Monica Bellucci (born September 30, 1964) is an Italian actress and former fashion model. Bellucci is considered an Italian sex symbol.
Bellucci was born in Citta di Castello, Umbria. Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, Bellucci decided to start modeling in order to help pay for her tuition while at the University of Perugia, but the glamorous lifestyle tempted Monica away from her law studies.
She speaks Italian, French, and English fluently and has acted in each of these languages, as well as Aramaic.
Bellucci’s film career began in the early 1990s. In 1992 she made her first appearance in a major English-language film as one of Dracula’s brides in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She became popular with English-speaking audiences following her lead role in the acclaimed Italian film Malena, though she was perhaps best known for her role as Persephone in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions followed by her portrayal of Mary Magdelene in The Passion of the Christ.
After her work in The Passion of the Christ, Bellucci was assumed by many fans to be Roman Catholic. However in a documentary about the film, The Big Question, she stated: “I am an Agnostic, even though I respect and am interested in all religions. If there’s something I believe in, it’s a mysterious energy; the one that fills the oceans during tides, the one that unites nature and beings.”
In 2005, Belucci starred in The Brothers Grimm as a beautiful evil queen.
Her latest film is The Stone Council, directed by the Frenchman Guillaume Nicloux.
In 1988, Bellucci moved to one of Europe’s fashion centers — Milan, where she signed with Elite Model Management. By 1989, she was becoming prominent as a fashion model in Paris and across the Atlantic, in 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. Bellucci has posed nude in GQ, Maxim, Vanity Fair and InStyle magazines.
She is married to fellow actor Vincent Cassel, with whom she has appeared in several films and had a daughter, named Deva. In 2004, while pregnant with her daughter, Bellucci posed nude for the Italian Vanity Fair Magazine in protest against Italian laws that allow only married couples to use in-vitro fertilization and that prevent the use of donor sperm.
* She was recently featured in Maxim.
* In 2004, she topped AskMen’s 100 Most Beautiful Women in the World annual list.
* She will next be seen portraying Indian politician Sonia Gandhi in the biopic Sonia expected to release in 2007. Her slight resemblance to Gandhi, and the fact that both Bellucci and Gandhi are of Italian descent, made her a natural choice.
* Bellucci voiced as Kaileena in the video game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.