Renowned actor William Baldwin took part in the Taormina Film Festival, where the world premiere of Francesco Cinquemani’s latest family film, “Billie’s Magic World,” took place. Set against the stunning backdrop of Taormina’s Ancient Greek amphitheater, the movie features Baldwin as a child-snatching villain, alongside Irish actress Elva Trill. The antagonist, evil Lord Domino, is portrayed by Baldwin’s brother, Alec Baldwin. Additionally, Valeria Marini, an Italian actress, plays the role of his assistant. Mia McGovern Zaini stars as the young heroine, Billie, who saves the day with the help of her favorite stuffed toy, Johnny Puffin, voiced by Johnny Depp.
English-Language Family Movies
“Billie’s Magic World” is one of two English-language family films that combine live-action with animation. The movie is a co-production between Italian producer Gianluca Curti from Minerva Films and Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino of ILBE. The filming took place in spring 2022 and marked Alec Baldwin’s return to the set after the tragic shooting incident that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the production of “Rust” in October 2021.
A Positive Atmosphere
Despite the backdrop of tragedy, William Baldwin shared that there was a positive and light-hearted atmosphere during the filming in Rome. The cast members laughed and enjoyed each other’s company throughout the process. Baldwin emphasized that working on this film was particularly special because it was the first time he and his older brother, Alec, had the opportunity to act together in a feature film. While they had previously worked together on the TV show “30 Rock,” this was their first collaboration on the big screen. Baldwin expressed his excitement about working with his brother and the two talented actresses, Elva Trill and Valeria Marini. He also mentioned that they had a great time making not just one, but two films during the production: “Billie’s Magic World” and “Kid Santa.”
William Baldwin’s Affection for Italy
“Billie’s Magic World” marks William Baldwin’s sixth film in Italy and his fifth collaboration with director Francesco Cinquemani. The actor expressed his deep love for the country, reminiscing about his first trip to Milan, Piacenza, and Como right after college. He has been returning to Italy for decades and enjoys the opportunity to work in the country.
A Change of Direction for Francesco Cinquemani
“Billie’s Magic World” represents a departure from Francesco Cinquemani’s usual work on action thrillers and sci-fi films such as “Andròn: The Black Labyrinth,” “Eye For An Eye (The Poison Rose),” “Beyond The Edge,” and “Ritual Killer.” Cinquemani explained that he felt the need for something fresh and positive in his life after experiencing personal challenges, including the loss of his mother and his own health struggles. Wanting to do something for the children of the world, especially during the lockdown when children were often overlooked, Cinquemani decided to create a family comedy that would bring joy to young audiences.
William Baldwin’s participation in the Taormina Film Festival for the premiere of “Billie’s Magic World” brought excitement and anticipation for this new family film. The collaboration between the Baldwin brothers, along with the talented cast and crew, promises an entertaining and heartwarming experience for viewers. With its mix of live-action and animation, the movie aims to captivate and delight children around the world, providing them with a much-needed dose of positivity and joy.