MONICA BELLUCCI: “I LIKE TO EXPLORE THE DARK SIDE”
Mrs. Bellucci, do you get more work because you are beautiful?
I know that beauty invites a certain curiosity. But, as Oscar Wilde said, beauty is just five minutes long if you don’t have anything else to sustain that curiosity. I don’t think that I would have made this kind of career if I were just beautiful. Directors don’t call you for your beauty but for your talent.
Have your looks ever been an obstacle for you?
Yes, of course – especially because I was coming from the fashion business. It was a double problem; fashion and beauty are the worst things to make it with this career. Because I’m pretty everybody thinks I’m stupid. But it is like a mask and you have to break the mask to show that there is something else behind it. You have to show who you are to make the others come to discover you.
Is that why you often choose extreme roles?
Do you still feel you have to prove yourself?
Not to others, but to myself.
Of course! I need to explore. If somebody is going to come to me with a new idea or something that is going to be a risky thing, I would do it if I am interested. I like a movie that brings out many discussions. From my experience, every time I have done movies they create this kind of situation. Like Irréversible, The Passion of the Christ, Malèna; it’s so interesting. I like to explore the dark side of humanity. That’s why I’m an actor.
Do you like to revisit those films from time to time as well?
No, I can never see a movie twice. Or maybe I can see a movie after many years because I just saw Maléna, which was funny to see again. I need many years to see a movie again because it is so difficult to be objective about it. And I get bored watching myself.
Your husband Vincent Cassel is also an actor. What’s it like seeing him transformed into a character on screen?
When I saw Mesrine I was really shocked because I saw a really great performance; I couldn’t recognize him. Only one part when he is talking with his kids in the prison did I think about how he moves with his own kid, but apart from that… It was really beautiful and moving to see such a great performance.
Do you two discuss your work and films?
Nothing. Vincent and I are in two different worlds. I don’t know his friends; he doesn’t know mine. We don’t see the same people. We don’t have the same life. Once in a while I come from my world, he comes from his world, and we meet each other. But we are two different animals. I am so independent and he is so independent so I think it is the only way to be together.
Is it difficult to raise your children like that?
Do your daughters understand what it is exactly that their parents do for a living?
No. Recently my daughter told me, “No mommy, I want to be like you. I don’t want to work. I just want to be a mother and when I grow up my daughter is going to work.” And this is perfect because she thinks I don’t work. She said: Life is beautiful, we are always in the hotels and houses, it’s great. I am so happy about that. It means I am with her all the time.
One day will she want to be an actress like you?
I hope not.
Because it’s a special work, but if she tells me she wants to be a knight I won’t say no because I think it’s beautiful to have a passion in life. If her passion is going to be acting then she has to do it.
They are individuals after all…
Yeah, she wants it or she doesn’t. If she has a passion it’s great, but it’s such a difficult job – beautiful but difficult. She has to deal with so many things. It’s better to do this job when you don’t have parents who come from the business. Vincent’s father is an actor and it wasn’t so easy for him to find his own identity because of that.
Was your family similar?
I come from a completely different family, so it’s easier. But when you come from a family where they are all actors, to compare becomes normal for the others and it can be very difficult for you. I know Vincent had to fight to find his own place because of his father.