Essay from Federico Wardal

Is “digital cloning” of actors the future of movie making? 

Young white man with black curly hair and a stage costume outfit, shirt and jacket with sequins, standing in front of a window and some houseplants
Count Federico Wardal, stage and film actor

I have a very positive view of the technology that allows for the digital creation of a person’s image. Therefore I have signed a paper giving permission to clone myself for the purposes of filmmaking. But all the uses of my image, all the films where my clone appears, must be aligned with my values of peace, human rights and anti-racism.

White mesh over a man's face, digital tech-looking image

It turns out that I am the first actor in the world to have signed such a consent form, but someone has to be the first.  So digital science has assimilated my creative output – my looks, movements and mannerisms – to create and personify ten roles. These include roles created by ancient Greek playwrights including Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides, and ancient Roman writers including Horace, and 17th century writers including Shakespeare, and luminaries of modern theater, including Pirandello, Beckett, and Schiller. I’m also allowing for my cloned image to play characters in my own stage and screenplays.  

Three tech-generated, expressive white male faces, eyes closed, different expressions - showing teeth or not.

So whoever wants to see me, or other actors who will eventually give their consent to being cloned, will be able to see me, first in the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

My clone will also act in my own play The Creative Mechanisms of Enchantment, a drama that I wrote twenty years ago, using the method of automatic writing, inspired by the spirit of Shakespeare.  Finally you will see a very complex work, where ‘Shakespeare’ reveals his creative processes!  

Images of a white male face on a computer screen. First image is bald like a mannequin, the second has color, hair, features and a calm expression.

The cloned form of an actor perfectly meshes with the person’s real artistic expression on stage. I’ve acted onstage since I was 14 years old and almost always in front of an audience in public stadiums or large theaters.  And often I am alone onstage.  You cannot imagine how much strength the audience gives me and because of Covid-19, I have had to go without the audience I miss very much. This is the greatest loss that Covid-19 has brought me.

Round dome, lighted stage for theater performance.

Fortunately, I recently starred in Hollywood on January 19, 2020 to celebrate my hero, film legend Federico Fellini. Now through cloning, everyone will soon be able to see my performance in “Federico and Fellini” in three-dimensional form.  Meanwhile, it makes me happy that an artistic short film that I wrote entitled “Cloned Life” has just been made with cloning.  It’s not three-dimensional, but it’s perfectly natural.  

Seeing myself acting in “Cloned Life” without ever having practiced or acted as the characters of “Cloned Life” was a strange feeling: my self wondered how it was possible to see myself doing something I’d never done.

Black and white cloned image of Federico Wardal

Time and space are normally linked by means of physical matter. If one of the three elements, time, space, or matter, is removed, the other two are automatically gone as well.  Cloning is the first step in overcoming the limitations of matter, space, and time in a revolution on par with Galileo’s discovery of the planets revolving around the sun. 

Man is migrating to another world.  Aliens are said to have taken this step.  There’s a theory that each of our actions is recorded by the universe and that the past, present or future are the same thing. Artistic cloning embodies this theory, muddying the gap between the past, present, and future. There are many organizations and institutions working on perfecting cloning, including some in Hollywood. This is the beginning of a new era.