Actor Luca Calvani on his physical preparation for his latest role in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Photo: Instagram)
The new film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. gives American film audiences their first good glimpse of Luca Calvani—the tall, dark, and handsome bad guy at odds with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. This Tuscan-born former model and As the World Turns alum brings a welcome blend of villainous camp and smolder to U.N.C.L.E.—Guy Ritchie’s La Dolce Vita-esque spy tale on speed. Plus his jawline is flawless, and he rocks a serious moustache. “I had shaved my beard the week of the audition,” Calvani recalls. “I thought [the moustache] was an interesting look for a villain. When Guy saw it and liked it, we just adjusted it a bit to the style of the Sixties, which was slimmer.”
Calvani admits it was a daunting notion to share the screen with Cavill and Hammer, two of Hollywood’s best looking and physically fit actors. To feel up to the task, Calvani, 41, chose to get fit outside of a traditional gym setting. After Ritchie mentioned his fondness for the intense conditioning found through Barry’s Bootcamp, Calvani soon found himself hooked. “Back in Italy I had started doing Crossfit, and I alternate that with Barry’s Bootcamp whenever I’m In the UK or Stateside,” he says. This isn’t to say he’ll be giving up pasta or wine any time soon. These, along with regular sun worship are, in Calvani’s words: “Italy’s top ground for cultural and social exchange.”
Luca Calvani’s character Alexander sporting a 60s style mustache. (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
As physically intimidating as U.N.C.L.E.’s stars might have seemed in concept, Calvani made fast friends with the cast and crew. “It was like summer camp,” he says of the filming, during which everyone ate and hung out together constantly. “We all agreed that this set was magic… It never happens like this.” That isn’t to say it was all play and no hard work. Ritchie is a master of lightning-fast action and slick, sumptuous storytelling, and final products like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. require intense allegiance from every member of cast and crew. “Guy has a very clear idea of what he wants, and that is a great quality for a captain,” Calvani recalls. “Everyone feels listened to and all of their opinions are evaluated. It’s a very collaborative effort.”
Now that the effort has hit U.S. screens, Calvani—who resides in Tuscany with his longtime partner Francesca and their six-year-old daughter, Bianca—has some broad-strokes planning and dreaming to do. “I do love America,” he muses. “Who knows? I spent so much time here when I was younger. We’ll have to see.” The possibilities aren’t relegated to acting solely, either… Calvani launched the fragrance line Inspiritu in 2014, and is working on bringing the brand to America this fall.
To hear him speak of it, his dreams have long been coming true, and the rest is gravy. As long as his family is happy, Calvani insists he’s satisfied. “I’ve been doing this for a while,” he says, “and it’s all being handled very well by my family. [The Man From U.N.C.L.E.] doesn’t come out in Italy until September…. so things could change. Today, they see me happy and fulfilled.”