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French-Italian actress Monica Bellucci took to the stage at the Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony Wednesday night to sing the praises of cinema. The Bond girl created a short film with Alex Lutz, gender swapping with the French comedian and taking on the role of a sexist casting director to his ingenue. The pair later took some sultry steps and shared a steamy kiss on stage.
Here, Bellucci chats with The Hollywood Reporter about playing host for this year’s fest and rocking a 10-carat Cartier jewel.
Did you have to practice that kiss?
That was part of the game. It was fun and sensual. It was really easy to work with him because he’s such a good actor, and we created this moment of passion. This is what cinema is — to create a dream and we all need to dream sometimes.
You said some touching things about the importance of film.
They gave me the freedom to prepare my speech, so I wrote it. I wanted to talk about the freedom of cinema, that cinema doesn’t have a territory, it can communicate beyond language, it’s the language of the soul. It was also important to say that women should be respected not just because we can make children, but we have our minds, our souls, our hearts and we have to be respected for that too.
You’ve been to Cannes many times. How does it feel to host the fest’s big birthday?
I was very nervous at the beginning, which was why the first words I said were in Italian. To say the first words in my language gave me the strength to continue on. I speak French and English, which I love, but in my heart I am completely Italian.
What can we expect at the Twin Peaks premiere next week?
All I can say is that I’m part of the cast. There are directors, like David Lynch, that it is impossible to say no to. I’m one of those kinds of actresses that respects talent, and for me it’s not a matter of time on the movie. I can work for four years on a film or I can work for one day, because it is a matter of passion.
How did you pick your outfit, including that stunning 10.3-carat necklace?
It was actually so quick. When I saw the dress from Dior, the shoes from Christian Louboutin, and the jewels from Cartier, I had an “oh my god” moment. I said this is talent, it is really art. When things are made with so much passion like that — it’s art. Of course, I have to travel with security. I have to say that I have so many people taking care of me. Everybody helped me create a dream moment [hairstylist] John Nollet, [makeup artist] Letizia Carnavale and [longtime stylist] Alexis Roche. I’m very confident in his choices. He organizes everything — even takes care of my luggage! I have really good people around me. In cinema you have to realize that nobody is an island.
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