The idea to make an ironic Ercole was mine and Cottafavi's, for HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS. In truth it's very difficult, when two of you work together, to establish which of the two came up with the idea - because perhaps it was just a minor thought, a prompt I gave him or a suggestion, or perhaps it was his given to me... The ideas, when you work together, always come from the whole partnership, because they are stimulated by that circumstance. In that epoch in which we worked together, Cottafavi was a delight, a true gentleman who was not called Vittorio, like he tells you, but as I have discovered, Benedetto Vittorio Emanuele Secondo, and therefore he must be of a family tree decidedly monarchic. He loved me greatly, above all because I smoked cigars and when I went to supper at his home, his wife felt obliged to withdraw so that I could smoke and accordingly he was able to smoke, too, without being forced to go outside onto the terrace.
Cottafavi was a very cultured man, very prepared, very intelligent which did not go well towards making a film of great commercial success. He always had the ambition to make a more committed film. He had made films of this sort, but they hadn't been understood. They'd done very badly.