Monica Bellucci says she was surprised to be approached by Sam Mendes, initially assuming her role in SPECTRE would be to replace Judi Dench. “Why do you call me? I’m 50 years old… what am I going to do in James Bond?” she demanded of the director.
Instead, she was offered the role of oldest Bond girl so far, with Mendes laughingly saying, for the first time ever, James Bond will have a story with a mature woman, a revolutionary concept for 007; whatever her role really is in SPECTRE, we will have to wait until November to find out.
Bellucci’s early years
Born on 30th September 1964, Monica Bellucci was born and in Citta di Castello in the Umbria region of Italy and attended the University of Perugia to pursue a career in law.
While at University she helped pay her tuition fees through modelling and when she picked up a contract with Elite in 1988, relocated to Milan. As well as appearing in catwalk shows she started to appear in ads for big name brands such as as Dolce & Gabbana.
Starting acting classes in 1989, Belluci’s screen debut came in 1990 when she appeared in an Italian television movie, Vita Coi Figli.
Big screen transition
Bellucci’s first major recognition as an actress on the big screen came in 1996 for her role in the French film, L’appartement, for which she was nominated for a César (the national film award of France).
One of Bellucci’s earliest mainstream appearances is a small role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1991), when she appears as topless vampire who tries to seduce Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) in Dracula’s castle, but the majority of her early film work was in Italian and French cinema.
Bellucci’s Hollywood breakthrough came with Tears of Sun (2003) opposite Bruce Willis, followed soon after by sci-fi smash hits The Matrix Revolution and The Matrix Reloaded. That was followed by playing Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), then roles in a variety of Italian, French and Hollywood films.
In December 2014 it was confirmed by Sam Mendes that Monica Bellucci would play the role of Lucia Sciarra in SPECTRE, immediately prompting a media frenzy about her age.
At 50 she is considerably older than the previously oldest Bond girl, Honor Blackman, who was 39 in Goldfinger, and has said she would like to be referred to as a Bond Woman.
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