Award-winning Italian actress Valeria Golino was already a big fan of Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.
Watching the first season of the hit series during the pandemic in Italy “became a little happening between me and my friends, all locked in our houses and apartments,” Golino, 56, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It was, ‘Who are you rooting for? Alex or Bradley?'”
So when Golina received a call to audition for the show’s second season, she jumped at the chance. “I mean, I had to change my schedule a lot, but there was no way I was not going to do it,” she says.
Though she first made an impression on America audiences playing Tom Cruise’s love interest in 1988’s Rain Man and holding her own with Charlie Sheen the 1991 comedy Hot Shots!, Golino is making her U.S. television premiere with her role as a documentary filmmaker who befriends Steve Carell’s character in The Morning Show.
Having starred in countless French and Italian films over the years, Golino is still approached by fans of her early American roles. “Those movies had a following for many, many years,” she says. “Nobody’s rushing, screaming like I am Lady Gaga, but some people still recognize me. Maybe because, I mean, I am much older, but I haven’t changed that much.”
The actress, who also directs, insists there is no secret to her timeless look. “I smoke. I eat. I drink. I don’t do exercise, but I don’t advise it for anyone,” she says, laughing. “When I see Jennifer [Aniston] and me on the same screen, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s like before and after the cure.”
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While she briefly worked with Aniston, most of Golino’s scenes involved Carell. “He’s such a strong and different original actor. I told him that he reminded me of Peter Sellers,” she says. “He’s just a very, very skilled and unique actor, and I really loved working with him. I thought it was a privilege.”
As for her own career — she is one of only three actresses to have twice won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival — Golina says she doesn’t ever “take it for granted.”
“I’m not happy or content. I’m never satisfied,” she adds. “But I am prone to joy.”
The season 2 finale of The Morning Show premieres Friday on Apple TV+.