The beautiful Monica Bellucci has certainly had an intriguing career. The Italian actress and model has been in romantic films (Malena and the beautifully tragic Remember Me, My Love), fantasy and action flicks (The Brothers Grimm, Shoot ‘Em Up, two of the Matrix movies) and controversial pictures (Passion Of The Christ and Irreversible) throughout her 20-year movie career. Now she’s taking a turn into family fantasy with a small but significant part as Veronica, the spiritually possessed, magically imprisoned, long-lost of the sorcerer Balthazar, in the big budget Disney movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which opens nationwide tomorrow.
When I spoke with her during a Fandango set visit last year, she said she did this latest Jon Turteltaub film “to have the chance to play good and bad and a double personality, and also to make a movie that my child can watch.” Mission accomplished. Here’s the rest of the press chat that ADD was in on.
You do a lot of films overseas and then a big Hollywood movie or two. Do you like working that way, that you can cherry pick what you do over here?
It’s so strange because I never said I’m going to go to America and live there, and stay in New York and stay in Los Angeles. I live in Rome and Paris and sometimes London. It’s really incredible that once in awhile American directors think about me because I’m not part of the system at all. I like to work that way actually because I like my quality of life in Europe and once in awhile to be here and involved with this energy. But that energy is so overwhelming for me. I’m so European and kind of lazy.
The Italian film industry is a little different.
I think it’s smaller. It’s so incredible because it’s so great to have the chance to work in Italy and then go to Paris and work with French directors and come here once in a while and have the chance to be in big movies or small movies. I did the last Rebecca Miller movie [The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee], and it’s a small movie. It’s great to just do things with different directors; small parts and big parts.
What’s it like shooting in New York with all these passersby and distractions?
To be here you have people waiting for you outside and asking for autographs and pictures. I prefer to work in the studio, I have to say. It’s more protected, so I prefer it, but it’s going to be fine [here].
You don’t get that in Rome?
Oh yeah, Rome is terrible. I’m Italian. That’s why I live in three places. I’m all over and anywhere, but this year is going to change because my baby is going to be five and have to school. Right now she’s in different schools. She’s speak different languages — Italian, French and a bit of English. I have to decide where I am going to be for real. [Editor’s note: Bellucci gave birth to a second child in late May.]
Were you and your daughter fans of the original “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence in Fantasia?
Yes. I love those kind of movies. We all love Walt Disney, of course. For a European it’s great to be in a movie like that.
How do you spend your down time here?
It’s so hard to work during the night [on this movie] because I am a lazy girl and love to sleep. It’s hard for me to shoot at night. I’m taking a lot of vitamin C. It’s not very easy, but I have to make the effort. I’m a sorceress, and a sorceress works during the night.
Can you tell us about working with Nicolas Cage?
I’m happy to work with him because I respect him as an actor, and he is a very nice person. I respect him as a person because he is very sweet and very open. I played a few scenes with Alfred Molina, who’s a great actor with a great sense of humor. I love working with Jon Turteltaub because he gives me the freedom to search for different things, a different way to act, and I like that. At the same time, he knows what he wants.
is there anything that surprised you about Nic Cage?
No, actually, because from the films you already have an idea [of him], and there is something very human about him. When I met him, I felt the same thing.
What project are you working on next?
My next movie is going to be a French movie, then I have an Italian movie and then an American movie. And then, Basta!
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