Pages

07 February 2013

Monica Bellucci

Stunningly beautiful Italian actress and fashion model Monica Bellucci (1964) is one of the few major European film stars of the last decades. Her role of sci-fi vixen Persephone in the Matrix series made her a worldwide sex symbol.

Monica Bellucci
Chinese Poscard by Oriental City Publishing Group.

Dracula's Bride
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci was born in Città di Castello, Italy in 1964 (some sources cite 1968 or 1969). She was the only child of painter Brunella Briganti and Pasquale Bellucci, an owner of a trucking company, and she grew up in San Giustino. Bellucci began modeling at age 13 by posing for a local photo enthusiast. However she thought she would become an attorney, but dropped out of the University of Perugia when a modelling career beckoned. In 1988, Bellucci moved to fashion centre Milan, where she signed with Elite Model Management. By 1989, she was becoming prominent as a fashion model in Paris and New York City. She posed for Dolce & Gabbana and French Elle, among others. In that year, Bellucci made the transition to acting and began taking acting classes. Her film career began with a part opposite Giancarlo Giannini in the TV film Vita coi figli/Life with kids (1990, Dino Risi). That year she married Claudio Carlos Basso, but they divorced four years later. She played a leading role in La Riffa/The raffle (1991, Francesco Laudadio) with Massimo Ghini, and was one of Count Dracula's brides in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992, Francis Ford Coppola). In 1996 she was nominated for a César Award for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Lisa in L'Appartement/The Apartment (1996, Gilles Mimouni). In England it won the Bafta award for the best foreign language film. The film was also a modest box office success in France, the Netherlands and other European countries. Her co-star in this film was French actor Vincent Cassel, with whom she married in 1999. They have appeared together in several films since, and have two daughters, Deva (2004) and Léonie (2010).

Monica Bellucci
Chinese Poscard by Oriental City Publishing Group.

Monica Bellucci
Chinese Poscard by Oriental City Publishing Group.

Cleopatra and Persephone
Monica Bellucci became known and popular with worldwide audiences when she played the title role in the romantic drama Malèna (2000, Giuseppe Tornatore). Malèna is the tale of a 13-year-old boy's obsession with a beautiful woman in a small Sicilian town during World War II. Malèna (Bellucci) is a quiet young bride who is left alone in a small Sicilian town when her husband goes off to fight in World War II. Stunningly attractive, she struggles to keep her dignity as she is spurned by the female villagers and preyed upon by the men. Bellucci followed this hit with roles in two other successful films. She was a courtesan in the French horror film Le Pacte des loups/Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001, Christophe Gans) with Samuel LeBihan, and a rape victim in the violent drama Irréversible/Irreversible (2002, Gaspar Noé) with Vincent Cassel. She became the subject of numerous fan sites and men's magazine articles. In the cinema she appeared as Cleopatra in Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre/Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002, Alain Chabat), starring Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu and based on the comic book Astérix et Cléopatre by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The following year she played Persephone in the highly anticipated follow-ups to The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), both directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves. She then got the role of Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) featuring Jim Caviezel. The film covers the final 12 hours of Jesus' life, beginning with the Agony in the Garden and ending with a brief depiction of his resurrection. The violent and highly controversial production was a blockbuster. Worldwide, The Passion of the Christ earned more than $600,000,000.

Monica Bellucci
Chinese Poscard by Oriental City Publishing Group.

Monica Bellucci
Chinese Poscard by Oriental City Publishing Group.

Mirror Queen
In 2004, while pregnant with her daughter Deva, Monica Bellucci posed nude for the Italian Vanity Fair Magazine in protest against Italian laws, that prevent the use of donor sperm. From 2006 to 2010 she was the face of a range of Dior products. She kept working in international films. She was the Mirror Queen in The Brothers Grimm (2005, Terry Gilliam), starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in an exaggerated and fictitious portrait of the Brothers Grimm as travelling con-artists in French-occupied Germany during the early 19th century. In the French thriller Ne te retourne pas/Don't Look Back (2009, Marina de Van), she co-starred with Sophie Marceau. She played a sorceress in the fantasy adventure film The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010, John Turteltaub) with Nicolas Cage, and a Bosnian woman in The Whistleblower (2010, Larysa Kondracki) with Rachel Weisz. In 2012 Monica Bellucci became the new face of Dolce & Gabbana and she also made the film Fasle Kargadan/Rhino Season (2012) for Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi. In production now is the French film Des gens qui s'embrassent/People Who Embrace (2013, Daniele Thompson).


Trailer for Malèna (2000). Source: BratvaTv (YouTube).


Trailer Irréversible/Irreversible (2002). Source: Gabtor70 (YouTube).


Trailer for Fasle Kargadan/Rhino Season (2012). Source: Mijfilm (YouTube).

Sources: Aubry Anne D'Arminio (AllMovie), Film Reference, NNDB, Wikipedia and IMDb.

2 comments:

Bunched Undies said...

Great pics! Who doesn't love Monica? Rhino Season looks amazing

Bob of Holland said...

Thanks Bunchie, I fell in love with her in Le pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf). I guess that was also the moment Vincent cassel fell for her. And of course she chose him...