Monica Bellucci wants to be taken seriously

Pop Goes The News — Monica Bellucci oozed beauty and grace as she arrived at a press conference Saturday on the grounds of The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas. But the 52-year-old former model wants people to see her as an actress, not a movie star.

“The cinema is so important because through a movie you can learn so many things, sometimes, and you can work on yourself,” she said. “I don’t speak just as an actress but as a person. When I see a movie that touches me deep inside it can change so much inside me. Like when I read a great book, when I see a beautiful picture or painting or listen to great music.

“Art. As simple as that.”

Bellucci is in Mexico to accept a career achievement award at the Los Cabos International Film Festival, which is screening her new film On the Milky Road.

She said the movie, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, is a love story with a message of hope. “We all need that,” said Bellucci. “What moves the world is love.”

The Italian actress has played a wide variety of roles in her career — from Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ and Persephone in a pair of The Matrix films to the Mirror Queen in The Brothers Grimm and a Bond beauty in Spectre.

She made 2007’s action flick Shoot ‘Em Up in Toronto.

But it is Gaspar Noé’s controversial 2002 film Irreversible that Bellucci can’t seem to put completely behind her.

The star was gracious when a reporter inexplicably brought up the movie’s graphic rape scene.

“On screen it looks terrible. It’s very violent, but it’s just acting,” Bellucci said. “We rehearsed all those moments like as if it was a dancing scene.

“That’s the beauty and craziness of acting. Acting is not reality. It’s how to reproduce reality, and nothing is more violent than reality. And reality is more violent than cinema.”

Bellucci — who said she is looking at producing a project soon — will show up next on the small screen. She plays an opera singer in Season 3 of Mozart of the Jungle and has signed on for the reboot of Twin Peaks.

Bellucci seemed to lament the decreasing number of opportunities in her native country.

“Some times we have the problem that Italian films do not have the chance to go around the world but the problem is not the talent,” she explained. “We have great artists, amazing directors, great actors but maybe we don’t have the chance to do all the movies we did in the past.

“The problem is more economic and political.”

Pop Goes The News is a guest of the Los Cabos Film Festival. Follow @jrk_media on Twitter for highlights throughout the festival and follow @jrk_media on Instagram for photos.