Undoubtedly the hottest1 Italian star since Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci has attained the sort of respect that most models can only dream about. Having appeared in almost 50 movies and television shows, Monica Bellucci’s status within the industry — both in North America and abroad — is nothing short of remarkable2.
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci was born on September 30, 1964, in Perugia, Italy. The daughter of a painter and a businessman, Monica grew up with dreams of becoming a lawyer3 — though it eventually4 became clear that her calling5 lay in the arts. After kicking off her modeling career at the age of 16, Monica Bellucci remained determined6 to pursue a career in law, and she even used her modeling money to pay for her post-secondary education7. Yet there came a point at which Monica Bellucci was powerless8 to resist the allure9 of the fashion industry, and she devoted10 herself full-time to modeling.
In 1988, Monica Bellucci signed with the prestigious Elite Model Management agency and moved to Milan where she began establishing11 herself as one of the most naturally talented12 and flat-out13 gorgeous up-and-coming models on the scene. Though her burgeoning fame14 ensured that she had little downtime15, Monica Bellucci nevertheless16 decided to give acting a try and she made her debut in a 1990 made-for-Italian-TV movie. She spent the next several years taking on small roles in obscure17 films, and Monica Bellucci found herself developing a real affinity18 for the world of performance.
Monica Bellucci’s hard work and perseverance19 paid off in 1992 when she successfully auditioned20 for a part in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in which she starred opposite such luminaries as Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins as one of Dracula’s three brides. Monica Bellucci worked steadily throughout much of the 1990s, appearing in a whole host of critically acclaimed foreign movies (including ‘96’s L’Appartement, which was eventually21 remade as the Josh Hartnett/Diane Kruger flick Wicker Park).
Though Monica Bellucci had already established herself as a bona fide22 star in Europe, she remained virtually unknown in North America — something that changed dramatically with the emergence of the new century. She kicked off 2000 with a star-making performance in the drama Malena,which went on to receive Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
It was also around that time that Monica Bellucci married fellow actor and frequent costar Vincent Cassel, and in 2004, she gave birth to her daughter Deva.
After well-regarded turns in 2001’s Brotherhood of the Wolf and 2002’s Irreversible, Monica Bellucci reteamed with her Dracula costar Keanu Reeves as Persephone in 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The following year proved to be even more fruitful23 for Monica Bellucci, as she appeared opposite Jim Caviezel in Mel Gibson’s extremely controversial24 The Passion of the Christ. Monica Bellucci took on a role alongside Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti in the ultra-violent and purposefully25 ridiculous action flick Shoot ‘Em Up.
Though Monica Bellucci is in her mid-40s, there’s little doubt that she remains one of the sexiest and alluring actresses working today. Her raw26 sensuality is unparalleled27, and it’s certainly not difficult to see why she continues to outshine28 her younger and far more famous contemporaries29.
In 2008, Monica Bellucci proved that she was still brimming30 with sex appeal as she ranked at No. 22 on AskMen.com’s Top 99 list of Most Desirable Women and then moved up in the ranks in 2009, coming in at No. 18.
2010 is Bellucci’s most prominent31 year to date in English-language films, with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, opposite Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel; The Whistleblower, opposite Rachel Weisz; and Joel Schumacher’s 1:30 Train. Did we mention that she’s 45? “It doesn’t mean anything, beauty. I mean, if I see a beautiful man, maybe I am surprised for three seconds, but then if I speak with him and he’s completely stupid, I don’t see his beauty anymore.”
1 hottest – зажигательная, яркая
2 nothing short of remarkable – не иначе, как запоминающийся, особенный
3 lawyer - адвокат
4 eventually – в конечном счете
5 calling – зов, призвание
6 determined - определенный
7 post-secondary education – послешкольное образование
8 powerless - бессильный
9 allure – очарование, привлекательность
10 devote - посвящать
11 to establish - самоутверждаться
12 naturally talented – обладающий прирожденным талантом
13 lat-out - утонченный
14 burgeoning fame – восходящая слава
15 downtime – время простоя
16 nevertheless - однако
17 obscure – непонятный, неясный
18 affinity - близость
19 perseverance - настойчивость
20 audition – кинопробы на роль
21 eventually – в конечном счете
22 bona fide - доброссовестный
23 fruitful - плодотворный
24 controversial - спорный
25 purposefully - преднамеренно
26 raw - неподдельный
27 unparalleled – беспрецендентный
28 outshine - затмевать
29 contemporary – современник
30 to brim - наполняться
31 prominent - заметный
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