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Bellucci gradually understood it as she was shooting the film and the similarities between the two emerged.

“Today’s women learn a lot from such women: They were the first who challenged the established codes,” she added. While she initially questioned director Antongiulio Panizzi’s choice – “I am so Mediterranean, she was so blonde and blue-eyed!” – Bellucci gradually understood it as she was shooting the film and the similarities between the two emerged.

Monica Bellucci - Wikipedia

 

Like Ekberg, Bellucci, too, left her home-country. And, like Ekberg, she has had to contend with the iconic status her beauty has granted her. “Of course, being pretty helped open doors, it would be a lie to say otherwise, I was shy even though I talk a lot,” she smiled, “So beauty meant people came to me.

16 of Monica Bellucci's Most Enduring Beauty Looks | Vogue

 

“But beauty only lasts five minutes if there’s nothing behind. What you must know is that, from the age of 40, they offer you roles as a witch!” she said mischievously, drawing laughter from the audience.

 

“But you mustn’t cry, you must take on these roles: A whole new range [of roles] opens up. Before that, you were too young and pretty, and you must welcome this opportunity.” When she shot the controversial “Irréversible” with Gaspar Noé in 2001, Bellucci, a former model, said she had no problem using her body as “a working tool”.

Monica Bellucci Hasn't Changed One Bit Since The 1990s | British Vogue

 

“An actor, like a dancer, uses his body as an instrument, just like a musician has his instrument. Today,” she added with a smile, “I use it much less – there’s a time for everything – but I came from the world of fashion, so I was used to using my body as a means of expression.”

Monica Bellucci: Italian Actress and Model - Fashion Republic Magazine

 

While she said she understands that people can’t watch that film because of its violent content, she was interested in “the contrast between poetry, love and gentleness, and the terrible side of Man, who is both a marvellous and a monstrous being.”

“This film has that power, also in the way it was shot – with a 20-minute sequence – normally, that only happens in the theater,” she said, adding that the film is studied at university because that was something new in cinema.

957 Monica Bellucci 2003 Photos & High Res Pictures - Getty Images

 

Asked whether she preferred working with young or more experienced directors, Bellucci said: “You can work with both – you have to see the film once it’s completed to understand.

Monica Bellucci's Daughter Is Her Mother's Gothic Lookalike: Photos –  SheKnows

 

I am open to everything – what matters is that I feel alive.” Monica Bellucci’s latest film, “The Girl in the Fountain,” is out now. The Lumière Film Festival runs in Lyon through Oct. 23.

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