Monica Bellucci biography 2022

Actress Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci biography

Monica Bellucci was born on September 30, 1968, in the village of Citta di Castello in Umbria, Italy. Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, Monica decided to start working as a model to help pay for her tuition while at the University of Perugia. But of course, the glamorous life of a model - which includes travel and a sweet income - tempted Monica away from her law school.

Monica Bellucci moved to Milan in 1988, one of Europe's fashion centers; she signed a contract with Elite Model Management and found plenty of modeling work. In 1989 she made it big in Paris and across the Atlantic in New York.

But although she had achieved great success in such a short time as a model (posing for Dolce & Gabbana and French Elle), she thrived on more. Monica transitioned to acting – a viral trend that models Laetitia Casta, James King, and Estella Warren has done with success – and started taking acting classes.

Bellucci made her film debut in 1990 with roles in Vita coi figli and Briganti (a.k.a. Bandits: Love and Liberty). The following year, she starred as Francesca in the film La Riffa. She made her American film debut as Dracula's Bride in 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula, starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder.

Roles started pouring in for the Italian beauty. After a role in Ostinato Destino, she appeared in I Mitici (aka The Heroes) in 1994 and Palla di neve in 1995. She also starred as Pharaoh's wife in the made-for-TV movie Joseph. But her role in the 1996 film L'Appartement earned Monica her acting accolades.

Her role as Lisa earned her a Cesar nomination in the Most Promising Young Actress category. It ensured audiences and film critics would take notice of this starlet. The film also starred her husband, Vincent Cassel, whom she later married in 1999.

In 1997, Monica was cast in Come mi vuoi (a.k.a As You Want Me), the Dobermann and Mauvais genre. After roles in several European films, such as 1998's L'Ultimo Capodanno,

A Los Que Aman and Compromis, she starred in 1999's Comme un Poisson hors de l'eau (also known as Like a Fish Out of Water).

Fortunately, American audiences could glimpse the stunning brunette in the 2000 drama, Under Suspicion, as Gene Hackman's trophy wife. She followed that up with a role in the French film Franck Spadone.

But the critical success of the Italian film Malena (2000), in which Monica starred in the title role, really catapulted her to fame. The film was nominated for 14 awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and continues to be one of the roles that best showcases her dramatic talent.

In 2001, Monica Bellucci starred in Brotherhood of the Wolf (starring her husband Cassel) and as Cleopatra in Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra the following year. While the latter was considered lighter fare, Monica flexed her acting muscle in the gritty 2002 film Irreversible, portraying a rape victim.

If American audiences were still unfamiliar with her, they were sure to catch her in 2003's Tears of the Sun, with Bruce Willis and Persephone in the long-awaited sequels to 1999's The Matrix: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutioner.

In 2004, she was seen as Magdalene in Mel Gibson's blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, and returned to French cinema with Agents secrets. She can also add 2004's The Brothers Grimm (with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger), Spike Lee's She Hate Me, and 2005's Lord of War (with Nicolas Cage) to her filmography.

Although the model-turned-actress has reached incredible heights in both streams of her career, she still dreams of working with the legendary Robert De Niro.

Monica and her husband will soon become parents, as they were expecting their first child in the autumn of 2004


last updated October 2022

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