Monica Bellucci goes head-to-head with Liam Neeson in Martin Campbell’s action thriller, “Memory”.
Cast as Davana Sealman, a businesswoman and philanthropist who, in the public eye, has a squeaky-clean image. However, praiseworthy, she is not.
In fact, she has a direct hand in some of the most abominable crimes imaginable. As such, she finds herself in the crosshairs of Alex Lewis (Liam Neeson), an assassin-for-hire with a conscience.
When Alex learns that the young girl he refused to kill has been executed, he sets out to take down all those involved, putting him on the warpath with Vincent (Guy Pearce), the FBI agent who hired him for the kill, and Davana.
Alex’s worsening memory loss poses a few challenges on his mission, though.
The 57-year-old actress, who had to put on weight for the role, was chuffed to be “breaking the mould” of past characters in being cast as a sociopath.
She said: “Yes, I was excited to play this role. I have not played many where I am the antagonist. There are some aspects of Davana’s life where she is a good human being, but there’s other times where she is a monster.
“Playing this duality interested me. For this role, I wanted to break the mould in which I have been cast most of my life. I gained some weight and the lighting and make-up also contributed to the creation of this new type of character for me.”
On her character’s obsession with defying ageing and where she stands on the issue, she explained: “It is a good thing. Age has opened up new opportunities for me to play new characters.
“Playing Davana in ‘Memory’ was a key to a new door for me to open. She wants to control everything, including time and how long she will live. It is impossible to control time. You cannot do that, but she wants control of every aspect of her life.”
Campbell, who is synonymous with the “James Bond” franchise, was on Bellucci’s bucket list of directors that she wanted to work with.Story continues below
“I wanted to do the movie because I wanted to work with Martin. I have so much respect for him because he is a director that knows how to entertain an audience when he steps behind the camera.
“I also wanted to work with Liam. He is an amazing actor and human being. He was so nice and generous to me. We had some wonderful conversations and I respect him so much.”
She continued to sing the praises of her co-star.Story continues below Advertisment
“He (Liam) is full of emotion. He is a man who is incredibly deep. We talked about so many things. He is very human. I felt someone so sensitive and delicate, and I liked talking to him very much.
“It is interesting because in the film Liam plays a contract killer, but the audience feels for him. If you look at his amazing career, he plays so many different characters, but his sensitive side does come through no matter the role.
“Yes. I think it is beautiful to have a human relationship with people who you work with. I like to work with people who I respect, and I definitely respect Liam.”
On her upcoming projects, Bellucci shared: “The next movie I am going to do is with Catherine Hardwicke and Toni Collette is called ‘Mafia Mamma’. It is a comedy and very hilarious. I have not done many comedies, actually.
“This one is really great. I love Catherine’s work and Toni is such a great actress.”