Asia Argento [pronounced “ah-see-ah ar-jen-toe] (born Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento; 20 September 1975) is an Italian actress, singer, model, and director. Argento is best known for the role of Yelena in the action film xXx, the first installment in the xXx franchise.
Italian singer and actress Asia Argento photographed by Francesco Carrozzini for the Fall Winter collection 2014 of fashion brand Ermanno Scervino.
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Asia Argento started acting at the age of nine, playing a small role in a film by Sergio Citti. She also had a small part in Demons 2, a 1986 film written and produced by her father, at the age of 10, as well as its unofficial sequel, La Chiesa (The Church), when she was 14, and Trauma (1993), when she was 18. She received the David di Donatello (Italy’s version of the Academy Award) for Best Actress in 1994 for her performance in Perdiamoci di vista, and again in 1996 for Compagna di viaggio, which also earned her a Grolla d’oro award. In 1998, Argento began appearing in English-language movies, such as B. Monkey and New Rose Hotel.
Argento has proven her ability to work in multiple languages, adding French, with a role as Charlotte de Sauve in 1994’s La Reine Margot. That same year, she made her first foray into directing, calling the shots behind the short films Prospettive and A ritroso. In 1996, she directed a documentary on her father, and in 1998 a second one on Abel Ferrara, which won her the Rome Film Festival Award.
Argento directed and wrote her first movie, Scarlet Diva (2000), which her father co-produced. In 2002, she portrayed Russian undercover spy Yelena in the action film xXx alongside Vin Diesel. In 2004, she directed her second film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, based on a book by JT LeRoy, the pen name of Laura Albert, this time in the United States. According to a Paris Review interview with Laura Albert, Argento and Savannah Knoop (who played the role of JT’s public persona) became lovers.
In addition to her cinematic accomplishments, Argento has written a number of stories for magazines such as Dynamo and L’Espresso, while her first novel, titled I Love You Kirk, was published in Italy in 1999. She has modeled for and endorses the brand “Miss Sixty“. She became a fan of the band Hondo Maclean when they wrote a track named after her. She liked the track so much she sent them pictures which they used as the cover of their 2003 EP Plans for a better day.
From 17 to 25 October 2006, Argento contributed a video diary to Nick Knight’s website, SHOWstudio. The title of the 54 entries-episodes was “Don’t Bother To Knock” and detailed Argento’s daily life with three entries (noon, 6 pm and midnight) posted every day. The content of the entries were partially controlled by a discussion forum and together formed a cohesive whole, a sort of “mini-movie” anyone could view for free. In the clips Argento discusses topics such as freaks, her father, Federico Fellini and her sexuality; she also journals a pregnancy, a new love interest and her unraveling psyche. The last visual of the diary is a digitally manipulated portrait of Argento taken by Knight, slowly burning away.
She appeared in Placebo’s music video for “This Picture“, and appeared on Placebo frontman Brian Molko‘s cover version of “Je t’aime… moi non plus“. Argento has also starred in Catherine Breillat‘s period drama The Last Mistress.
Argento has been part of the Legendary Tiger Man‘s project Femina, which was released on 14 September 2009. She is featured on the song “Life Ain’t Enough for You”, which was released as a single along with the B-side “My stomach is the most violent of all Italy”, in which she also contributes vocals.
In May 2013, Argento released her debut LP, entitled Total Entropy, under Nuun Music. She has been[when?] performing works from the album at various venues in Germany, France and England. She is[when?] working on a number of film projects. In November, Argento wrote the storyline for the music video and short film “Phoenix”, along with the director Francesco Carrozzini, taken from the ASAP Rocky album Long. Live. ASAP, the short film stars actor Michael K. Williams and model Joan Smalls.
Her 2014 film Misunderstood was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. While doing press for Misunderstood Argento stated that she was through with acting and had made the decision to focus her energies on writing and directing.
Originally posted 2013-09-09 18:28:18.