Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci has wowed the world in such films as ‘L’Appartmente’ and ‘The Matrix Reloaded.’
Born in 1964, Monica Bellucci started modeling as a teenager. She soon moved on to acting, appearing in big-screen projects like Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Bellucci continued to demonstrate her talents with acclaimed roles in such films as L’Appartmente (1996) and Malèna (2000). In 2003, she appeared in the sci-fi hits The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Bellucci has continued to land interesting roles, including a part in the upcoming James Bond film Spectre.
Early Life and Career
Born on September 30, 1964, in Città di Castello, Italy, actress and model Monica Bellucci is the only child of a stay-at-home mom and trucking company owner. The striking brunette started modeling in her teens as a way to pay for her schooling. She studied law at the University of Perugia, but Bellucci eventually abandoned her academic ambitions to model full-time. Bellucci worked for designers Dolce & Gabbana and appeared in such magazines as French Elle. She married photographer Claudio Basso in 1990, but the pair divorced in 1994.
After working in a few Italian films and on television, Bellucci was introduced to American audiences with Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Gary Oldman played the legendary vampire and Bellucci had a small role as his bride. Four years later, she earned great acclaim for her supporting role in the French film L’Appartmente. She fell for her co-star, French actor Vincent Cassel, and the pair married a few years later.
International Film Star
Bellucci went on to juggle Hollywood roles with parts in European films as well. She starred in Under Suspicion (2000) with Gene Hackman, and that same year she received accolades for her dramatic performance as a wife separated from her husband by war in the Italian language film Malèna. Two years later, Bellucci starred in historical action drama Brotherhood of the Wolf with then-husband Cassel.
In 2003, Bellucci appeared in the hit science-fiction sequel to the The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, as Persephone. Her on-screen liplock with co-star Keanu Reeves was hot enough to earn the pair a nomination for best kiss at the MTV Movie Awards. She also appeared in the final installment of the series, The Matrix Revolutions, later that year. Bellucci then turned her attentions to all things Biblical with the Mel Gibson-directed The Passion of the Christ (2004), playing Mary Magdalene to Jim Caviezel’s Jesus. This was followed by the fantasy-action caper The Brothers Grimm (2005), in which Bellucci played the Mirror Queen opposite Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as the title characters.
Bellucci later starred opposite Rachel Weisz in the 2010 true-life drama The Whistleblower and the 2011 Italian romantic comedy The Ages of Love with Robert De Niro. She also made headlines when she was selected to star opposite Daniel Craig as the next “Bond Girl” for Spectre (2015)—making her the oldest woman to play the superspy’s paramour in the James Bond film series. As she explained to The Sunday Times, she told the film’s director Sam Mendes that “he would be a hero among women for casting me in Spectre.” Bellucci added, “True sexiness is in the mind, the imagination—not in the age of the body.”
Bellucci has two daughters, Deva and Leonie, with her second husband Vincent Cassel. The couple announced their separation in 2013.