Excitement has been building in the fandom of the famous Turkish actor Can Yaman since December 22, 2020. On that date, LuxVide, the well-known production company in Italy, announced that Can Yaman will star in the title role of Sandokan in the modern-day remake of this beloved character created in the 1800’s by Italian author, Emilio Salgari.
CAN YAMAN’S SANDOKAN CO-STAR
Having read the first few Sandokan stories that have been translated into English, I began imagining and looking for announcements of the cast who will play alongside Can Yaman to bring this story to life on our screens. The first cast member announced by LuxVide on the same date in 2020 is Italian actor, director and producer, Luca Argentero. He will play in the role of Yanez de Gomera, a Portuguese adventurer who is the best friend, confidant, and fellow pirate of Can Yaman’s Sandokan, the infamous “Tiger of Malaysia”.
Now we have to ask the $64,000 question. Who is Luca Argentero, Can Yaman’s Sandokan costar? What is his curriculum vitae? His body of work? What have we seen him in? Answering this last question, I first saw Argentero in the role of Giovanni in the 2010 film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring American actress Julia Roberts. As to the CV of this handsome Italian actor, it is long, varied, and quite impressive. Some of the highlights of his career to-date are highlighted below. Much more detail can be found on Wikipedia.
Luca Argentero was born in Turin, Italy on April 12, 1978. He is an Italian actor, model, television personality, director and producer. He has appeared in more than 25 films, various television shows and series, theater productions, and as a voice actor on several projects. After finishing high school at the Catholic “Collegio San Giuseppe”, Argentero worked as a bartender in a local nightclub while earning a degree in Economy and Commerce in 2004. He rose to fame in 2003 as a participant in the third season of the popular reality TV series Grande Fratello (“BigBrother”), and began making guest appearances on various television shows.
Argentero also worked as a model. On one occasion in particular in 2004, he posed for the sensual and sexy annual calendar produced by the Italian monthly magazine Max. The photos I found from this calendar begged to be shared! Do they remind you of anyone we know and love? Perhaps our favorite Turkish heartthrob, Can Yaman? I will definitely be looking for shirtless and open jackets/shirts for Can Yaman and Luca Argentero in the upcoming series of Sandokan, which will star Can Yaman in the title role.
In 2005, Argentero made his debut as an actor in the television series Carabinieri portraying the character of Marco Tosi in the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons. (The Carabinieri are the Italian national police force.) In 2006, he played the main character in the short film Il Quarto Sesso (“The Fourth Sex”) and also made his cinematic debut in A Casa Nostra (“Our Country”). In 2007, he played the role of a homosexual man in Saturno Contro (“Saturn In Opposition”), a film by Ferzan Özpetek.
In 2008, Argentero appeared in several films. Notably, Lezioni di Cioccolato (“Lessons In Chocolate”), and as one of the main characters in the television mini-series La Baronessa di Carini (“The Baroness of Carini”). That same year, he took the role of the protagonist in the film Solo un padre (“Only A Father”) directed by Luca Lucini, with production taking place in Argentero’s hometown of Turin, Italy.
He portrayed a gay man again in 2009, with a role in Diverso da Chi? (“Different From Whom?”). This role earned Argentero his first David di Donatello nomination as best actor, similar to being nominated for an Oscar. (The David di Donatello Awards are named after Renaissance sculptor Donatello’s famous bronze statue of David, sculpted in Florence, Italy dating to the 1440’s or later. These film awards are given out each year by the Accademia del Cinema Italiano [“The Academy of Italian Cinema”]. They are the Italian equivalent to the American Academy Awards.)
In 2020, Argentero participated as the art director on the photoshoot for the 2021 calendar of multinational company, Avon. The calendar was created in collaboration with the non-profit association of 1 Caffe’ Onlus (see the following paragraphs). The purpose of the Avon calendar project was to support the fight against women and gender-based violence as well as breast cancer. As a communication tool, the calendar contained a reflection for each month to be a reminder of particular occasions and holidays, but also to convey key messages from Avon and 1 Caffe’ Onlus about supporting causes that matter most to women. Argentero chose to appear in one of the calendar’s monthly reflections.
1 Caffe’ Onlus is a non-profit organization founded some ten years ago by Beniamino Savio, president, Luca Argentero, vice president, and a group of friends from Turin. They work to support projects undertaken by small, non-profit groups to improve critical situations, both in Italy and abroad, such as poverty, marginalization, racism, and disease. For each copy of Avon’s 2021 calendar, two euros were donated to 1 Caffe’ Onlus to support their work. The group supports numerous projects.
Luca Argentero is currently starring in Lux Vide’s original medical procedural called “Doc”. He plays Andrea Fanti, a distinguished doctor who loses all memory of the last twelve years of his life after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. His only alternative to avoid going mad is to settle for starting over again as a basic health care provider. However, his experience is different this time around as he discovers a newfound empathy and connection with his fellow sufferers.
The series began broadcasting on Rai-1 in March 2020 and is claimed to be the most-watched show on Italian TV in the past 13 years. The next season of “Doc” is currently being filmed in Rome and Milan and will air in the early months of 2022.
LUX VIDE’S SANDOKAN SERIES
Argentero’s body of work in cinema, television, as a voice actor, and in theater shows a wide range of talent and an impressive level of experience. His role as Yanez de Gomera, friend, advisor, and fellow pirate of Sandokan, in which Turkish actor Can Yaman will play the lead, will undoubtedly be not only a feast for the eyes but an exciting, swashbuckling, action adventure.
The original series of Sandokan was broadcast on Italian television in 1976. The six-hour Sandokan mini-series starring Indian actor Kabir Bedi rocketed to #1 in countries throughout Europe and made this actor an international star. With the existing and ever-increasing popularity of Can Yaman worldwide, I predict that the modern-day re-make of the beloved story of Sandokan will exceed all expectations of viewership and popularity.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, filming of Lux Vide’s production of Sandokan is scheduled to begin in October 2021.
Written by Mary Bloyd,
Resident Editor of Can Yaman International