Born in Cittadi Castello, Umbria, Italy, Monica Bellucci came from relatively humble beginnings and was the daughter of Maria Gustinelli, a painter, and Luigi Bellucci, who owned a trucking company.
She began modelling at the age of 16, in order to pay her tuition at the University of Perugia, where she was studying law. She soon gave up her studies to pursue a career in show business.
Bellucci moved to Milan in 1988 and began modelling in Paris and New York the following year.
During her time as a model she has worked for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, as well as Dior and French Elle. Bellucci has also appeared on the cover of numerous magazines and in 2004 came top of AskMen's 100 Most Beautiful Women in the World list.
She speaks Italian, French, and English fluently, Spanish semi-fluently, and has appeared in films speaking each of these languages, as well as in Aramaic for her part as Mary Magdalene in ‘The Passion of the Christ’.
Bellucci has played parts in many foreign language films, including ‘L’Appartement’, for which she won a Cesar Award for best supporting actress. She has also appeared in some big budget Hollywood films, such as ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ in 1992, although she is perhaps most remembered for her role in 2003’s ‘The Matrix Reloaded’.
She was married to Black Swan’s Vincent Cassel. The couple have appeared in several films together and have two children. In a recent interview with the Sunday Times Style magazine, Bellucci hinted that she realises her husband may not always be faithful to her, although she suggested she was OK with that. She said: “It would be ridiculous to ask [fidelity] of him if I hadn’t been there for two months. You can’t ask such things as who has he been seeing, what has he been up to? It is more respectful and realistic to take the view that you’ll be with me when I see you.” Bellucci said that she still finds her husband sexy, although she admitted that despite loving him “sometimes [she] wants to kill him”.
Bellucci has continued to act over the last decade, appearing in 'The Brothers Grimm' in 2005 and 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' in 2010, among others.
In 2011, she starred in a number of films, including 'Manual of Love 3', 'Guardian of the Harem' and 'A Burning Hot Summer'. In 2012 she starred in a political film by Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi entitled ‘Rhino Season’. In an interview about the film for Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Bellucci described it as “a great love story”. Her latest roles include 'Love And War' (2014) and 'Le meraviglie' (2014).
Bellucci has two children (Deva and Leonie) with her husband Vincent Cassell. The youngest was born in 2010. She posed nude for the Italian Vanity Fair magazine during both of her pregnancies.
Belucci and Cassell announced their separation in 2013.