12/02/2024 8.43pm – Update 12/02/2024 8.45pm
Franco Califano, or the “Caliph”, between passions, women and unjust arrests: “to stop him they locked him up in prison”. Leo Gassman plays the Roman singer-songwriter in the TV film “Califano” (February 2024), where he is portrayed as a bit of a poet, a bit of a rebel, a lover of women and music. In his life, Franco Califano played many different roles as an actor in photo novels on television, but none of these suited him as well as that of a song poet. A bold, emblematic and multi-faceted character, from women to music, from drugs to prison, Franco Califano's life was a roller coaster of emotions and adventures. Dagospia published an old interview in 2020 where she talked about herself and her recent years, about the passion that accompanied her throughout her life, women, which she really couldn't do without. Here are some of the key revelations from the interview.
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Franco Califano and his story
«I was crazy about him: beautiful and cursed. A poet. Those were the years of Everything Else is Boredom: we lived like this… Me on the set during the day, at night with him in Rome, then back on the set without touching bed. Then my drug stories began. It was a great attraction between us but also a constant back and forth. He loved me when I was there, he forgot me immediately afterwards. He liked girls too much… It lasted two years and they were beautiful”, is how Katiuscia, the star of the photo novels of the 70s, describes him. A real Don Juan with a passion for excess. He always said that he had played all his cards, every last one, and to stop him they had to lock him up in prison. Franco Califano was a victim of injustice, together with Enzo Tortora, he was accused of drug dealing and criminal association. He was sentenced to three years in prison before being completely acquitted. The Caliph spoke about that period to Dagospia.
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«In the end, luckily the truth came out, but the worst thing was not being able to do my job. I remember that I was still under house arrest and I was already doing concerts, I asked for a special permit, they granted it, only that in every city where I went to sing I had to go to the police first. It was the public who saved my life.” The Caliph also adds a curious fact. Although he is a fan of excess, he has shown a certain sympathy for Pope Ratzinger. «Ratzinger drives me crazy, I like the fact that he doesn't stop too long to caress the children, he caresses a maximum of two and goes straight ahead, because he has things to do, he doesn't have the time».
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The journalist wants to satisfy a curiosity, already knowing the possible answer, that is, what his main interest is. «Women, always, but you know that over time I like them even more, more, even if today there is a greater selection, now I have a mania for ugly women, or rather not really ugly, mind you, also because they don't there is an ugly woman, there are women and that's it, but one thing is certain: right now I wouldn't know what to do with the “showgirl” category, I now like a less beautiful woman, or rather find quality in a less beautiful woman.”
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Years pass, but certain things remain. Califano, always busy, concludes the interview like this: «The doctor told me that I have to lose weight to feel good, and then I never sit still, I don't like relaxation, that's what makes you age. You must never stop, I always say that he will only grow old five minutes before he dies.”
Article originally published on July 31, 2020.