Here’s What Anthony Bourdain Refused to Show on TV — And Why

Here’s What Anthony Bourdain Refused to Show on TV — And Why

And the choice could earn him another Emmy.

By Tamara Palmer

Next month, Anthony Bourdain will compete for his fifth consecutive Emmy award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for his Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. This year's nominated episode is centered in Rome, Italy, but is anything but a stereotypical look at the city — and that is very much according to his design.

For one, you won't see Rome's most famous calling card, the Colosseum.

“The challenge that we... set for ourselves was to not shoot classical Rome at all,” Bourdain told The Wrap. “No shots of the Colosseum, nothing from the Roman empire… we very much wanted to talk about everyday, quotidian, post-World War 2 Rome… the Rome that most Romans actually live in.”

Actress Asia Argento, who appears in the episode and lives in Rome, had a strong influence in how it was presented.

“She was very much into this idea of non-classical Rome… the Rome she sees everyday and takes her kids to school in, and works in, is very different,” Bourdain said. “The whole look of the show and the themes of the show sort of grew out of my initial conversations with her.” Argento was generous with time and access, leading host and crew to her favorite mom and pop restaurants and into the subcultures of her neighborhood.

Bourdain told CNN that he not only loves the episode, but he thinks it could be "the most beautiful we've ever made."

Next up for Bourdain: a full-length documentary on food waste that hits theaters in October. The film is a serious subject, though the name bears a cheeky nod to his irreverent, freewheeling lifestyle and sense of humor: It's called Wasted.

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