A major addition to the Golden Globe-winning series, Mozart in the Jungle
, is Monica
Bellucci, who plays Italian diva Alessandra in season three.
With the New York orchestra still in a labor dispute,
Maestro Rodrigo De Souza (Gael Garcia Bernal
) accepts an offer in Venice to
conduct a comeback performance for the aging diva, also known as “La Fiamma.” At an age where she has to make a decision about her voice
and repertory, Alessandra is caged by her own limitations, setting off an
emotional roller coaster ride for both the conductor and opera singer.
“We’re not trying to be so realistic, but we like to be
authentic,” says Roman Coppola, who serves as executive producer, writer and
director of the Amazon series. While the show considered the age at which an
opera singer’s voice might change, they thought that Bellucci, 52, was a perfect
fit regardless. “She felt authentic.”
MORE: From 'Mozart' to 'Dreamland,' How Music Influences the Coppola Family
“She’s Italian, she’s fiery, and obviously, very beautiful
and interesting and dynamic,” Coppola adds. “So, it just seemed like a no-brainer.”
And casting the actress in the coveted role was no
coincidence for Coppola. Keeping with his family’s (unofficial) tradition of
working with familiar collaborators, Bellucci’s addition was a full circle moment
for the filmmaker.
Early in his career, Coppola served as a visual effects second
unit director on 1992’s Bram Stroker’s
, suggesting to his father, director Francis Ford Coppola, that he
cast her as one of the brides opposite Gary Oldman, who played the title role
in the romantic drama. It was Bellucci’s third major film role. “So, when it
came up that she could be in Mozart
it pleased me,” Coppola says, admitting that he never brought it up to her
after she was cast on the show.