The charismatic Italo-Argentinian-German actress, pianist and composer was born in Mendoza, Argentina in a well-to-do family of Italian heritage. As an actress, she is known for Stung (2015), Under ConTroll (2020), Golden Twenties (2019) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Her grandfather Rómulo Calise was from Ischia, Italy. He founded together with his father and brothers the "Bodega Calise", one of the first wineries in Mendoza, Argentina's most important wine region, thus attaining great prosperity. Rich heiress Margarita Esther Calise (Maita), his daughter, grew up in Buenos Aires passing her life between family's villas, golf clubs and country properties until she married Jorge Alfredo Pillado. Then they settled down in Mendoza because of the winery's administration and gave birth to four daughters and one son.
Her mother used to say that when Cecilia was just a year old, she could already recite a poem and that as a little girl, she loved playing the leading roles in school plays. At the same time the fact that her aunt was a TV producer, gave her the opportunity to act in a kids' television show and display her theatrical talent in front of a camera. Her only motivation and the source of her fascination had always been to play for an audience, whether it was in the theater, on stage as a musician or in front of a camera.
As a young adult she was a member of the Goethe Institute Mendoza Theatre Company directed by Gladys Ravalle while at the same time pursuing her studies in music at the Cuyo National University in Mendoza. It was through the Goethe Institut [de] that she arrived in Germany, where she completed her drama and music studies at the University of the Arts Berlin, 'Universität der Künste Berlin' and participated on the side in various productions of the Independent Latin-American Theater Berlin under the direction of her fellow countryman Emilio Schechtmann.
After a few on-screen appearances including "Wo ist das Tao" (1988) and Sin querer (1997), she decided to perfect the art of film and TV acting and went to Los Angeles in 1998 to study with some of the leading acting coaches such as M.K. Lewis and Margie Haber among others. After a short time she was granted a green card on the basis of her artistic achievements. Returning to Germany, she was able to gain entry into the German television and film industry. Since then she has frequently appeared in German TV movies like "Zwei Esel auf Sardinien (2015), Lotta & die großen Erwartungen (2012), Lotta & die alten Eisen (2010) and in the TV series Verbotene Liebe (1995), Anna (2008), Points of You (2011), Löwenzahn (1981) and Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (1992).
Paradoxically, her efforts to act in hispanic cinema productions and in those of her native Argentina have yet to be rewarded. Her native languages are Spanish and Italian and she speaks German and English fluently, which gives her both the ability and the desire to act in international productions. It would seem that Hollywood's current interest in Germany as a film location is influencing positively this situation, generating chances and offering fortunate occasions: she was able to make the acquaintance of Roman Polanski, act in his film The Ghost Writer (2010) and work in Cloud Atlas (2012) as a spanish dialogue coach for Halle Berry.
Her best roles are those portraying strong, obsessed, psychopathic or insane women, especially those whose personality can seem completely normal one minute and switch to insanity the next, like her role of Simonetta Paternostro in The Founder (2012), inspired by the character of Annie Wilkes in Misery (1990). She also enjoys portraying villainesses and has no fears of confronting challenges.
Cecilia Pillado is a very creative person with a wide range of talents. She created the musical play "The history of Tango" and performed the character of the Tango Woman in different places in Germany and Italy. She made Improvisation Theater (after Keith Johnstone) and has composed some several pieces for piano and other instruments. She also developed the concept for her film Italienisch! (2006) in which she acted. She also wrote, shooted, acted, edited and made her short film Twin Sisters or Homeland (2013) completely by herself. These days she is developing the script Valentina, Her Piano and the Tangos
Some of her theater performances include Franz Grillparzer's Medea, Donata in Luigi Pirandello's "To find Oneself", Margaret in Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", Irina in Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters", Bride in Federico García Lorca's "Blood Wedding", Polly in Kurt Weill's "Three-Penny Opera" and Mirandolina in Carlo Goldoni's "The Innkeeper Woman". Many of these plays have already been filmed.
In addition to acting, she has another passion: she is an outstanding and successful concert pianist. Her recordings offer an interesting selection of argentinian composers and tangos, combining classic virtuosity and a big pianistic sound with elements of improvisational freedom. She signed with majors like 'Sony Classical' and 'Berlin Classics' what bears witness to her quality, but now, she is focusing on expanding her company 'Tango Malambo Productions'