"In life, everything is learning and accepting challenges"
In her person, Argentine and Italian cultures merge. Viviana is a model, host, actress and film critic. She lived for a long time in Italy and today, back in her native country, she talks about her career and her ambitious projects.
Viviana Greco was born in Paraná. Member of a large family with Italian roots, she finished secondary education and decided to move to Paris. She was 18 and had a dream waiting to be realized : she wanted to be a model. She did not lack beauty or elegance, much less the desire to face new challenges, so with the support of her family she signed a contract with an agency and started a successful career. Today it tells stories of Italians who settled in Argentina after the Second World War.
Why did you choose to be a model?
In the 90s all the girls wanted to be a model. I liked the world of fashion but what I wanted was to travel, to know. I was always with the globe and encyclopedias, because at that time there was no Internet like now. I spent hours looking at the images of the different countries of the world, which fortunately I have been able to get to know all these years.
In which places did you discover your profession?
After Paris, I lived in Italy. I was also in the United States and went to work in Tokyo when I was 20. Also, I have done productions in Thailand and Indonesia. In every place I have lived, I have been able to learn many things. I am very curious and I think you must have goals. That's what it's all about, doing things and perfecting where life allows you.
And how do you feel with languages?
I knew something of Italian and was perfecting it while I was there. I didn't know French, but I learned in Paris. I consider it extremely important to live in a country and try to communicate in that language. Now I study Portuguese and I also speak English which helps me communicate everywhere. German is difficult for me, but I can manage something. I have never learned Chinese instead ... I find it very difficult!
Besides being a model, you have been trained in several disciplines.
Yes. I liked fashion, but I also wanted to do something else, so I took acting courses and studied film criticism, because I am passionate about Italian cinema. I've actually been in movies, but what I like most is driving. I am passionate about discovering stories, I feel it opens my head a lot. Today the show is very broad : the show offers you to do many things and this is how you learn. Everything in life is learning and accepting challenges : the interesting thing about this job is that it's not monotonous, you don't get bored!
You are carrying out a very ambitious project. What is it about?
I am in Buenos Aires making a program for Italian television on immigration, with all the associations and communities that exist in Argentina. I do the interviews and I'm getting into executive production. The program consists of a series of interviews with people who arrived after the Second World War or before. The idea is to unite those who are here with their relatives and keep regional customs (gastronomic, dialectical, cultural). Our Argentina is a land of immigrants, mostly Italians, so I have a lot of work. I've been to Rosario and Mar del Plata before, where things have gone very well for me because there are all kinds of communities that work as clubs where people go, meet, share, play cards, hold discos, dance. They are healthy environments where they can take their families and they are all accompanied. I must tell you that in Italy there is a lot of curiosity to know the history of the immigrants who came to Argentina.
What have we received from the Italians?
Most of the Italians who came in that period had a lot of love for work and respect for the source of work: this is what the people I spoke to point out to me. They came to farm the land, work and grow, all on the basis of sacrifice. It is important that what they have experienced is passed on to new generations. I believe that Argentines inherit good and bad things, like being charlatans! (laughs), but the values are there and the love for the family stands out.
You have Italian roots and a very strong bond with their culture. What do you think is reflected in it?
My grandparents were Italian and when I was little they told me stories. I also remember listening to a lot of music since I was little, and being there I was able to relive it all. The truth is that I felt at home, like I was born there. The fact that I had made many friends reinforced that feeling.
Do you have more friends there than here?
Yes, many more. I used to come very little, only once or twice a year to campaign for national brands. Most of my friends are in Italy, France and Rome, because when I studied I generated a lot of connections. My best friend is in Milan and she is a film producer. Social networks keep me in touch with all of them and now I'm meeting more people from my country.
You were a young girl when you left. How was the process?
In the race I did well because I believe that when you have a good education, values and know what you want, you follow that path. Luckily I worked from the first moment on what I liked. I was always looking for new ways, not to limit myself and expand my learning. Maybe I was very young, but I felt old because I was mature enough. Also, I believe you have to live every moment of the era that touches you. I left very young and my family has always supported me from here, giving me all their trust, we communicated very little, yes, because at the beginning we did not use a cell phone.
Did you find out what was happening in your country and in your city?
It has been difficult. There was no communication that there is now with social networks and I wish it had existed because that would have helped me feel closer. I spoke to my family once a week, only a year after being there I was able to buy a cell phone. Living in Japan cost me a lot : I didn't know what was happening in the country because the news didn't talk about it. I used to buy Spanish newspapers, because not knowing what is going on is quite difficult.
What's the cutest thing the fashion world has left you?
It has allowed me to meet many people and I also really like glamor. It is a superficial and ephemeral world, but it has its positives. When I was a girl, there were no external magazines coming to Paraná and there was no flow of information there is now. There I was able to learn to cultivate elegance, knowing how to dress and good taste. I enjoy being able to recommend my friends, who consult me from time to time. I believe that every woman can benefit from it if she finds her own style in clothing, make-up and hairstyle. Copying is useless : everyone must be according to their own personality. Dressing up and matching clothes is fun - it's a game for us.
How would you define elegance?
I think that the elegance of a woman has nothing to do with luxury : you can have a very expensive garment and not be elegant if you have badly matched your shoes or you have not been able to choose the accessories well. Elegance is acquired and expensive dresses aren't always the best. It is to know how to combine, to know how to wear a garment. You have to know how to play and find your style. Mine is classic and romantic.
Interview conducted by María Belén Bustamante for the Mujeres Divinas website.
29 February 2016