Monica Bellucci has proven with her craft that she can excel in controversial roles with much fearlessness. She has gained international prominence with her Malèna Scordia role in the 2000 Italian romantic drama Malèna. Her acting work was highlighted in the early 2000s especially after she starred in Gaspar Noe’s controversial violent s-x drama, Irréversible.
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Given that she was quite bold with her performance in the 2002 film, many might be surprised to know the reason why she joined Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
Monica Bellucci Revealed Why She Joined The Passion of the Christ
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Monica Bellucci portrayed the role of Mary Magdalene in The Passion of The Christ, one of the most significant characters in the story. The lady she played was one of Jesus’ followers who also witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection.
While she was the film director’s first choice, it would be quite surprising for many that she was the one who fought really hard to get her hands on the role.
She told London Evening Standard in 2012,
“I did all I could to get an audition.”
She also admitted that many warned her about the project stating,
“People would say to me, ‘Nobody will see it, nobody wants to produce or distribute it, it’ll make no money and it will raise controversy. Why on earth do you want to do it?’”
She clarified that the role touched her soul.
“But I wanted to play her because she moves me. She was just a sinner like you and me, her humanity and weakness touched me. She finds spirituality through Jesus; we all must try to find our spiritual side.”
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While Gibson’s project garnered major controversy for an entirely different reason, Bellucci’s 2002 project became scandalous due to its r-pe-revenge theme, especially the unsettling nine-minute-long s-xual assault scene. Discussing her role as Alex, she mentioned,
“Irréversible was very controversial. When we went to Cannes, it was a complete scandal!”
While it was not anyone’s preference at the time for its grotesque nature, it later on ended up becoming a cult classic in today’s time.
Irréversible is available on Prime Video meanwhile The Passion of The Christ is available on Peacock.
Source: London Evening Standard