Asia Argento was born into a family of actors and filmmakers, and she is one of the most sought-after actresses of the moment. She made her debut when she was only nine years old in Sergio Citti's "Sogni e bisogni" (1985). In 1988 she had the leading role in Cristina Comencini's first film, Zoo (1988), and was part of the cast of The Church (1989), directed by Michele Soavi. The following year she played Nanni Moretti's daughter in Red Lob (1989) (also directed by Moretti).
It was with Close Friends (1992), written and directed by Michele Placido, that Asia's career really took off and she was able to move on from playing very young girls to more mature, complex roles. The movie was well-received at the Cannes International Film Festival. In Trauma (1993), she worked for the first time with her father, famed Italian horror director Dario Argento (her mother is one of Argento's favorite actresses, Daria Nicolodi, playing an anorexic girl in search of her parents' killer. The Phantom of the Opera (1998) is the third film she has made with her father, the others being Trauma (1993) (filmed in the US) and The Stendhal Syndrome (1996).
Asia's absorbed, intense style of acting was well-used in Giuseppe Piccioni's Condannato a nozze (1993). In 1993 she co-starred in Carlo Verdone's Perdiamoci di vista! (1994) in which she played Arianna, a physically disabled girl--an intricate, difficult role that won her the David di Donatello for best actress (1993-1994). She also had a featured role in the international cast of Queen Margot (1994), directed by Patrice Chéreau. In 1995 she worked with Michel Piccoli in Peter Del Monte's Traveling Companion (1996), which again won her a David di Donatello and a Grolla d'oro.
In 1994 Asia turned her hand to directing and turned out two short films: "Prospettive" (an episode of the film DeGenerazione (1995)) and "A ritroso". In 1996 she directed a documentary on her father and, in 1998, one on cult director Abel Ferrara, Abel/Asia (1998), which won an award at the Rome Film Festival. In 1999 Asia made her feature-directing debut with Scarlet Diva (2000), in which she was the leading actress and author of the screenplay. The film was released in May 2000 in Italy and the rest of the world. It won an award at the Williamsburg Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York. In 2001, after directing a number of music videos, she gave birth to her first daughter, Anna Lou. In 2002 she starred in La sirène rouge (2002) by Olivier Megaton with Jean-Marc Barr and the action thriller xXx (2002), directed by Rob Cohen, with Vin Diesel.
Asia is also the author of a number of short stories published in many prestigious magazines such as "Dynamo," "L'Espresso," "Sette," and "Village," Her first novel, "I Love You, Kirk," was published in Italy by Frassinelli Editrice in October 1999 and in France by Florent Massot in 2001.
|Michele Civetta||(27 August 2008 - present) 1 child|
Officially named Aria since the registration office did not accept Asia.
Born at 8:07am-CEDT
Granddaughter of Salvatore Argento.
Mother of Anna Lou, born June 20, 2001, in Lugano, Switzerland, from her relationship with Marco Castoldi. Anna Lou is named after Asia's half-sister Anna Ceroli, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1994.
Half-sister of Fiore Argento.
Niece of Claudio Argento.
Her first name is pronounced "ah-SEE-ah.".
Speaks Italian, French, and English.
Her great-grandfather is Alfredo Casella, one of the most important composers of Italian Futurism.
Was the youngest female director in Italy.
Made Italy's first digital film.
The Welsh Hardcore/metal band Hondo Maclean, named a song after her. Once she heard it, she offered to do a publicity photo for them. It appeared on the back of their "Plans for a Better Day" EP.
Ran away from home at 14.
Her second child is a boy named Nicola Giovanni (b. September 15th, 2008).
Served as a juror at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
During the shooting of my directorial debut, I must never let myself go to any goliardery, even if I might think I am missing some fun, never mingle with the rest of the crew, because they are actors while I am the mirth of a rickety poem. They are solo artists, virtuosos - but I am the orchestra, the strings carpet where everybody has to lay. They are the public, while I am tonight's special event. I allow them to be instantly well-liked, but I must remain rigorous to reveal my eyes, I have to act out the things that never happen. When I think of my film, I don't take anything from the reality that I know, I suck only from the utopia/reality I would want to live. When I say my lines, the I have written for myself, I think about this, of a womb-like world where amniotic liquids protect me from injustices and the boogey man.
[in answer to the question "How do you want to be remembered?"] As somebody who has done everything, but didn't know how to do anything.
I want to be adopted by the French. I want to go to live in Paris. I want to live in a country where a guy like Gaspar Noé can direct his films without going to jail. I don't want to live in Italy, the country of the apes, and end up being an actress with an onion placed where I once had a heart, that instead of beating, it stinks.
I care only about that. Almost only about cinema.
Sometimes I think my father [director Dario Argento] gave me life because he needed a lead actress for his films.
I have nothing in my life besides my work. I am obsessed with it. I leave my house only when I'm forced to. All my life, I have felt that what I did was wrong. But now when I work I feel good about it.
The questions about my father [director Dario Argento] get less and less, and I'm relieved about that. No, I wasn't upset by the things he did to me in his films. I never thought of it like it was me doing it, because he would say, "It's only a movie," and I thought the same.
In a way, when you talk so much about something, it does not belong to you any more. It's happened to me and my bad memories. I've manipulated them and now they could be parts of Gone with the Wind (1939).
I tend to be a lazy actress, unless I'm pushed. Most of the time nothing much is required of directors, which is a pity. I've worked with very few directors who've asked of me what I asked of myself.
After xXx (2002) came out, because of all the publicity, I was wearing Prada and going to the gym, and I had an agent in L.A. and all this shit that I've avoided for years. I felt that was expected of me, that I had to be a sexy bombshell. I started receiving all these offers for these kick-ass chick sort of roles. But it didn't make me very happy, to tell the truth, and after giving birth, it all felt different. I don't mean to sound like a bourgeois moralist, but it's true--I started thinking, "What is Anna [her daughter] going to think?"
I always saw myself as really ugly. My father even told me I was ugly because I would shave my head and look like a boy. Then, when I was 21, I was offered this part in a movie where I was supposed to be really sexy [Michael Radford's B. Monkey (1998)]. It was strange for me to have to research femininity, but I found out these tricks for getting attention that I didn't know before. It was a kind of revenge, I guess, on all the kids who said I was ugly at school.
In Italy people think I'm a cliché. The dark lady, the bitch from hell. All they can see is that I'm naked.
Italy to me is like the mean mother. Whatever I do, it's never good enough. People say I'm the queen of Cannes, but in Italy I get turned down for work.
Movies have saved my life and I'm so grateful. I'm so shy and weird that if I didn't find a place in the world through movies, I don't know what I would've become.
(February 2004) Resides in Los Angeles, California.
(June 2007) Living in Rome.
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