Few actors are as internationally successful and renowned as Monica Bellucci, whose talent and beauty are proclaimed the world over. In her latest film Memory, which arrives in theaters on April 29, she plays a manipulative antagonist and a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her son.
Opposite her is none other than Liam Neeson, of Taken and The Grey fame, playing a man prepared to take vengeance on those who tried to make him betray his moral code. Casino Royale director Martin Campbell helmed the action thriller that brought these two forces of nature together.
Bellucci spoke to Screen Rant about wanting to work with Neeson, peeling back the layers of a character that was very against type for her, and the genius of director Martin Campbell.
Screen Rant: Congrats on this movie. To play on the title a little bit. What was the most memorable moment that you had on set?
Monica Bellucci: Oh, many of them. I wanted to work with Liam Neeson.
[My character] is very violent, but very strong. The character was so interesting for me, because Davana Sealman is the CEO of a hedge fund, which invests in many different businesses, and she asked her lawyer to hire hitmen that can kill the witnesses that can prove that her son is a sexual deviant. She doesn’t want this information to come out in order to protect herself, her son, and her business. She’s described as a natural sociopath. She’s intelligent and charming, but at the same time, cold and manipulative.
[In] some aspects, she’s a monster, but in others, she’s a human being, and playing this duality is what interested me with this role. I wanted to break the mold in which I’ve been cast many times in my career. So I gained some weight, the makeup, everything contributed [in creating] a character totally new for me, and also, aging really contributes to opening new possibilities as well.
You mentioned wanting to work with Liam. feel like we’ve known him recently as this badass assassin in movies. Is there anything that surprised you about working with him?
Monica Bellucci: He’s a great actor, but also an amazing human being, very generous, very nice [to] everybody. You really can feel that he works because he really loves the job, still today after so many years, so full of passion. I had a really amazing experience working with him.
And also, I wanted to work with Martin Campbell. He really knows to create the mystery, the suspense when he steps behind the camera. So, it was a beautiful project for me.
When Alex, an expert assassin, refuses to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization, he becomes a target. FBI agents and Mexican intelligence are brought in to investigate the trail of bodies, leading them closer to Alex. With the crime syndicate and FBI in hot pursuit, Alex has the skills to stay ahead, except for one thing: he is struggling with severe memory loss, affecting his every move. Alex must question his every action and whom he can ultimately trust.