Screen goddess Monica Bellucci is proof that beauty and allure has no age.
Monica Bellucci wears Cartier’s Magnitude high jewellery, which showcases the Maison’s ﬂair for experimental design in the unexpected pairing of precious gems with ornamental stones.
Magnitude platinum, sapphire, jasper and diamond Airavata necklace; platinum, jasper and diamond Airavata ring, Cartier OPPOSITE: Magnitude platinum and diamond Dioscures necklace, Cartier
I wouldn’t want to be 20 again for anything,” Monica Bellucci told a UK newspaper in 2009. The then 45-year-old added that she was much happier than when she was younger. “You have to discover who you are, who you’re going to be, there are so many insecurities. Today, I know the things that I need, the things that I can live without.”
What she can live without, in case you’re wondering, is hitting the gym in the wee hours of the morning and watching everything she eats, even though her profession as an actress and model pretty much demands that she has to look a certain way. Yet, the Italian bombshell appears to take a nonchalant attitude to such expectations. “I accept who I am and that perfection doesn’t exist,” she has declared.
Now 56, Bellucci is still a regular fixture on both international magazine covers and the cinematic world. Age has not diminished her luminous beauty or ripe sensuality. Entering her 40s and 50s has not stopped her from popping up on “Sexiest of the Year” lists, skinny-dipping in a swimming pool for Paris Match in 2016, or walking the runway for Dolce&Gabbana’s spring 2019 show during Milan Fashion Week.
She has defied the career trajectory of her acting peers, taking on parts that are typically proffered to nubile starlets half her age, the most notable being the role of 007’s love interest in the 2015 film Spectre. When director Sam Mendes approached her, she thought at first that he was considering her as a replacement for Judi Dench, who played Bond’s steely boss, M. Never did she imagine that at 50, she would be heating up the screen opposite Daniel Craig. For now, she still holds the distinction of being the oldest Bond girl, or “Bond woman”, as she calls it.
BENEATH THE SURFACE
Although it is undeniable that she struck it lucky in the genetic roulette, Bellucci has pointed out that her looks would not have helped her sustain a career spanning three decades. “As Oscar Wilde said, ‘Beauty is just five minutes long if you don’t have anything else to sustain that curiosity.’ I don’t think that I would have made this kind of career if I were just beautiful. Directors don’t call you for your beauty but for your talent.”
To her, growing older means not so much a loss of beauty but mortality—her greatest fear is not being there to see her children grow up. (Family has always come first for Bellucci and in interview after interview, she continually asserts that everything she does revolves around her two daughters, Deva, 16, and Leonie, 10, with ex-husband, French actor Vincent Cassel.) “There’s nothing you can do about getting older, you just have to deal with it,” she has said. Acupuncture and facial massages help to maintain her youthful mien, and she credits pilates and swimming for keeping her fit and trim.
OLDER BUT BETTER
With age comes experience, and Bellucci believes that that has etched another kind of beauty on her face and body, one that transcends the ephemerality of youth. It has even helped her get under the skin of some of the most complex characters she has played. Shaped by the choices she has made in her art, relationships and life, Bellucci is truly a woman of many facets: a talented actress with a wide-ranging filmography, a muse to designers and luxury maisons such as Cartier, a beauty icon, a doting mother—all in one fabulous package.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Reflecting their splendour, the names of the Magnitude pieces revolve around the cosmos. Magnitude white gold and multistone Alya necklace, Cartier
OPPOSITE: Magnitude Mauna necklace and bracelet in white gold with topazes, sapphires, rutilated quartz and diamonds, Cartier
Makeup: Letizia Carnevale Hair: Cédric Kerguillec
Edited by Joyce Lim
Photographed by Thiemo Sander. Styled by Barbara Baumel
BY JOYCE LIM. PHOTOGR APHY: COURTESY OF CARTIER