What’s On catches up with the Italian actor in Dubai, to talk about his huge rise to stardom and what’s next for his career…

If you’re an avid watcher of Netflix (or even if you’re not) we doubt that the film 365 Days has escaped your attention. Star of the film, which is the most-streamed movie on Netflix in 2020, is Italian actor Michele Morrone.

His rise to stardom in just one year has been meteoric to say the least. Morrone has gone from a part-time actor and gardener in Italy to worldwide recognition, with 11 million Instagram followers and a successful album Dark Room (with four songs featured on the 365 Days soundtrack) – and now he’s the face of international fashion brand Guess.

Morrone is currently in Dubai for the second time this year, so What’s On caught up with him to find out what’s coming next in his career…

What’s On: Welcome back to Dubai. Do you have any favourite restaurants in the city? 

Michele Morrone: I don’t have any particular favourite restaurants here in Dubai, but I really like the cultural restaurants. The small shops, you know the Arabic ones. Where you stop and you eat the local shawarma. I don’t really like the fancy restaurants as much, I like to drop into small, traditional places and taste the local food. There is a local drink that I like, named abood (an Arabic juice).

WO: We know that you’re focusing on your music career right now. Is that taking more of your focus than movies, or are you doing everything side by side?

Michele: I try to organise my life because I have so many things to do. Whenever I focus on the music, I don’t focus on anything else. When I focus on the cinema, I focus on the cinema. I have two new things to do in film soon, where I am the main character. The first one is the second 365 Days film, and the other one is a series I can’t yet disclose. Right now, I’m focusing on the music, because I am releasing the new (second) album, but very soon I will be travelling to Spain and staying there as I will be filming in Spanish, the language of which I am currently learning.

WO: Do you have any idea when the second album will be released?

Michele: My new single is going to come out very soon. What I can tell you about this song is that I think it’s the most beautiful song that I’ve ever written. I really love Dark Room because it’s my first song, but this one, which is called Another Day, is my perfect song. I hope I am going to be able to do something even more beautiful than this in the future, but it’s very difficult because I am in love with this one. I think the single will come out around December 2020, but its not yet confirmed.

WO: If there’s any artist you could collaborate with on a song, who would it be?

Michele: I would love to collaborate with (English singer) Sam Smith. He is one of the most amazing artists I’ve heard.

WO: Can you tell us about the Guess campaign that you’re shooting here in Dubai?

Michele: We had planned to shoot the Guess campaign in Italy. The first part of the campaign was shot in Lake Como and the second part was going to be shot in Rome, but due to the Covid-19 situation I suggested we do it in Dubai, as I was already here. Dubai is like my second home. I love Dubai, it’s extraordinary and so beautiful. There’s everything here, anything we need. So we said, you know what, let’s do the campaign in here. I’m very excited to do a worldwide campaign which is going to be on billboards around the world, including Hollywood, New York, Dubai, the whole of Europe. It’s very exciting for me that in the background (of the image) will be Dubai because it is my second home. I am totally in love with this place.

WO: Last time you were here, you spoke about creating your own perfume. Is that still happening?

Michele: The perfume idea is still there. I’m still working on this project, but it’s quite difficult, however it’s still there and we want to do it. I want to make something incredibly serious and this is going to take time. I am going to do it because this is one of the biggest dreams I ever had in my life – I’ve always wanted to have my own perfume.

WO: It sounds like you have many projects on at once. What do you do to relax?

Michele: You work on two movies for six months, but then you finish and work on the music, then what do you do in the free time? I don’t want to have free time because free time bores me. I try to get a couple of weeks of relaxation but then I have to move. I’m very active, I like to wake up in the morning and I have to do things otherwise I get restless. If I think I’m not doing anything, it drives me crazy. Exercise is really important to me because it helps me. I have extra power, even when I’m tired, so it’s really important to me to exercise.

WO: You recently celebrated your 30th birthday. How did you celebrate?

Michele: It was a very good day. I spent it with family as I don’t really like partying or clubs. Thirty years old is a challenge I think because some people feel old, some people worry about no longer being in their twenties. I’m feeling great though. I’m feeling a big change in my life.

WO: Do you know when you will start filming for the second 365 Days film?

Michele: We are going to start shooting in May, as I will be in Spain three months before that working on the second series of the [undisclosed] series I mentioned, where I am going to be the main character. I will then be on set for the second 365 Days film for six months straight, non-stop.

WO: Is there anything on your Dubai bucket list? 

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Michele: I really want to discover a place that has the lagoon, the sea and the mountains. Ras Al Khaimah or Hatta. I’d like to see the mountains and the birds because I love nature and it’s where I go when I want to escape from the crowds and paparazzi. I like Dubai because paparazzi are not allowed by law. Everywhere I go in the world, I have paparazzi following me. Here in Dubai, I feel kind of free.

WO: What brings you more joy, acting or singing?

Michele: I don’t know. Before, it used to be acting but singing is a different emotion. Through acting I can be someone else and discover a different kind of psychological thing. Through the music I can just be myself and that’s a joy. That way you can get out everything you have inside. I don’t know how to answer as they are both my passions. I hope that every time I shoot a movie, I can put one of my songs on the soundtrack.

WO: You’re widely regarded as one of the most good looking men of all time. How does that feel?

Michele: It’s an amazing feeling and a nice feeling. Of course it’s a good feeling when you think that people think you’re good looking. At the same time, I really would like to play a character in a movie where I am ugly. I was so happy when, more than two years ago, I was shooting a movie [Bar Guiseppe] when I was acting the part of a drug addict, and I lost nine kilos, so when it was the premiere of the movie, people would go to all of the cast, knowing who they were. They were searching for me, but because my change was so drastic, they didn’t recognise me. I’m glad that people think I’m one of the sexiest men in the world and all of that, but I love to make people see that there’s not only a good looking man here. As an artist that’s really important.

Images: Provided