Charlotte Fantelli / @cfantelli
Photography by Andy Hornby @ andyhornbyportraits
River shoot: Liberty Photography @libertyphotographyuk
Gym Shoot: Roger Dyson @dysonphoto
Happy to have you in FHM! Any exciting projects lined up? It’s great to be in FHM thanks for having me! Well my Film Production Company Branded Studios is going from strength to strength. We have just released Hunt Vs Lauda; The Next Generation, which I am incredibly proud of Directing. Right now we have a crew in Kerala, India filming a series called Car and Country, on Amazon Prime. The first season producers have brought us on board for series 2, they want to make it bigger and better and asked me to Series Direct which is very exciting. It is kind of a Top Gear travel show, showcasing some of the most magnificent cars and countries in the world. What could be better than making money travelling the world in supercars right?
Best place you have ever been to in the world? Best place I have travelled to, that’s tough because I take the best of every place I have been and enjoy the memories I make wherever I am; the stunning history and architecture of roman ruins in Italy, the olive groves my husband planted 30 years ago in Sardinia, the stunning coastal island hopping in Scotland, the sunsets over a marble villa in Ibiza, the very large moon in Sweden… But for me the best place in the world in my opinion is home. Boring as it may sound, I travel quite a bit for work and while I do love to go to beautiful hotels and great parts of the world, for me there is nothing like coming home – and having just invested a LOT in my new home and a good few acres of land, it truly is my favorite place in the world.
What made you get into film Producing/Directing? I always loved to write, I spent so much time fantasizing about things and letting my imagination run wild, it was my escapism and my passion. As I grew up I didn’t want to let go of my daydreams so instead made them my reality. What I love about film and TV is you can do just about anything you can dream of.
What are some of your biggest dreams you hope to achieve? I have always been a dreamer, but equally someone who does anything and everything it takes to make those dreams come true. My beautiful house, my business, the films I make, I just love dreaming about the thing that excites and impassions me and then finding a way to make it a reality. Next, I think it will be bringing out my book and a podcast, something that promotes the warrior mentality and getting shit done, that’s what I’m all about and it’s about time I shared what life has taught me.
Your films seem to mainly be for the guys, any reason for this? Well I like to think I know what men want (laughs), no, in seriousness, I actually make films about things I enjoy and I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. Of course I am a massive petrol head so my motorsport films ignite that fire inside me. My favourite film was Rocky growing up, so getting to be a part of bringing ‘Becoming Rocky’ with Sylvester Stallone to the world was incredible, and ‘Stallone, Frank That Is’ with his wonderful brother Frank.
What helps you decompress and relax? Until recently I had always seen relaxation as a bad thing, a non-constructive use of time. I live at 100mph and in a way it’s awesome because I cram so much into life, however in the last 18 months I have taken up yoga and it is an absolute godsend. 20 minutes of Sun Salutations and Downward Facing Dog and all is right with the world!
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why? That is a very hard question, there are very few I have let in enough to influence me. Of course, my mother who brought me up on her own played a large part in shaping my character as a child, but as an adult I’d say there are possibly two… In my home life my husband influenced me hugely, I never saw a healthy relationship growing up so he taught me how to love and be loved from scratch really. He made me realise it’s not all about chasing rainbows, but rather being with someone you’d share an umbrella with… In business it has to be my business partner Simon, I was in my early twenties when we first teamed up and I knew very little about business, he stuck it out with me through the learning curves and helped shape my entrepreneurial mindset.
How romantic are you? Well I used to be very romantic, I’ve been known to hire a little cottage in the woods and send my man a map to come and find me, scantily clad in-front of an open fire… After many years of marriage, I’d say I’m probably a little less romantic but still very spontaneous and open minded which means adventure isn’t too far away, even if it is around the school run, guitar practice and running a home and business…
What is the most memorable date you’ve ever had? Ha, I’ve had a few… But would have to go for the one where I met a guy I had known for a long time as a friend, and it was our first ‘date’ as such. We met in a car park, and he quickly took me back to his house. His very obese roommate was topless in the lounge eating pizza and playing video games, so he suggested we go to his room. I mean the romance was already dead at this point but I’d driven a long way… I went to the toilet and he called me through to his room. I entered to find him lead, stark naked on his single bed. To make it worse, he tapped the bed like some budget Hugh Hefner and no word of a lie said ‘come to Uncle James’… Sadly for a very ‘ready’ Uncle James, that was the end of the date!
What makes you the ultimate partner to have? Not sure I’d go quite that far, but I am very passionate in everything I do. I see life as a huge adventure and live it with fire and excitement. I love incredible film-like experiences, living out dreams and fantasies in ways many would shy away from. I am totally in touch with the craziest parts of myself and embrace them – which can be magic and scary in equal measure.
I am also very low maintenance, or rather I am very sufficient at maintaining myself… I am not needy and am fiercely independent, which I am sure could be a downside as well as an upside.
Would you rather be loved, respected, or admired? That’s a hard one and sorry to give a girly answer but I’d rather be loved by my family, admired by many and respected by all. With love comes responsibility, so admiration and respect would certainly be my preference in most relationships!
Are you a city traveller or nature explorer? Nature all the way. I am ultra-connected to people and tech in my day-to-day life, so whenever I can I like to totally disconnect and get back to nature. Literally, I’d be building fires, riding horses and bathing naked in lakes, given half the chance!
What’s on your travel bucket list? I have a lot of great business opportunities in the States and will likely spend some time there in the next couple of years, but from a holiday point of view, I’d say more of Italy as I feel so at home there, the people, the landscape, the culture, art, architecture and of course the wine…
Where can our readers catch up with you and stay updated with your work? You can stay up to date with me @cfantelli on Instagram and my websites charlottefantelli.co.uk and my work at brandedstudios.co.uk