Fabian Scerri de Carlo: A journey through laughter and intrigue

22 March 2024


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He has seamlessly danced through a spectrum of roles, effortlessly swinging from laugh-out-loud comedy to compelling drama on both stage and screen. Yet, it’s Fabian Scerri de Carlo’s unforgettable turn as the comically brilliant lawyer Gawdenz Bilocca that stands out as a fan favourite. Gawdenz’s quirky antics and undeniable charm have not only won hearts but also sparked countless smiles, solidifying his spot as an enduring highlight in the world of entertainment. Now, Fabian steps into the shoes of Il-President in a storyline that exposes the ins and outs of a possible State takeover by Peppi Azzopardi of Xarabank fame.

How did you get into acting and what inspired you to pursue this career?

I think what inspired me to pursue acting, was my first acting experience in a nativity play in one of the school performances. The thrill of being on stage, memorising lines and delivering them in a way that captures the audience was fascinating.

You have played a variety of roles in different genres, from comedy to drama. Which one did you enjoy the most and why?

I feel that I have been blessed throughout the years as I have been entrusted with numerous main roles allowing me to work across both genres. I cannot mention anyone in particular as both genres, as well as theatrical and filming experiences, have unique challenges and rewards, but I must admit that some have been more challenging and rewarding than others.

Man holding a clock

You are also well known for your iconic role as Gawdenz. How did you create this character and what makes him so relatable to the Maltese audience?

My objective was to create a distinct image of a lawyer’s role by interpreting it in a unique way that sets him apart from others in his profession. From the way he gestures to his facial expressions, his character’s mannerisms had to be distinctive. In my opinion, some of his most striking features are his infectious laugh, his small suitcase and distinctive glasses, his repertoire of catchy and humorous phrases and the use of his mobile. These all became part of his trademark and are eagerly anticipated by the Maltese audience.

Man on a desk writing

You currently star in Il-President. What drew you to this satirical drama and what do you think sets this production apart from others?

Author and director Pierre Portelli proposed that I interpret the role of Peppi Azzopardi, to be honest, I was really intrigued by the idea, but hesitant at first due to the challenge. What distinguishes this satirical drama il- President from the others is most definitely the script which I feel encourages critical thinking and reflection. Although I understand that while some may find satire entertaining, others may feel uncomfortable or offended by its pointed criticism.

Peppi Azzopardi is quite the character. How did you prepare yourself for this role?

It was both an honour and a responsibility to portray a remarkable individual as Peppi Azzopardi. I was meticulous in how to interpret this role, I aimed to do justice to Peppi Azzopardi and not ridicule him with my interpretation. I must say that this required a lot of time and effort. First of all, I started watching repetitively Xarabank and any other interviews, observing Peppi’s mannerisms, paying attention to his body language, watching closely how he moves and interacts with others, and his facial expressions. The highlight was meeting him in person which I must admit helped a lot in adopting his posture and Piere Portelli’s direction was also essential in helping me refine my interpretation.

What do you enjoy the most about working in this production? Are the any challenges?

First of all, I would like to thank Pierre Portelli for the trust he placed in me, and for his continuous guidance and support starting from our initial discussions to the final stages of filming. I would also like to thank Diane Portelli for the exceptional care and attention given to my appearance. But most of all, it was a pleasure working alongside this amazing team of actors and crew in a family atmosphere, where respect was shown to everyone involved.

Beyond the set, what do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies?

Photography, gilding and I love travelling.

What are some of the tips or advice you would give to aspiring actors who want to follow in your footsteps? And what are some of the skills or qualities that are essential for a successful career in acting?

Believe in yourself, try to explore different genres, showcase your versatility as an actor and be adaptable and willing to take on challenging roles, this will definitely open up more opportunities….. so go for it! And in moments of success stay humble. Remember that success is often the result of collective effort.

Lastly, what projects are on the horizon for you after Il-President?

I am currently involved in other TV series besides working in a Theatrical production of Gawdenz, however, I am always excited for new projects and opportunities to challenge me artistically…… maybe Il-President season 2.

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