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2.6.11

Monica Bellucci-Biography

Monica Bellucci-Biography
Name-Monica Anna Maria Bellucci
Born: September 30, 1968
She was born in 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, Bellucci originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school, and this led to her modeling career. In 1988, she moved to one of Europe’s fashion centers, Milan, and joined Elite Model Management. Although enjoying great success as a model, she made her acting debut on TV in 1990, and her American film debut in 1992 was in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Her role in the 1996 French thriller, Appartement, L’ (1996), shot her to stardom as she won the French equivalent of an Oscar nomination. Other credits include Malèna (2000), Under Suspicion (2000) and Pacte des loups, Le (2001).
Film critics are quick to compare Monica Bellucci to previous Italian beauties, but she is her own brand of sultry icon. With roles as a topless vampire in Bram_Stoker's_Dracula, a taciturn war widow in Malèna (2000), a charmed courtesan in Le Pacte des Loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf) (2002), and a sci-fi vixen in the Matrix sequels (2003), Bellucci has proved to be a bold blend of earthy and ethereal, actress and star.

Born on September 30, 1968, Bellucci grew up in the small Italian village of Citta di Castello, where her father owned a trucking company. At 18, she enrolled at the University of Perugia with plans to study law. To pay her tuition, Bellucci started modeling. Two years later, she dropped out of school to relocate to Milan, where she signed with Elite Model Management. Besides strutting the cat walk in fashion shows, Bellucci appeared in international advertising campaigns for designers such as Dolce & Gabbana. With her modeling career in full swing, she began to take acting classes and made her screen debut in the television film Vita Coi Figli (Life With the Sons) in 1990.

After acting in several Italian features, Bellucci graced American screens for the first time as one of Dracula's (Gary_Oldman) brides in Francis_Ford_Coppola's Bram_Stoker's_Dracula (1992), which also starred Keanu_Reaves and Winona_Ryder. She subsequently returned to Italy to appear in the heist film (I_MiticiThe_Heroes) (1994) and the children's movie Palla di Neve (Snowball) (1995). As time passed, Bellucci grew increasingly frustrated with the failure of Italy's film industry to promote its projects abroad. She starred opposite Ben_Kingsley and Dominique_Sanda in the American television movie Joseph (1995), before looking for work in French films.

Bellucci made her French-language debut in 1996's award-winning romance L'Appartement (The_Apartment). She earned a César nomination for her performance in the role, as well as began dating her co-star, French actor Vincent_Cassel. The couple (who married a few years later) re-teamed onscreen immediately, portraying comically troubled lovers in the gender-bending romance Come_Mi_Vuoi (As_You_Want_Me) (1996) and murderous bank robbers in Jan_Kounen's infamous thriller Dobermann (1997).

In 2000, Bellucci returned to Hollywood to play Gene_Hackman's estranged trophy wife in Under_Suspicion. The film's director, Stephen_Hopkins, had seen L'Appartement on a transatlantic flight and requested that she star in the thriller. That same year, the actress earned unprecedented worldwide acclaim for her performance as the title character in Malèna. Helmed by award-winning director Giuseppe_Tornatore, the film featured Bellucci as 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 up Malèna's success with another international hit, Christophe_Gans' genre hybrid Le Pacte des Loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf) (2002). The stylish cross between period piece and kung-fu flick (which also starred Cassel) was the fourth most successful film of its year in France. After conquering Europe, the film became an art house hit in the States and Bellucci received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress from the U.S. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films.
2003 yielded increased visibility for Ms. Bellucci in the United States and around the world. In addition to Irreversible, she co-starred with Bruce Willis in Tears of the Sun and appeared opposite Keanu ReevesLaurence Fishburne and in the Wachowski Brother’s wildly-anticipated dual sequels, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. In 2004, she appeared in one of the year’s most talked-about films, portraying Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Having recently co-starred in the French release, Agents Secrets, Ms. Bellucci will be seen next in She Hate Me and The Brothers Grimm.

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