Di seguito il testo originale prelevato dal
Irene from my homeland Greece, who was in
a business trip in Rome last week, sent us this first hand account of
a brief encounter with Russell. Irene, many, many thanks :)
A Lion in the Streets of Rome
I was recently in Rome for business, my planned
trip to Spain - where I thought I would have the chance to see Russell
- had been cancelled and I wasn't in a good mood. Not because I would
miss my chance, but because it was an important trip for my work. Anyway,
I was with some friends and colleagues, we had just finished a very tiring
meeting and we were walking the streets of Rome talking. As you may know,
in the centre of Rome there are streets where only pedestrians can go,
the cars aren't allowed. People walk around window shopping and the place
is so crowded that at times you have a hard time walking.
Suddenly, among the crowd, I noticed a little
disturbance. In the beginning I didn't know what was happening. Then I
noticed someone who was taking pictures in the middle of the street. I
wasn't surprised, it's not unusual for fashion photo shoots to take place
there. I tried to see who they were taking pictures of, and in the beginning
the only thing I saw was a guy with a baseball cap and sports attire.
I didn't recognise him and momentarily I looked away. The distance between
us got shorter, only the width of the road between us. Only then did I
see the man next to him, until then I hadn't noticed him because he was
walking close to the wall.
He, as well, was wearing sports attire and
a baseball cap which kept almost his whole face hidden. I looked at him
a little better - they were already passing me by - and I started recognising
the face: the long light brown hair falling to his shoulders under the
baseball cap. The beard. The shape of the face and his eyes which fortunately
I had the opportunity to see for a split second when he momentarily turned
his head to the left. Clouded face, with the lips slightly pursed. It
All these happened very quickly. Before I
knew it I could only see his back. As I was looking at him walking away,
I also recognised the slight bow of his back and his walk. Tutto questo
accadde molto velocemente. Prima di rendermene conto ebbi solo la visione
delle sue spalle. Mentre lo guardavo allontanarsi, riconobbi anche la
lieve curvatura della sua schiena, e la sua camminata. It was so sudden
and unexpected - I didn't even knew he was in Rome - that my first thought
was that I was wrong, that it was someone who looked like him. But then
a gentleman walking next to me turned and told his wife: "Il Gladiatore".
I wasn't wrong after all.
No, I didn't run after him. For a lot of reasons. For one, I was with colleagues who were already surprised that
I had stopped in the middle of the road staring at total strangers. But
even if I was alone, I would have reacted the same way. When I was planning
my trip to Spain, I had almost decided to try and get close to him. Why
did I change my mind? The expression on his face. He wasn't annoyed or
angry with the paparazzi following him around. He was almost resigned,
like saying: "Can I have a moment of peace please?" I put myself in his
place. He needs, like any other human being, to be able to walk, drink
his beer and relax. He wants and has every right to keep his privacy,
and unfortunately he isn't able to do that. That's what I thought was
telling us with his eyes: if you respect me and love me even a little
for the moments I give you, please give me some breathing space.
Why did I call him "a lion in the streets
of Rome". When I think of these few seconds and his fleeting image, this
is the word that comes to my mind: his is like a lion. From the colour
of his hair, his walk which is a lot like the one we saw in Gladiator,
to the way he keeps his hands a little away from his body and the frame
of his body which is strong and muscular. He isn't short, but he isn't
tall either, he isn't heavy as some people say, he has an imposing frame
and a body that looks healthy and strong under his clothes.
But what impressed me the most was the expressiveness
his face: with his sombre expression he had the air of a wild animal.
Remember that beautiful picture of his from Spyforce at the age of six
and you 'll know what I mean. Unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to see
him smile, feel the warmth and the way he lights up the room in his television
appearances and some of his pictures. But I can reassure you that the
feeling you get is positive one hundred per cent.
The feeling I got from this brief encounter
was that Russell is a pure and earthy soul. In a normal, every day
away from the people that, as he himself says, use him as a product, his
personality shone through in the way he looked everyone: in the eyes.
Hugs and kisses from your correspondent in
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