The SPECTRE star tells Robbie Collin that times are changing for Bond – and for Hollywood
James Bond hasn't always been known for his progressive attitudes towards women. But according to the Italian star of his new adventure, that's soon set to change.
Monica Bellucci plays Mob widow Lucia Sciarra in SPECTRE, the 24th outing for Bond, and the actress says the film is "in some way revolutionary" in its treatment of women.
Bellucci, who is 51, was initially surprised to be approached for the film because, as she puts it, "I'm a true woman, not a Bond girl. That's why I say all the time, 'James Bond lady,' 'James Bond woman'."
Indeed, Bellucci will be the oldest actress to play one of Bond's love interests in the long-running series. The average age of Bond's previous love interests has been around 29, although Honor Blackman was 38 when she played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964).
"Things right now are changing," she says. "I live in France and I see all these actresses like Nathalie Baye, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charlotte Rampling, they're all having great careers."
Bellucci herself has starred in one of this year's best films, Alice Rohrwacher's The Wonders, in which she plays the host of a reality TV programme searching for Italy's most traditional family.
SPECTRE will be Bellucci's biggest Anglophone film to date; she previously starred in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, along with roles in many critically acclaimed French and Italian films.