Unlikely duo set for RomaCinemaFest

Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone to appear on Extra sidebar

ROME -- Popular Italian actors Toni Servillo and Carlo Verdone will appear together in the Extra sidebar at the third RomaCinemaFest, organizers announced Sunday, marking a rare co-appearance from two of Italy's most recognizable and contrasting big screen personalities.

The Extra sidebar is a series of informal encounters with well-known cinema figures, who discuss their profession and take questions of the public. Past guests have included Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Loren, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sean Connery, and Harrison Ford.

Servillo, a former stage actor, is one of Italy's top dramatic acting talents, with a key role in both Paolo Sorrentino's "Il Divo," where he played iconic Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, and in Matteo's Garrone's organized crime drama "Gamorra" -- both of which attracted critical acclaim in competition at the Festival de Cannes this year. He also won a David di Donatello Award for his protagonist role in last year's well-received "La Ragazza del Lago" (The Girl by the Lake).

Verdone, meanwhile, is among Italy's best known comic actors, and was the star of this year's boxoffice hit "Grande, Grosso ... e Verdone" (Great, Grand ... and Verdone). He will also play a leading role in Giovanni Veronesi's comedy "Italians," set to be in post-production during the Oct. 22-31 RomaCinemaFest.

The unlikely pair, who have never appeared together in a film, will each pick scenes from their favorite films and answer questions from Extra director Mario Sesti.