Monica Bellucci | The strength of age

In Memory (murderous memory), action film whose headliner is Liam Neeson, Monica Bellucci has the opportunity to slip into the skin of a character more unusual for her. Also delivering the words of Maria Callas on stage for three years, the Italian actress now has the feeling of having access to other types of roles. And that delights her. Maintenance.

Posted at 7:30 a.m.

Marc-Andre Lussier

Marc-Andre Lussier
The Press

She is 57 years old. And reveals his age from the outset at the turn of the conversation. Like a kind of well-assumed pride in having crossed a few decades to arrive today at a new period of her life as an actress, just as rich, just as exciting. Often cited among the most beautiful women in the world, Monica Bellucci delivers without pretense, at a time when the idea of ​​breaking her image of goddess does not displease her at all.


Liam Neeson is the headliner of Memory (murderous memory).

” In MemoryI was interested – and inspired – by the duality of the character that was offered to me, she explains during a telephone interview granted to The Press. She is a manipulative woman who, on the one hand, has a monstrous side – one could almost call her a sociopath – but who, in other ways, is very human. Of course I wanted to play with Liam Neeson, under the direction of Martin Campbell [Casino Royale], but I also took on this role because I wanted to break the mold a bit. Aging means new opportunities for me as an actress. Of course, beauty is a protection, but it can also sometimes become a prison. »

The luxury of choice

She claims to be well aware of her luck. And give thanks to heaven for still having the luxury of choosing his roles.

“Even though things have changed and it’s less complicated than it used to be for more mature actresses to get roles than it was back when they were pretty much cast aside as soon as they hit their 40s, it’s still still a great chance to still be there, to still have plenty of great roles in front of me. It’s really linked to our generation, I think. »


Monica Bellucci plays a darker character in Memory (murderous memory).

Without wishing to generalize, she believes that in this respect, European actresses seem to be more pampered.

“I shot Anglo-Saxon and American films, but I was never part of the Hollywood system, points out the one who also played in The Matrix and Spectrum. I have never lived in the United States either. »

And it is true that when we look at all these marvelous actresses who are, for example in France, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Baye, Charlotte Rampling and many others, we realize that they always have access to very big roles. Same thing in England for Judi Dench or Helen Mirren. I have the feeling that in Europe, we allow more actresses to have long and beautiful careers.

Monica Bellucci

The words of Maria Callas

Monica Bellucci has also recently added a new form of representation to her art. Three years ago, the director Tom Volf, a young specialist in the life of Maria Callas who notably devoted a book and a documentary feature to the singer based on the latter’s own writings, proposed to the actress to to get on stage. In Letters and memoirsMonica Bellucci lends her voice to the words of Maria Callas, in an intimate show that can also be transformed into an orchestral version on the biggest stages.

“I had never done theater before,” she reveals. I accepted right away, even though I was very scared. I couldn’t say no to such a gift. I played for the first time in the small hall of the Théâtre Marigny, in Paris, in the fall of 2019. During the confinement, we decided to adapt the show in Italian so that I could go and present it in my country. I always feel great emotion every time I go on stage. It’s a very special feeling. There is something so sincere, true, artisanal in the process, that it only results in beauty, even if it is terrifying! »


Last year, Monica Bellucci took to the stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, to present the version with orchestra of Letters and memoirs by Maria Callas.

As soon as she could, the actress went to present Maria Callas – Letters and Memoirs in Italy. She also traveled to Greece to present the version with orchestra on the stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, at the foot of the Acropolis. An adaptation in English has also been made for a possible tour of America, during which she would like to make a stopover in Montreal. But in her eyes, the most “emotive” version of the play remains the one she renders in Dante’s language, also her own.

“When I presented the show in Rome, I was very touched, upset even, because the city is very dear to me and I know a lot of people there. It weakened me a little more emotionally than elsewhere. When I play in French or in English, the work is perhaps a little more difficult, but at the same time, the language serves as a protective filter for me, it seems. »

The actress sees the opportunity to bring such an inspirational woman like Maria Callas back to life as a great honor.

“I’m having a great experience bringing it to life on stage,” says Monica Bellucci. She was so strong and so fragile at the same time. The fact that I am now a more mature woman now makes me understand aspects of this woman’s life that I probably would not have understood in the same way when I was younger. With age, we access different roles. This is also what happens to me in the cinema. And I’m very happy about that. »

Memory (murderous memory in French version) hits theaters April 29.

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