Known for her intense acting performances and unconventional beauty, Asia Argento has built an impressive body of work in the film world, making her own legacy in movie history. Some might say that this kind of talent is genetic, given that she was born into a family firmly planted in the film and art worlds. Asia Aria Anna Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento was born on September 20, 1975 in Italy to Italian horror mastermind Dario Argento and actress Daria Nicolodi. Asia’s grandfather, Salvatore Argento and uncle Claudio Argento were noted film producers and her great-grandfather Alfredo Casella was a noted classical music composer. With this kind of family history, it is no surprise that Asia found herself drawn towards artistic leanings.
Her first acting role was at age nine in the Italian miniseries Sogni e bisogni, which was released in 1985. At 12 she had a role in Demons 2, which was produced by Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava. Between 1988 and 1989 Asia had roles in three other films, including the lead in Zoo. When the film Close Friends (1992) directed by Michele Placido received accolades at the Cannes International Film Festival, Asia was able to make the transition from playing younger, simpler characters to more mature, dark, intense roles. In 1993 she gave a chilling performance as a troubled girl with anorexia in search of her parents’ murderers in her father’s film Trauma in the United States. She has also worked with her father in The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1998), and The Mother of Tears (2007). Over the years she has had roles in over 40 other films in the United States and Italy. In 2005 she starred in the remake of George Romero’s Land of the Dead and in 2006 she played the Comtesse du Barry in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Asia has a very distinct style of acting, and critics generally either love her work or hate her work, a relationship similar to the one her father has with the critics of his films.
Asia has directed several short films and documentaries in conjunction with her acting career. In 1994 she directed a segment called “Prospettive” for the film DeGenerazione. Her documentary Abel/Asia (1998) even won an award at the Rome Film Festival. In 2000, Scarlet Diva was released. This was her first full-feature directorial debut, as well as starring and writing the movie. 2005 saw the release of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which deals with the issue of child abuse and family dysfunction in its ugliest form.
Asia has also directed music videos, including Marilyn Manson’s “sAINT.” Several of her short stories have been published in magazines abroad. Her first novel, “I Love You, Kirk” was published in Italy in 1999 and in France in 2001. While having such a family connection in the business can’t hurt anyone’s chances at success, Asia has proven that she can hold her own without relying on anyone to pave a road for her.
Asia Argento Official Site