Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɔːnika belˈluttʃi]; born 30 September 1964) is an Italian actress and model. Bellucci began her career as a fashion model, modeling for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, before making a transition to Italian films and later Hollywood films and French films. She is often considered among the most beautiful women in the world.
She is perhaps best known to American audiences for her role as Persephone in the 2003 science-fiction films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. She also played a Bride of Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s gothic romance film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and Malèna Scordia in the Italian-language romantic drama Malèna (2000), and was in the controversial Gaspar Noé arthouse horror film Irréversible (2002), and Mel Gibson’s biblical drama The Passion of the Christ (2004), in which she portrayed Mary Magdalene. She later played a Bond girl in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre.
Monica Bellucci began modelling at age 13 by posing for a local photo enthusiast. In 1988, Bellucci moved to one of Europe’s fashion centres, 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. The February 2001 Esquire’s feature on Desire featured Bellucci on the cover and in an article on the five senses.
In 2003, she was featured in Maxim. Men’s Health also named her one of the “100 Hottest Women of All-Time”, ranking her at No. 21. AskMen named her the number one most desirable woman in 2002. According to two national newspapers, she is considered an Italian sex symbol.
In 2004, while pregnant with her daughter Deva, Bellucci posed nude for the Italian Vanity Fair in protest against an Italian law that restricts the provision of fertility treatment to heterosexual couples and excludes single women or same-sex couples, restricts surrogacy and research using human embryos, forbids sperm and egg donation, and limits the number of embryos created with in-vitro techniques to three. She posed pregnant and semi-nude again for the magazine’s April 2010 issue. From 2006 to 2010 Bellucci was the face of a range of Dior products.
In 2012, she became the new face of Dolce & Gabbana. She is managed by Elite+ in New York City. Bellucci is signed to D’management Group in Milan and also to Storm Model Management in London. Bellucci also posed for GQ Italia in February 2016.
Bellucci walked the runway for the Spring 2019 Milan Fashion Week for Dolce and Gabbana. Joining her included Isabella Rossellini, Eva Herzigová, and Helena Christensen, continuing the influx of 90s supermodels returning to the spotlight of fashion.
Bellucci’s film career began in the early 1990s. She played some minor roles in La Riffa (1991) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). In 1996, she was nominated for a César Award for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Lisa in The Apartment and strengthened her position as an actress. She became known and popular with worldwide audiences, following her roles in Malèna (2000), Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), and Irréversible (2002).
She has since played in many films from Europe and Hollywood like Tears of the Sun (2003), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Passion of the Christ (2004), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Le Deuxième souffle (2007), Shoot ‘Em Up (2007), Don’t Look Back (2009), and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010).
She was supposed to be seen portraying Indian politician Sonia Gandhi in the biopic Sonia, originally planned for release in 2007, but it has been shelved. Bellucci dubbed her own voice for the French and Italian releases of the film Shoot ‘Em Up (2007). She also voiced Kaileena in the video game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, and the French voice of Cappy for the French version of the 2005 animated film Robots.
At 50, she became the oldest Bond girl ever in the James Bond film franchise, playing Lucia Sciarra in Spectre (2015). Monica will appear as a Soul Sucking Queen of the Underworld in Australia’s movie, Nekrotronic.