Date of Birth: 10th August, 1950
Location: Naxxar; but originally from Valletta
Star Sign: Leo
Media-related occupation: Actor
Leo Bartolo had started taking acting seriously when he was 24 years old. He became part of a group of actors, including Charles Caruana, Clive Bartolo and Josette Ciappara, amongst others, and would produce plays in connection with the Maltese literary works covered by students at the University of Malta. The performances would take place at the old University in Valletta and the Catholic Institute. This adventure lasted for about two years, until everybody went his way.
“I stopped acting for several years because of my career. I played small parts here and there. Later on, I was then approached to perform the role of a narrator in a contemporary passion play written by Profs Oliver Friggieri. It had been such a huge success that the play was consequently put on again for three consecutive years,” states Leo.
When he retired, Loe joined a local drama school which became a stepping stone for further stage productions. He also attended a foreign drama school where his daughter was living with her family. Eventually, he was called for television productions in Malta, such as Dreams, It-Tfal, Midimbin, and the third season of Iċ-Ċaqqufa.
What’s the most exciting part of being an actor?
Believe it or not, it’s the study of the script. It helps me build my character. In my opinion, it’s not about learning your lines, but about how I’m going to express myself in relation to the character I’m playing.
If you had to meet any actor, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Definitely Al Pacino! I’d love to discuss the world’s situation with him and compare it to our younger days.
Any behind-the-scenes anecdotes you could share with us?
During a stage production, I had to exit the stage in a blackout. It was pitch dark and I couldn’t see a thing. I tripped in some heavy props, fell, and broke my arm. I thought it was “break a leg”, not “break an arm”! The worst part was hearing the audience giggling, but I had got a resounding applause when I came on for the the next scene in a sling.
You’ve already achieved quite a good name in the local drama scene. What do you feel has so far been your greatest achievement to date?
I now have a complete family, including two grandsons who I adore, and I’m a happy person.