Asia Argento

This page was last edited on 4 November 2017, at 17:10.

Asia Argento[1] (Italian: [ˈaːsja arˈdʒɛnto]; born Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento; 20 September 1975)[1][2] 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.

Asia Argento
Asia Argento (Cannes Film Festival 2012).jpg
Born Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento
20 September 1975 (age 42)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Other names Aria Argento
Occupation Actress, director, singer, model, DJ, writer
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Michele Civetta (m. 2008; div. 2013)
Partner(s) Marco Castoldi (2000–2006) Anthony Bourdain (2017)
Children 2
Parent(s) Dario Argento
Daria Nicolodi
Relatives Claudio Argento (uncle)
Alfredo Casella (maternal great-grandfather)

Family and early life

Her father is Dario Argento,[2] an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, well known for his work in the Italian giallo genre and for his influence on modern horror and slasher movies, her mother is actress Daria Nicolodi. Her maternal great-grandfather was composer Alfredo Casella.[1]

Asia Argento et Dario Argento Cannes 1993.jpg
Asia Argento and her father Dario at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival

When Asia Argento was born in Rome, the city registry office refused to acknowledge Asia as an appropriate name, and instead officially inscribed her as Aria (a name accepted by the city registry). She nonetheless always went by the name Asia, which she later used professionally.[3] Argento has said that as a child she was lonely and depressed, owing in part to her parents' work.[4] Her father used to read her his scripts as bedtime stories.[5] At age eight, Argento published a book of poems.[5] At the age of 14, she ran away from home.[4] She was an introvert and read to make up for having no friends.[5]

In an interview with Filmmaker magazine she stated that she was agoraphobic while she was writing Scarlet Diva and that she could not leave her apartment for months.[6] She said: "I was afraid to go out of my apartment for a long time, I could only go out to work."[6][7]

Argento has mentioned in interviews that she does not have a close relationship with her father.[7][8] She has mentioned that he was absent when she was a child.[8] She has also mentioned that she did not have a happy childhood.[6][8] Regarding her relationship with her father and her reason for acting, she has stated that:[6]

I never acted out of ambition; I acted to gain my father's attention. It took a long time for him to notice me – I started when I was nine, and he only cast me when I was 16. And he only became my father when he was my director. I always thought it was sick to choose looking at yourself on a big screen as your job. There has to be something crooked in your mind to want to be loved by everybody. It's like being a prostitute, to share that intimacy with all those people.

— Asia Argento, Filmmaker Magazine


Asia Argento began to act at the age of nine,[9] cast in a small role in a film by Sergio Citti.[7] 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.[6] She received the David di Donatello[2] (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. Argento began to appear in English-language movies, such as B. Monkey and New Rose Hotel (both 1998). Argento has also performed in French-language roles,[6] beginning with Charlotte de Sauve La Reine Margot (1994). Around the same time, she made her first foray into directing, calling the shots behind the short films Prospettive and A ritroso (both 1994). She then directed a 1996 documentary about her father, and in 1998 a second non-fiction film about Abel Ferrara,[6] which won her the Rome Film Festival Award.

Argento directed and wrote her first movie, Scarlet Diva (2000),[6] which her father co-produced.[6] She portrayed Russian undercover spy Yelena in the action film xXx (2002) alongside Vin Diesel and directed her second film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004), based on a book by JT LeRoy,[8] 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.[10]

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.[11] She dubbed the Italian version of the video game Mirror's Edge in the role of the runner Faith Connors.

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.[12]

In May 2013, Argento's debut album, entitled Total Entropy, was released by Nuun Music. She has been performing works from the album at various venues in Germany, France and England. She is 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.

In 2014, Argento played supporting role in the British film Shongram, a fictional romantic drama based around the factual and historical events of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.[13][14][15]

Her film Misunderstood (2014) was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at its year's Cannes Film Festival.[16] At a meeting with press publicising Misunderstood, Argento stated that she was through with acting and had made the decision to focus her energies on writing and directing.[17]

Personal life

Besides Italian, she also speaks fluent English and can also speak French, which she learned for her role in Les Morsures de L'Aube.[6]

Her first child, Anna Lou, was born on 20 June 2001.[18] Italian rock and roll musician Marco Castoldi (lead singer of Bluvertigo), also known as Morgan, is the father.[5] She named her daughter after her half-sister Anna Ceroli, who died in a motorcycle accident.

Argento married film director Michele Civetta on 27 August 2008 in Arezzo. Her second child, Nicola Giovanni, was born on 15 September 2008 in Rome. The couple divorced in 2013.[4] She and her children live in Vigna Clara, north of Rome.[9]

In early 2017, it was reported by several Italian news sources that Argento had begun a relationship with Anthony Bourdain.[19][20][21]

In October 2017, Argento alleged in a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow that she had been sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in the 1990s. She also said that she had consensual sexual relations with him multiple times over the course of the next five years. She confirmed that a scene in Scarlet Diva where her character is accosted by a movie executive was indeed a reference to Weinstein.[22] After being criticized for her account in Italian media and politics, Argento moved to Germany to escape what she described as a culture of "victim blaming" in Italy.[23]


In 2012, Argento was highlighted in the retrospective Argento: Il Cinema Nel Sangue at the Museum of Arts and Design[24] in New York City. The retrospective celebrated the influence of the Argento family on filmmaking in Italy and around the world. It highlighted Asia's contribution as well as that of her father, grandfather (Salvatore), uncle (Claudio) and mother (Daria Nicolodi).[25][26][27]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Demons 2 Ingrid Haller Debut
1988 Zoo Martina
1989 Church, TheThe Church Lotte
1989 Red Lob Valentina
1992 Close Friends Simona
1993 Trauma Aura Petrescu
1993 Condannato a nozze Olivia aka, Diary of a Man Condemned to Marriage
1994 DeGenerazione Lorna
1994 Perdiamoci di vista Arianna aka, Let's Not Keep in Touch
1994 Queen Margot Charlotte de Sauve
1996 Stendhal Syndrome, TheThe Stendhal Syndrome Det. Anna Manni
1996 Traveling Companion Cora
1998 Viola Kisses Everybody Viola
1998 New Rose Hotel Sandii
1998 B. Monkey Beatrice
1998 Phantom of the Opera, TheThe Phantom of the Opera Christine Daaé
2000 Scarlet Diva Anna Battista Also wrote and directed
2001 Les Morsures de l'aube Violaine Charlier a.k.a. Love Bites
2002 Red Siren, TheThe Red Siren Det. Anita Staro
2002 xXx Yelena
2004 Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, TheThe Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Sarah Also co-wrote and directed
2004 Keeper, TheThe Keeper Gina
2005 Last Days Asia
2005 Cindy: The Doll Is Mine Cindy Sherman / The Model Short film
2005 Land of the Dead Slack
2006 Live Freaky! Die Freaky! Habagail Folger (voice)
2006 Marie Antoinette Madame du Barry
2006 Transylvania Zingarina
2006 Friendly Fire Grand Dame Video
2007 Boarding Gate Sandra
2007 Go Go Tales Monroe
2007 Last Mistress, TheThe Last Mistress Vellini
2007 Mother of Tears, TheThe Mother of Tears Sarah Mandy
2008 On War Uma
2009 Diamond 13 Calhoune
2011 Horses Madre
2011 Islands Martina
2011 Baciato dalla fortuna Betty
2011 Drifters Beatrice Plana
2012 Dracula 3D Lucy Kisslinger
2012 Do Not Disturb Monica
2012 Firmeza Asia Short film
2013 Voice Thief, TheThe Voice Thief Naya Short film
2013 Obsessive Rhythms Margo
2014 Shongram Sarah
2014 Misunderstood Director and writer
2016 Sticky Fingers: The Movie! Nyx (voice) Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Sogni e bisogni Gloria Episode: "Il ritorno di Guerriero"
2000 Les Misérables Éponine Thénardier TV miniseries
2004 Milady Sally La Chèvre TV film
2011 Sangue caldo Anna Rosi Episodes: "1.1", "1.2"
2014 Rodolfo Valentino – La leggenda Natacha Rambova Episode: "1.2"
2016 Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Herself Season 8, Episode 10: "Rome"
2016 Ballando con le stelle Contestant series 11

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008–2009 Mirror's Edge Faith Connors Dubbed as Italian version; Xbox 360/PS3/Microsoft Windows version

Music videos


Album Released
Asia Argento (1 Dico Sux / 2 U Just Can't Stop the Rock / 3 Sad Core) 2008
Total Entropy 2013


  1. ^ a b c "Asia Argento Biography (1975–)". Retrieved 10 August 2008.
  2. ^ a b c, Asia Argento, Horrific Filmography. Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 16 February 2008.
  3. ^ 'E COSI' LA MIA PICCOLA DIVENTO' ARIA ARGENTO ... ', La Repubblica, 10 December 1997
  4. ^ a b c Steve Rose. "Wild Child". The Guardian. 8 July 2005.
  5. ^ a b c d Caroline Ryder. "Asia Argento." Swindle Magazine. Retrieved on 16 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Dangerous Beauty". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved on 16 February 2008.
  7. ^ a b c Bruce Labruce. "Interview with Asia Argento". Index Magazine. Published in 2001. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d Daniel Robert Epstein. Interview with Asia Argento. 7 March 2006.
  9. ^ a b Joan Dupont. "Asia Argento at Cannes: A modern heroine bares all – almost". International Herald Tribune. 21 May 2007.
  10. ^ "jt leroy - writing". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  11. ^ Kristin Hohenade. "Therapy for Paralysis: Controversial Film". New York Times. 28 January 2007.
  12. ^ BLITZ: Legendary Tiger Man: Femina nas Lojas em Setembro Archived 29 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Anupam Kher attends London press conference for Shongram". India: The Times of India. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  14. ^ Wright, Danielle (2 April 2014). "Asia Argento brings her star appeal to the movie "Shongram"". Fan Share. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Anupam Kher to act with Asia Argento in 'Shongram'". Cinema Hour. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  16. ^ "2014 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  17. ^ Smith, Nigel M. "Cannes: Asia Argento on Saying Goodbye to Crap and No Longer Feeling 'Misunderstood'". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  18. ^ Alan Jones. "Biography". Archived 28 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine. September 2002.
  19. ^ "Anthony Bourdain shows off romance with Italian star Asia Argento". 16 May 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  20. ^ Wong, Brittany (17 May 2017). "Anthony Bourdain And Girlfriend Asia Argento Make It Instagram Official". Retrieved 4 June 2017 – via Huff Post.
  21. ^ "Inside Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento's Romantic Relationship". Us Weekly. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  22. ^ Farrow, Ronan (10 October 2017). "From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Tell Their Stories". The New Yorker. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  23. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (21 October 2017). "Italian actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape leaves country over hostile reaction". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  24. ^ "The Museum of Arts and Design". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  25. ^ "Argento: Il Cinema Nel Sangue". Museum of Arts and Design. Museum of Arts and Design. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  26. ^ Dollar, Steve. "Importing Cinema of Great Import". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones Inc. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  27. ^ Kasman, Daniel. "The Design and Architecture of Terror: Dario Argento's "Deep Red"". Notebook. MUBI. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

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