Asia Argento

Asia Argento

Asia Argento stepped out of her horror maestro father's shadows with award-winning roles in "Perdiamoci di vista" (1994) and "Traveling Companion" (1996) before becoming a provocative director herself and a pivotal figure in Hollywood's #MeToo movement. Born in Rome, Italy to cult horror auteur Dario Argento and model Daria Nicolodi, Asia Argento made her big screen debut aged nine in "Demons 2" (1986) and two years later took the leading role of runaway Martina in "Zoo" (1988). After appearing as sole survivor Lotte in "The Church" (1989), Nanni Moretti's daughter in "Red Wood Pigeon" (1989) and troubled teen Simona in "Close Friends" (1992), Argento was directed by her father for the first time playing an anorexia sufferer in "Trauma" (1993), and then as a serial killer-pursuing detective in "The Stendhal Syndrome" (1996). Argento truly proved she was a star in her own right when she won Best Actress at Italy's answer to the Oscars for her turns as paraplegic Arianna in comedy "Perdiamoci di vista" (1994) and waitress Cora in coming-of-age "Traveling Companion" (1996). Argento then ventured into English-language cinema with cyberpunk thriller "New Rose Hotel" (1998), portrayed Christine Daae in her father's take on "The Phantom of the Opera" (1998) and Eponine in miniseries "Les Miserables" (2000), and starred as seductive thieves in both "Viola Kisses Everybody" (1998) and "B. Monkey" (1998). Having previously helmed the "Prospettive" segment of horror anthology "DeGenerazione" (1994) and documentary shorts about her father and Abel Ferrara, Argento made her feature-length directorial debut with "Scarlet Diva" (2000), a semi-autobiographical tale she also starred in, and followed it up with "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (2004), a provocative adaptation of JT Leroy's same-named novel in which she played a drug-addicted prostitute single mother. After appearing as undercover spy Yelena in her first blockbuster, "xXx" (2002), Argento worked with Gus Van Sant on "Last Days" (2005), George A. Romero on "Land of the Dead" (2005) and Sofia Coppola on "Marie Antoinette" (2006). But she spent the rest of the decade focusing on European cinema, landing major roles in "Transylvania" (2006), "Boarding Gate" (2007) and "The Last Mistress" (2007), playing an American art student in Dario Argento's "The Mother of Tears" (2007) and showing up as an exotic dancer in "Go Tales" (2007) and cult leader in "On War" (2008). After adding the likes of "Horses" (2011), "Islands" (2011) and "Baciato dalla fortuna" (2011) to her filmography, Argento portrayed heiress Lucy Kisslinger in "Dracula 3D" (2012), starred in French-Portuguese romance "Obsessive Rhythms" and Bangladesh Liberation War drama "Shongram" (2014), and directed her third feature film, "Misunderstood" (2014), a tragicomedy about a neglected teen coping with her parents' divorce. In 2017 Argento helped to kickstart the #MeToo movement after alleging in a New Yorker article that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. A year later Argento herself was accused of a similar offence by Jimmy Bennett, an actor aged 17 at the time of the alleged 2013 incident.