More on the Italian Goddess
She stripped naked to protest against harsh laws restricting IVF in Italy which are based on Catholic principles, has no qualms about appearing nude, and is an agnostic, but Monica Bellucci agreed to star in Mel Gibson's very Catholic movie, The Passion of the Christ (2004).
The beautiful, free-spirited Italian actress was born in the Italian village of Citta di Castello in 1969. She obtained high marks at school and enjoyed her classical studies, so she decided to study law at The University of Perugia. When a friend took her to a modeling agency, Bellucci was signed on the spot. She liked the glamorous life of a model and decided to give up law. She later said that law would have been too boring for her and would not have suited her personality.
Modeling was not challenging enough for Bellucci. She took small roles in many movies, such as La Riffa (1991) and Ostinato Destino (1992), but it wasn't until she played one of Dracula's brides in 1992 that the lovely actress began to be noticed, and really decided that this would be her future profession. She left for Paris where many more movies were being made and took acting lessons.
Although Bellucci loves living in Paris, she missed her spaghetti, and sees herself as very much an Italian. "I see myself like any Italian girl because everything is so Italian to me - like the way I love to eat," she told Mark Salisbury at The Observer.
A great set of clips of Monica Bellucci
She found acting the part took her on a spiritual journey, although she isn't a Christian herself. She said that: "If there's something I believe in, it's a mysterious energy, the one that fits the oceans during tides, the one that unites nature and beings." (Monica-bellucci.net)
Bellucci's last two roles have also been interesting ones. She played the Mirror Queen in The Brothers Grimm (2005) and a prostitute in Combien tu m'aimes? (2006). Acting the Mirror Queen - a 500 year old, wrinkled woman obsessed with regaining her youth and beauty - made the actress think about growing old. "...We are all victims of vanity in a way, and that's why I think the film is much more than just a special effects film," she told Martyn Palmer of The Times. But she also said that: "I think to be obsessed with youth and beauty is an American problem."
More career highlights are in store for the actress, who is married to handsome French actor, Vincent Cassel, and has a daughter, Eva. She has just been signed to play the challenging role of Sonia Gandhi.
By Lisa-Anne Sanderson