Extraordinary stage presence, Gigi Proietti was also an extraordinary voice actor: it is easy to remember the Genius of Aladdin, less immediate to remember dubbing by great actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro.
Saluting the great Gigi Proietti, who died today on the day of his 80 years, we must not forget that, in his absolute and complete professionalism as an actor, he was able to give his best even with only voice, in a career as a voice actor much more prestigious than it might seem by relying only on memory. Let’s go over it quickly, dividing its commitment as “voice in the shadows“between real life films and cinemaanimation (in the second case we are sure that you have come up with something, but there’s more!).
Gigi Proietti voiced by stars such as Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone
It seems incredible that Sylvester Stallone, to whom we have associated for years the iconic timbre of another great like Ferruccio Amendola, had the voice of Gigi Proietti right in a crucial film for the collective imagination: yes, Proietti not only dubbed Sly in the first Rocky, but he also directed the dubbing. A role that is anything but gigantic, suffered and for a good part of the film subdued. When we remember Gigi, we remember that the Italian public listened “Adriana!“through him.
The paths of Gigi and Amendola crossed for two other Hollywood columns: Proietti in fact dubbed Dustin Hoffman in Lenny (of which he also directed the dubbing, a sensible choice considering the theme) and above all Robert De Niro in Casino (1995) by Martin Scorsese. However, Proietti had already lent his voice to De Niro in the first steps of Mean Streets and The Last Fires.
Dubbing and true co-interpretation were those for the Casanova by Federico Fellini, where the contaminated classical theatrical formation of Gigi Proietti lent itself to a visionary operation embodied by Donald Sutherland.
In recent times, his ability to chisel a set tone made him the natural heir to another charismatic actor, Gianni Musy, when it came to picking up the Gandalf di Ian McKellen in the trilogy of Hobbit.
We have only highlighted the most significant engagements, but scrolling through the filmography of the Proietti dubber you come across other VIPs who have lived the time of a film with his voice: Paul Newman, Anthony Hopkins, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Jean Reno, Charlton Heston (for Hamlet), Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Michel Piccoli (in Diabolik!).
One last curiosity concerning Brancaleone at the Crusades (1970): Gigi was not only present as an actor, as a hilarious penitent Pattume, but he was also the voice of the Death, who compared himself with the other great protagonist, Vittorio Gassmann.
Gigi Proietti the cartoon voice actor: not only the Genius of Aladdin!
If you think of Gigi Proietti voice for animated films, it only takes a fraction of a second to think of his Genius nell’Aladdin Disney, where it exploded in one range of voices, this yes, mindful of his explosive performances in A me gli occhi please. He replaced another person whose happiness today we regret with melancholy, Robin Williams. Note that while Williams quarreled with Disney and skipped the sequel The Return of Jafar, returning for Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Gigi had no problem covering the character throughout the trilogy, leaving the part to Roberto Pedicini only for the animated tv series. In the real life remake of Aladdin, Proietti symbolically voiced the Sultan.
The great success of his genius led him to Warnerian territory with the unknown The Magic Sword – In Search of Camelot: retrieve it, because Gigi there double a two-headed dragon, who don’t always get along! Curiously, a dragon was already in Proietti’s voice actor resume, who knows if you remember it: in the epic honest fantasy Dragonheart it was Draco, who in the original, significant bitter irony of fate these days, had the vocal charisma of Sean Connery.
Finally, for those who mistakenly think that the commitment to Aladdin was the first animated raptus of Gigi Proietti, we inform him that he is wrong: in a first dubbing of the short films Warner Bros, in the mid-sixties, it was he who, balancing the art of acting with that of spitting, gave life to the Italian Sylvester the Cat.