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Interview with Yanti Somer

Since many years I tried to find out what has become to Yanti Somer, the pretty woman at Terence 'side in Trinity is still my name and Man of the East. She suddenly disappeared in 1982 from the screens and nobody seemed to know something about her. Thats why I was very excited when I was sitting in the car on the way to the woman that I was looking for for such a long time. Yanti welcomed me in their home, speaking English. She said that she could not believe that after all this time someone is looking for her. We had a few cold drinks and some small talk about the journey and the beautiful weather. Finally they gave me the permission to ask her some pointed questions.

When and where were you born really?

On 02.29.1948 in Helsinki.

Yanti Somer is not your real name, right? There are also many other names under which you were credited. Can you tell me your real name?

I did not know that I have so many names (laughs). I was born as Kirsti Elisa Somersalo. In my childhood I was always getting called Titti. My father unfortunately died very early. I was just 16 years old. My mother was not very old. I was called Yanti when I came to Paris. That was about 1968 in the time of hippies and free life.

Why have you been called "Yanti"?

I was living from day to day at that time. Sometimes I had nothing to eat because I had no money. So I started to work in a restaurant as a waitress. One day I was approached by a photographer. He said I should try to work as a model. The photographer was very impressed by the Indian world and esoteric and Buddhist wisdoms. So he used the Indian word "Shanti" and gave me the name Yanti Somer. He wanted that my name was something special and that you can easily remember it. From then everyone called me Yanti, until today. But today there is a little difference, because in Italian there is no Y and no J. So I'm called IANTI now.

How did you get to the movies?

I do not remember exactly. I went to so many auditions and have made so many modeling jobs. Someone then put me in a movie. It all went through agents.

Is it true that Enzo Barboni and Terence Hill have chosen you for the second Trinity movie?

I can neither confirm nor deny it. I was cast very often at this time. At one day it was said, "You're the new girl in the second Trinity movie." For me it was a whole new experience. It was a very big production. I met stars like Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. Enzo Barboni was great. He was such a nice man. It was really a very nice time!

How it was to work with Bud and Terence?

They both were very nice always!! With Bud I did not have many scenes together. But I spent a lot of time with Terence. He really was an incredibly nice and very polite man, who had no affectations. He never made ??me feel that I was only just a little silly supporting actress.

Yanti, I need to ask you something, ...

Of course, feel free to ask, but I think I know the question already ...

Have you been single at this time and do you thought that Terence was an attractive man? I think in some scenes you looked like you really was in love with him, for example in the scene in the monastery where you kissed him at the floor.

Ooooooh yes .. that was because I really was head over heels in love with him. But I knew that he is married and has a son. Especially during the shot of Man of the East we spent a lot of time together. We discovered the love of nature, and we walked and talked a lot. The forests in Yugoslavia were beautiful. But that was all! Terence was always correct and incredibly charming. He really was a very nice and interesting man. And if he was not been married ... who knows ... (laughs)

Have you ever seen him again?

Unfortunately, not. Sometimes I've seen him on TV in all the movies he has made, also in Don Matteo etc.. But I hope that we will meet again somewhere.

Is it true that you had a relationship with Pierre Brice?

Yes, but only for a short time. We are gone separate ways soon. He made a lot of movies and I worked hard as a model.

Many people want to know why you're gone from the scene overnight? You shot two big movies with Terence, but after that there were only small roles. But the name Yanti Somer was well known at this time?! Why there were no more big movies? What happened?

There were several reasons. As I mentioned before, I was very young and naive, sometimes really stupid. I just had the wrong advisors and agents. They all wanted to earn a lot of money with me and gave me roles which I accepted without questions. Later I've played in these cheap but quite funny space movies. It was a highlight to met Christopher Reeves. Actually I would have like to have done more movies, but it was also a very big problem that my husband was incredibly jealous. We had very often conflicts about that and therefore he had forced me to stop the work as actress. Finally, I was pregnant. So I left the film business and never returned.

You told me earlier that you was very surprised that after so many years, someone is looking for you. But why you was surprised? Didn't you get recognized by the people all the time?

No, not at all. I was recognized only once in my life by an Italian at the airport. In my whole life I've never written any autographs.

What? Wait a minute, what's about the photo that you have signed with "Grosses Bises Yanti"?

Huh? Show me. I should have written that? Can not be. I do not remember. Give me the pen and a note. I write this sentence again ... Hmm, strange, it could really be my signature. Well?! Maybe I've written that for a friend somewhere and it was sold to the press?!

After that we talked further about God and the world until I had to say goodbye. I had met that day a very open-minded and young at heart woman and as I slowly rolled down the driveway, I meant to see in the rearview mirror the outrageously good-looking blond girl in their settlers clothes which cheerfully waved me goodbye.

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