Life and career
Child of farmers and the sixth of seven brothers, Zanin studied at a school run by priests up to the age of fourteen when an event occurred that made him leave. After a life on the road including time in jail, he became an actor by accident when Federico Fellini chose him among thousands of young men for the role of Titta in the film Amarcord. He went on to appear in numerous films, theatre plays and television series with Italian and foreign filmmakers such as Giuseppe Ferrara, Marco Tullio Giordana, Giuliano Montaldo, Franco Brusati, Luigi Faccini, Lucian Pintilie and Lina Wertmüller. In the theatre, he has worked with Giorgio Strehler, Luca Ronconi, Marco Sciaccaluga, Gianfranco De Bosio, Sandro Sequi, and Alfredo Arias, appearing chiefly in Venetian language plays by Goldoni but also in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. In 2007 he published his first novel, an autobiographical work titled Nobody must know. The book obtained special mention at the Città di Latisana per il Nord Est, an Italian literary awards event. The novel was published in Spanish by Trotta editorial Madrid, as Que no se entere nadie. Zanin has two sons, Francesco and Fiorenzo. He lives in a log cabin in the woods at Vanzone con San Carlo, a mountain village below Monte Rosa, Piedmont.