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"Bachelor Pad" beauty Gia Allemand has been cast as legendary screen siren Ava Gardner in a biopic about 'The Godfather' star and reported Mafia connection Gianni Russo.
Russo calls Gia's (who was part of Jake Pavelka's "Bachelor" season) casting in the small role a "Cinderella story," and says he is happy to pay it forward since he was afforded a similar career opportunity years ago.
"It's a small role. Gia looks a lot like Ava, but it's really the passion that she had that convinced me to cast her," Russo tells Zap2it.com. "Forty years ago someone did this for me. They stuck their neck out."
"I was pursuing him to cast me as Ava," says Allemand. "After I heard about Mr. Russo signing on a napkin for 'The Godfather' (at The Palm in Manhattan in 1969), I recited Ava's whole life to him until he agreed to cast me and then I immediately asked him to write our agreement on a napkin!"
According to Zap2it, the as-of-yet untitled movie begins filming January 2 and focuses on Russo's experiences between the '50s to the '70s, when he reportedly worked with mob figure Frank Costello and was pals with Frank Sinatra, who was married to Gardner in the '50s. In 'The Godfather,' Russo played Connie Corleone's (Talia Shire) abusive and vengeful husband, Carlo Rizzi.