5 Things You Need To Know About Monica Bellucci

Monica Belucci

At 50, Monica Bellucci has made history as the oldest actress ever to play a Bond girl. Or, as she says, "Instead of playing a James Bond girl, because of my maturity, I play a James Bond woman." In Spectre, Bellucci plays Lucia, the beautiful widow of a legendary criminal.

Here are five things that make Monica the ultimate Italian bombshell...

The older she is, the happier she becomes.

"I've never approached ageing as a traumatic experience. I am much happier now than when I was younger. In the film business, there has often been this prejudice against older women. Women need to believe in themselves and understand that they can still project sensuality and beauty."

She also loves being an older mum.

"I had my first daughter, Deva, at 49, and Léonie at 45. Before that, I wasn't ready to become a mother."

Her idols are the Italian screen goddesses of the 50s and 60s.

"I love old black-and-white films. The leading ladies are naturally beautiful. I grew up watching Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, so they're my pin-ups. I definitely prefer wrinkles to plastic."

As a former model, she knows that beauty is only skin deep.

"Beauty is a gift that is given to you. Buy you shouldn't feel too proud because you did nothin to achieve it. I don't think that I would have made this kind of career if I were just beautiful. Men look at Judi Dench and they see so much strength, so much power that comes from inside. And that's attractive."

She still speaks fondly of her former husband, French actor Vincent Cassel.

"He made me grow up, he put me in front of a mirror and he made me see more things about myself."