive the accent of my grandfather, who was called Angelo like me and was Neapolitan from Vomero.
I was very attached to him and luckily enjoyed him into adulthood, so I absorbed much of his gab and expressions. But not only that, I combined my grandfather’s voice with the push-ups of one of my teachers during my training as an actor: Eduardo De Filippo. To close, an anecdote that comes to your mind related to your most iconic characters?

Angelo Maggi: I’d say the Cast Away scene where Tom Hanks leaves the island, the camera is constantly going up and down in and out of the water. I drank three liters of mineral water and the lectern became practically a quagmire, because I tried to replicate the protagonist’s sense of drowning.
Or when I got exhausted for a dubbing shift, again for a movie with Hanks, after running for a kilometer, and the director immediately had me record a scene where Tom was out of breath too. Because the dubbing has to be true, always! Before saying goodbye, remind us of your upcoming projects.

Angelo Maggi: I have a very big project that I can’t talk about yet. I had abandoned it but apparently I can get it back, you will know something very soon.
But I will also resume many live shows and concerts. For example, I will do a series of concerts in Rome, entitled “Spaccio Arte”. And another project that I really care about is a traveling show, which we will do by bus, back and forth along a street or a square, and which can be seen from the window of your home.

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