Josette Ciappara: 'My greatest achievement? Overcoming my greatest health challenge with grace'

Actor Josette Ciappara tells all in our Q&A

Birgu-born Josette Ciappara followed in her mother’s footsteps as a teacher of literature, Italian and Maltese, but she introduced drama to her methods to reach more students at the girls’ Junior Lyceum in Żejtun. Then in 1977 she attended a drama course at the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Art (MTADA). When she won a scholarship by the French embassy and two schools in the UK to study theatre abroad, on her return she worked at the Drama Unit and as a tutor at MTADA. As an actress she held the main roles in Phaedre, Antigone, The Birthday Party, Hedda Gabler, Is-Sibt il-Ħadd u t-Tnejn, Processo a Gesù, The Good Woman of Schezwan, Macbeth, Kamikaze, and in the television series L-Agenzija, Santa Monika, Caqqufa and Strada Stretta. Ciappara will be starring in Ma Kuraġġ u Wliedha at Teatru Manoel from 2 to 11 September.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?


What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Everything is in passing.

What do you never leave the house without?

My car keys.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Very easy-going, caring and compassionate.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Overcoming my greatest health challenge with grace.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Strawberry pavlova.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

When life throws you lemons, turn them to lemonade.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

A Kangen water machine.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

To believe more in myself.

Who’s your inspiration?

Art in general.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Overcoming Guillaine-Barre syndrome.

If you weren’t an actress what would you be doing?

A dancer.      

Do you believe in God?


If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Mario Attard.

What’s your worst habit?

Eating sweets.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I don’t know. Not me at all.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Sandra Bullock.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

A chinese mantra: Wo Shi Lian Hua, Lian Hua Shi Wo.

What is your most treasured material possession?

A special Rice Bag.

What is your earliest memory?

Me running in the sand at Ghadira Bay.

When did you last cry, and why?

Two weeks ago after reading a beautiful short story written by a friend.

Who would you most like to meet?

Dr Joe Dispenza.

What’s your favourite food?

Lampuki pie.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Jamie Cardona.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Vienna: waltzing.

What book are you reading right now?

‘The Book of Joy’.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To plant joy and good health in one’s life.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Go on a Serengeti expedition.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Italian songs from the 1980s.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Whatever comes to mind.