Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty
Ellin Stein
Feb 25, 2015 @ 11:04 am

Monica Bellucci has made it clear that she's a Bond woman and not a Bond girl. But the 50-year-old Italian actress and model—who is portraying one of Daniel Craig's love interests in the next Bond film, Spectre—recently shared her initial surprise about being considered for the role.

When she learned that director Sam Mendes wanted her to read for the film, Bellucci thought she was up for replacing Judi Dench as M. "I just blurted out, 'I'm not a girl, I'm a woman. I'm a mature woman. Do I have to replace Judi Dench?'" the actress told London's Sunday Times. But Mendes actually had something in mind that would be revolutionary for the franchise: James Bond would have a relationship with a woman who is older than him (by four years).

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Bellucci—who did start from a position of strength when it comes to looks (she kicked off her career as a model for Dolce and Gabbana and is the muse behind their Monica Voluptuous Lipstick line and "Bellucci" embellished pumps)—is unfazed about playing a mature love interest.

"We have to start to respect women getting older. The real you comes out, and you can see it in the face," she said. She also feels every woman goes on her own individual journey, so there's no point worrying about fitting a mold. "I don't want to be 20. Not at all. I want to know my story. How am I going to deal with getting older? I had my first child at 40, my second child at 45, and I play a James Bond girl at 50."

Actually, correction: "I am a James Bond lady," she said.

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