The latest Liam Neeson-led action film Memory is out in theaters today. Directed by the legendary Martin Campbell, the film stars Neeson, Guy Pearce, Monica Bellucci, Taj Atwal, Ray Fearon, and Harold Torres.
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“Memory follows Alex Lewis (Liam Neeson), an expert assassin with a reputation for discreet precision. Caught in a moral quagmire, Alex refuses to complete a job that violates his code and must quickly hunt down and kill the people who hired him before they and FBI agent Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce) find him first,” says the official synopsis. “Alex is built for revenge but, with a memory that is beginning to falter, he is forced to question his every action, blurring the line between right and wrong.”
ComingSoon’s Jonathan Sim spoke with Memory star Monica Bellucci about the film, her intriguing character, and working with Martin Campbell.
Jonathan Sim: You play Davana Sealman in this film, Memory. What was it about this film that made you want to join this project?
Monica Bellucci: I wanted to work with Martin Campbell because I think he really knows how to create magic when he steps behind the camera, and the suspense, and to work with Liam Neeson, because he is an amazing actor and I really enjoyed working with him and. A very generous, you know, not just a great actor, but also a beautiful human being. To play this character, Davana Sealman, she’s the CEO of a hedge fund, which invests in many different businesses, and, she asked her lawyer to hire a hitman to kill the witnesses that can prove that her son is a sexual deviant and she doesn’t want this information to come out in order to protect her son, but also herself and her business.
She’s described as a natural sociopath, but very intelligent and charming, but also cold and manipulative. In some aspects, she’s a monster, but in others, she’s a human being, and playing this duality is what interests me. With this role, I wanted to break the mold in which I’ve been cast many times in my life. So I gained some weight, the makeup, everything contributed to create a character totally new for me. Even I have to say, the aging helps to open new possibilities as well.
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As a woman in this industry, how has the system impacted you and how have you been selective in the roles that you choose to play?
Well, I’m European, so, I’ve never been a part of Hollywood. All I have to say is that in Europe, actresses have the possibility to have a long career. I’m thinking about, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Baye, or Charlotte Rampling. I mean really, Judi Dench. [laughs] So, I think in Europe, actresses really have beautiful possibilities for a very long career. Of course, all that was impossible, like 20 years ago, but now things are changing and, you know, women have much more respect for themselves and we are more respected, and even in the cinema industry, things are really changing.