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Straight From Europe: The Next Great Hollywood Beauty

Posted August 11, 2010 to photo album "Straight From Europe: The Next Great Hollywood Beauty"

Anton Corbijn’s The American will give Americans the chance to discover two European actress: Italy’s Violante Placido and Dutch actress Thekla Reuten. They are only the latest in string of European discoveries.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Greta Garbo - The Swedish Goddess
Slide 3: Alla Nazimova - The Passionate Russian
Slide 4: Marlene Dietrich - The Tough German
Slide 5: Ingrid Bergman - The Natural Swede
Slide 6: Alida Valli - The Italian
Slide 7: Sophia Loren - The Italian Scandal
Slide 8: Catherine Deneuve - The Cool French Beauty
Slide 9: Penelope Cruz - The Dark Iberian Vision
Slide 10: Audrey Tatou - The Fresh French Face
Slide 11: Monica Bellucci - The Exotic Italian
Slide 12: Thekla Reuten & Violante Placido - The New Wave
Slide 11: Monica Bellucci - The Exotic Italian

Slide 11: Monica Bellucci - The Exotic Italian

Born in the Umbria region of Italy in 1964, Monica Bellucci began her career as a fashion model, transitioning into acting in her late 20s. Interestingly, Bellucci became best known early on through an American and a French film. She had a small role in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula as one of the vampire’s brides, and then was nominated for a Cesar for her role in the French psychological thriller L’Appartement. Her first major American film was the widely panned Gene Hackman thriller Under Suspicion, and later she would star opposite Bruce Willis in another critically maligned picture, Antoine Fuqua’s African-set Tears of the Sun. Bellucci is best known in America for playing Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. The stunningly beautiful Bellucci continues to appear sporadically in American films, usually playing exotic characters such as her latex-clad cyber denizen in The Matrix Reloaded and alongside Nicholas Cage as one of three wizard’s helpers in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Much like Deneuve and Loren, Bellucci seems to find her more serious parts in Europe and is content to be used by the Hollywood system when the time is right. In an interview for E!, she said, “I like to come to America once in a while. I’m European, so for me it’s important to stay in Europe and make European movies and then come to America to do something interesting for me. I’m not ready to make an American movie just because it’s American. I have to find the right project and the right character. I know when I make an American movie it’s going to come out all over the world – it doesn’t happen the same way for an Italian film or a French film.”