(Above, Monica Bellucci, 58. In shirt, Ralph Lauren collection, bodysuit, Cadolle)
He welcomes us into his home, in the living room dominated by a huge movie poster. Sweet life in the french version: Douceur de vivre. And really, it’s good to be here, in his company, with that strange three-legged black cat that roams the room. Paris dressed up in summer, Monica Bellucci seemed to come out of a dream. She is as beautiful as one would expect, brooding as they say. Enamored? Even … skillfully avoiding any labels, including those that could be attributed to her modeling career, the actress asserts herself from film to film, elegant and free. On the eve of his departure to London, where he will join the filming of the new “Beetlejuice” by Tim Burton, and just a few days before the release of the updated version Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatrain which she plays the unforgettable queen of Egypt, tells us about her many lives.
Remember her first photo shoot for Elle?
It was with Oliviero Toscani: the beginning of a story that I never thought would last thirty years. I started working while still in high school in Italy. At school, I was allowed to miss classes for two weeks a year: I went to Milan and Paris, then returned to my country, to Umbria, to rediscover provincial everyday life. This transition from the world of dreams into my real life – family, school, friends – gave me a balance that I really liked and which still belongs to me. I have always needed to be on my feet, otherwise this environment can distract you from the essentials.
Have you ever experienced this alienation?
Yes, before my daughters were born. I loved what I was doing, but I jammed film after film, advertising, festival… At some point, I felt the need to stop to experience something even more intense.
Do you know how many Elle covers she has posed for?
Thirty two! What kind of girl was she at that time?
Thirty-two, incredible. I think that the energy is the same, we are all born with a certain energy, the point is to be able to save it when life overwhelms us. I have something that binds me to that initial fire, even if experience is gained over the years, a healthy distance is gained. When we are young, we have this innocence, this recklessness that allows us to climb mountains, and that is beautiful. Looking back, I thank my parents for understanding my need for freedom. Between the ages of 14 and 18, a somewhat special age, I was very free and that was important to me as I wanted to grow up quickly.
How do you see the first steps of your 18-year-old daughter Virgo, a model and actress who also appeared on the cover of Elle for the first time?
I am happy to see her happy. He has a passion, he begins to make a good career in the fashion world and makes his way into the world of cinema. He is currently filming a series inspired by Ocelot, a novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa, already masterfully embodied on the screen by Luchino Visconti. She auditioned and landed the role of Angelica, played at the time by Claudia Cardinale. He also just finished a film by Italian director Laura Luchetti based on a novel by Cesare Pavese. beautiful summer.
What do you think of the controversy that arose in the United States and sparked a heated discussion during the Cannes Film Festival about the “children” of non-pop babies?
Deva always says: there are families of doctors, lawyers, artisans… and families of artists. Virgo breathes cinema, has always lived cinema: at home we talk about films, scenery, filming. Maybe he will do something else later, who knows? But when you are “children”, you know, the bar is raised even higher.
Is cinema changing? Do you think that the view of women, including you, is evolving?
Yes, small steps. There is no denying that change is coming. I personally work more and more with women directors. In September I will start shooting a new film by Marjan Satrapi. I turned mafia mom, Katherine Hardwicke, is an American mafia comedy starring the exceptional Toni Collette. I have also worked with Alice Rohrwacher, Maria Sole Tognazzi and Kauter Ben Hania, just to name a few. They have a different way of looking, telling, exploring powerful and hitherto unseen themes. Just think about My pleasure, Sophie Hyde, with Emma Thompson What a brilliant film! Talk about beauty in a different way. With a different approach to femininity, to sensuality. Finally, we look at each other differently than a man looks at us. And, at the same time, we teach men to look at themselves the way we would like to be looked at. I believe in cinema, I believe that cinema can change something, I believe that you can come out of a film differently.
Have you ever had the impression that you were belittled or treated like an object because of the looks they gave you?
Having a certain physique is a double-edged sword: it breeds curiosity and aloofness. But instead of being blocked, constrained by this bulky physique, I decided to play with it and live with it. So I used my body to get strong roles: Malena Scordia in Malena Giuseppe Tornatore, Alex Ying Irreversible Gaspar Noe. Instead of hiding this body, shrinking it, I used it to bring to life characters that I knew could take me far.
You will be filming the sequel to London in London beetle juicecult film by Tim Burton. Can you tell us more?
What I can say… is that I am very happy that I knew him first of all as a man. This is one of those meetings that rarely happen in life. I know this man, I love him, and now I will meet the director, a new adventure begins. I love Tim. And I have a lot of respect for Tim Burton.
What’s gothic about it?
Let’s say I love this dream world where the monsters are kind, like we can forgive, turn our darkest sides into something bright. Tim Burton films talk about this a lot.
Will she go to a haunted castle for the holidays?
I’ll go somewhere… You know, I live in Paris, I have an Italian passport and I work with directors from all over the world, I don’t belong to any film family. But I try not to steal too much time from my daughters. Leoni is 13 years old, she still needs me, and I need her, and although Virgo works and travels a lot, I need to look into her eyes. That’s why I never leave for long. I’m leaving, I’m coming back.
Do you think this is a good age in life?
We women are sometimes raised in fear. No need to be afraid, you need to be able to go towards life.
(pictured Nico Bustos, stylist Daria Di Gennaro, assistant to Marie Rousseau. Makeup by Laetitia Carnevale. Hairstyle by John Nollet for La Maison de Beauté Carita Paris, assistant Pierrick Selene. Manicure by Laura Forget).