Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (born September 30, 1964) is an Italian actress and former fashion model.
Bellucci was born in Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy, to Luigi Bellucci, who owned a trucking company, and Maria Gustinelli, a painter.
Bellucci started modelling at 16, when she was attending to the Liceo Classico. Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, by modeling Bellucci helped finance 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 known and popular with English-speaking audiences following her lead role in the acclaimed Italian film Malèna, as well as through the portrayal of a rape victim in the highly controversial Irréversible, though is 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.
In 2003, Belucci starred in Tears of the Sun as a Roman Catholic doctor and in the 2005 fantasy film The Brothers Grimm as a beautiful evil queen. Her latest films are The Stone Council, directed by the Frenchman Guillaume Nicloux (2006) and Manuale d’amore 2 (2007) where she portrays a physiotherapist in the first segment of the film who is object of the desire of her patient. She was supposed to be seen portraying Indian politician Sonia Gandhi in the biopic Sonia, originally planned for release in 2007 but now shelved. September 2007 saw the release of Shoot ‘Em Up, where she plays a prostitute opposite Clive Owen. She dubbed her own voice for the French and Italian releases of the film.
Bellucci is married to fellow actor Vincent Cassel, with whom she has appeared in several films and had a daughter, named Deva (born September 12, 2004). 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.
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