It has often been said that Anna Magnani was an instinctive actress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anna Magnani wasn’t an instinctive actress at all. She was a top-class professional with a polished technique. She knew more about when and when not to use certain types of shot than many film directors. Many times at the end of a sequence I’ve heard the director say: «Fine, that’s perfect» and then seen her turn to him and say that it could be done much better. Even when she read a script she knew exactly what she would be able to get out of the character she was playing and her criticisms were always right to the point and extraordinarily accurate.