Name:
Asia Argento
Birth Date:
September 20, 1975
Birth Place:
Rome, Italy
Height:
5' 6''
Nationality:
Italian
Famous for:
Her role in 'Zoo' (1989)
Profession:
Actress, director, writer, producer
BIOGRAPHY
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Scarlet Diva

Background:

"I care only about that, almost only about cinema" Asia Argento.

Italian actress Asia Argento garnered rave reviews while starring in Carlo Verdone's Perdiamoci di vista (1994, a.k.a. Let's Not Keep in Touch) and Peter Del Monte's Compagna di viaggio (1996, a.k.a. Traveling Companion). The daughter of legendary horror director Dario Argento, Asia Argento was the youngest Italian female director to make a first digital film in Italy. She received critical acclaim for directing Scarlet Diva (2000), which she also starred and wrote. The actress, who costarred with Vin Diesel in XXX (2002), is also credited with such films as Demons 2 (1986), Dario Argento's Trauma (1993), Queen Margot (1994), B. Monkey, The Phantom of the Opera, and New Rose Hotel (all three in 1998), as well as Morsures de l'aube, Les (2001, a.k.a. Love Bites).

Recently, Asia Argento appeared in 2005's Last Days and George A. Romero's Land of the Dead. She is scheduled to complete the upcoming films: Marie-Antoinette, Coin Locker Babies, Transylvania and Une vieille maitresse.

5' 6" tall Asia Argento was involved with rock and roll musician Marco Morgan Castoldi from the Italian band Bluvertigo. They have one daughter. She was also the fiancée of actors Michael Pitt (2004) and Vincent Gallo (1998).

Silver Gems

Childhood and Family:

Asia Aria Anna Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento was born on September 20, 1975, in Rome, Italy, to a family well inducted in the film scene.

Her father is legendary horror director Dario Argento (born on September 7, 1940) and her mother is famed actress Daria Nicolodi (born on June 19, 1950). Half sister of actress Fiore Argento (born in 1970), Asia is the granddaughter of producer Salvatore Argento (born in 1914; died on April 19, 1987 of a heart attack) and the niece of producer Claudio Argento (born on September 15, 1943). She is also the great-granddaughter of composer Alfredo Casella (one of the most important composers of Italian Futurism) and granddaughter of photographer Elda Luxardo (known as the Italian Leni Riefenstahl).

Her stepmother is Marisa Casale. Asia also had a half sister named Anna who died from a motorcycle accident.

Asia Argento, nicknamed Az or Silver Gems, ran away from home at age 14. On June the 20, 2001, she welcomed her first child, with rock and roll musician Marco Morgan Castoldi from the Italian band Bluvertigo, daughter Anna Lou (named after her deceased sister Anna).

B. Monkey

Career:

"Sometimes I think my father gave me life because he needed a lead actress for his films." Asia Argento

9-year-old Asia Argento landed her acting debut in the 1984 miniseries "Sogni e bisogni" (1984). Two years later, she got her first film role in Lamberto Bava's sequel to the 1985 Italian horror hit Demoni 2 - L'Incubo Ritorna (a.k.a. Demons 2 - The Nightmare Is Back, scripted by father Dario Argento), playing the supporting role of Ingrid Haller.

After starring in Cristina Comencini's Zoo (1989), Asia played roles in the films Palombella rossa (1989) and Chiesa, La (1989). Michele Placido then cast her to star in her drama film Amiche del cuore, Le (1992, a.k.a. Close Friends) and Giuseppe Piccioni handed her a role in his film Condannato a nozze (1993, a.k.a. Condemned to Wed). She later joined with father Dario Argento in his eerie, unforgettable tale of terror, Trauma (1993, with Christopher Rydell and Piper Laurie), playing a suicidal anorexic preparing to commit suicide.

Asia Argento directed, wrote and starred in the horror DeGenerazione (1994). The film received high praise and earned Mystfest's Best Film and Fantasporto's International Fantasy Film Award nominations, as well as won the Mystfest's Audience Award. In that same year, she won David di Donatello Award for Best Actress for starring in Carlo Verdone's comedy Perdiamoci di vista! (a.k.a. Let's Not Keep in Touch) and played Charlotte of Sauve in Patrice Chéreau's adaptation of Alexandre Dumas père's novel, the Oscar nominated biopic Reine Margot, La (a.k.a. Queen Margot, starring Isabelle Adjani).

In 1995, Asia appeared in Antonio Luigi Grimaldi's Cielo è sempre più blu, Il ( a.k.a. Bits and Pieces) and won the second David di Donatello's Best Actress award for starring as Cora in Peter Del Monte's Compagna di viaggio (1996, a.k.a. Traveling Companion).

Afterward, she reunited with father Dario Argento in his suspense horror Sindrome di Stendhal, La (1996, a.k.a. The Stendhal Syndrome), playing the lead role of a beautiful detective in pursuit of a savage serial killer-rapist, and played the title role in Giovanni Veronesi's comedy Viola bacia tutti (1998, a.k.a. Viola Kisses Everybody).

The rest of the 1990s saw Asia as call girl Sandii, and Willem Dafoe's love interest, in Abel Ferrara's sci-fi movie New Rose Hotel (1998, also starring Christopher Walken) and playing a professional thief in B. Monkey (1998, USA release 1999, opposite Jared Harris).

She also costarred as the phantom's love interest, and aspiring opera star, in father Dario Argento's remake of the Gaston Leroux classic story, Fantasma dell'opera, Il (1998, a.k.a. The Phantom of the Opera, opposite Julian Sands). Behind the screen, Asia directed a documentary on Abel Ferrara, Abel/Asia (1998), which nabbed her an award at the Rome Film Festival, and the four-minute short Your Tongue on My Heart (1999), which premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival.

The new millennium marked Asia wih the rambunctious, egocentric vanity project shot on digital video, Scarlet Diva. The semi-autobiographical won the Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival award for Best New Director. In the film, screened at Cannes, Asia starred as alter ego Anna Battista, a celebrated and debauched actress.

After appearing in the miniseries version of Victor Hugo's classic novel, Fox's "Misérables, Les" (2000, as Éponine Thénardier), Asia costarred as a girl with hypnotic power in Antoine de Caunes' screen version of Tonino Benacquista's novel, the stylish and atmospheric French horror-comedy Morsures de l'aube, Les (2001, a.k.a. Love Bites, alongside Guillaume Canet). She also portrayed Alexandra Negrao's brutal and evil mother in Olivier Megaton's Sirène rouge, La (2002, a.k.a. The Red Siren, opposite Jean-Marc Barr).

2002 brought Asia to the Hollywood mainstream when Rob Cohen cast her to play Yelena, the mysterious love interest of Vin Diesel, in his summer action blockbuster xXx. Commenting on her life after the film xXx, Asia revealed, "After XXX came out, because of all the publicity, I was wearing Prada and going to the gym, and I had an agent in LA 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?' "

Asia subsequently appeared in Ginostra (2002), Starring (2003), Live Freaky Die Freaky (2003, voice) and The Keeper (2004). She also directed, wrote and starred in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004). More recent, Asia costarred with Simon Baker in George A. Romero's Land of the Dead and with Michael Pitt and Lukas Haas in Gus Van Sant's musical drama Last Days (both in 2005).

Asia will soon star as French royal mistress Madame du Barry in Sofia Coppola's adaptation of Antonia Fraser's book, the biopic tale of Marie Antoinette, and will share the screen with Val Kilmer in Michele Civetta's upcoming film Coin Locker Babies. She is also set to star in the French films Transylvania (directed by Tony Gatlif) and Une vieille maitresse (helmed by Catherine Breillat).

Asia Argento is also the author of a number of short stories published in many prestigious magazines such as "Dynamo," "L'Espresso," "Sette" and "Village." Her novel "I Love You Kirk, " was published in Italy by Frassinelli Editrice (October 1999) and in France by Florent Massot (2001).

"As somebody who has done everything, but didn't know how to do anything." Asia Argento (In answer to the question "How do you want to be remembered?").

Awards:

  • Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival: Certificate of Exellence- Best New Director, Scarlet Diva, 2001
  • Rome Film Festival: Abel/Asia, 1998
  • David di Donatello Awards: Best Actress, Traveling Companion, 1997
  • Grolla d'oro Award: Traveling Companion, 1996
  • David di Donatello Awards: Best Actress, Perdiamoci di vista!, 1994
  • Mystfest: Audience Award: Degenerazione, 1994
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