Monica Bellucci thought she would be an attorney, but dropped out of the University of Perugia when a modelling career beckoned. After several years as a high-profile model, she began acting in Italian movies. She met her husband, French actor Vincent Cassel, when they co-starred in L'Appartement, and they have often worked together since. She still works as a model, and endorses Sicily perfume.
In American movies, she played one of Dracula's topless brides in Coppola's Dracula, the consort Persephone in the last two Matrix movies, and Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson's bloody Passion of the Christ.