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“I kissed Monica Bellucci”. This is the last item in the Curriculum Vitae of Lavinia Longhi the young Como actress directed by Marco Tullio Giordana in ‘Sanguepazzo’, where she acted not only with the lovely star but also with Luca Zingaretti ( the ‘Commissario Montalbano’). The non-competing film at the last Cannes Film Festival gave rise to many rumors just because of the kiss, or rather Sapphic kisses between the two actresses. “Those scenes were the very ones which were the hardest to interpret”, recounts the young Brianza actress. Lavinia who plays Daisy in the film confesses: “Before shooting my mind was in a whirl; acting with an icon like Monica Bellucci is really rather daunting. But she was so sweet and helpful. I’d looked upon her as a diva, but as soon as Marco Tullio Giordana introduced me to her the day before filming I calmed down. She’s a nice down-to-earth person, so my fear of this physical contact turned into something quite natural”. (Also thanks to an unnecessary ploy which helped the scene flow smoothly). “The script envisaged my taking the initiative and kissing her”, explains Longhi, “but Monica switched things round which made it easier”. “I certainly never expected that this scene would cause such a hoo-ha. The outcome was a great gift – my ticket to Cannes”, Lavinia goes on. Their meeting was maybe a chance one, or maybe it was in the stars. It must surely have been foreseen that a young talented actress would not only act with the Italian diva par excellence but would actually kiss her, thus incurring the envy of large numbers of swooning men. Then discovering her unsuspected... Brianza connection! But the Mediterranean looks of the young Mariano actress now in magazines worldwide and dressed by Fendi thanks to French catwalks, are not the only things she has in common with Monica Bellucci, Italy’s best screen export. They aren’t just bound by their love of cinema, but incredibly and unsuspectedly the two actresses share a similar relationship with the Como area as well. As we said Longhi was born and grew up in Mariano Comense, a little town in Comascan Brianza; more particular but less well-known are the wonderful ties linking Bellucci (famous as being from Città di Castello in Umbria) with Novedrate, where she occasionally visits relations with her daughter Deva. And just when Lavinia was at the beginning of her career dreaming of big-screen success, Monica happened to pass by near her on her way to visit aunts, uncles and cousins. So the pair brushed past each other later to meet up again in a movie directed by a maestro of Italian cinema. “Acting on that set was sheer magic; the whole period setting was reconstructed with the extreme attention Giordana pays to detail – there was magic in the air. In the Film Bellucci and Luca Zingaretti relive the controversial affairs of love, death and mutual dependence of two of the leading stars of Italian cinema in the 1920s, Luisa Ferida and Osvaldo Valenti. Lavinia has just got back from the Carmargue where she took part in the video of Piero Pelù’s latest song ‘Il Viaggio’; France has a special place in her heart and she makes no secret of the fact that she might one day follow in Bellucci’s footsteps and launch her big-screen career beyond the Alps. “France is still in my heart; it fascinates me and Italian actresses there almost seem to be blessed with the Midas’ touch”.

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Sopra, a sinistra, Lavinia Longhi (delfuegomanagement). Sopra a destra, Monica Bellucci con l’ex sindaco di Novedrate, Serafino Grassi (www.comune.novedrate.co.it) e a Saint Moritz (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for St Moritz Polo Club AG) Left, Lavinia Longhi, above, Monica Bellucci with Novedrate’s ex-principal, Serafino Grassi and at Saint Moritz

Magic Lake summer 2008  

Magic Lake #10

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