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Asia Argento
Asia Argento Cannes 2018.jpg
Argento at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento

(1975-09-20) 20 September 1975 (age 48)
Rome, Italy
Other names Aria Argento
  • Actress
  • director
  • writer
  • activist
Years active 1984–present
Michele Civetta
(m. 2008; div. 2013)
Children 2

Asia Argento (Italian: [ˈaːzja arˈdʒɛnto]; born Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento; 20 September 1975) is an Italian actress and filmmaker. The daughter of filmmaker Dario Argento, she has had roles in several of her father's features and achieved mainstream success with appearances in XXX (2002), Land of the Dead (2005) and Marie Antoinette (2006). Her other notable acting credits include Queen Margot (1994), Let's Not Keep in Touch (1994), Traveling Companion (1996), Last Days (2005) and Islands (2011). Argento is the recipient of several accolades, including two David di Donatello awards for Best Actress and three Italian Golden Globes. Her directorial credits include The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) and Misunderstood (2014).

Early life

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

Asia Argento was born Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento in Rome on 20 September 1975. Her father is Dario Argento, an Italian filmmaker known for his work in the Italian giallo genre and for his influence on modern horror and slasher movies. Her mother was actress Daria Nicolodi and her maternal great-grandfather was composer Alfredo Casella.

When Argento was born, the city registry office in Rome refused to acknowledge "Asia" as an appropriate name, and instead officially inscribed her name as "Aria" (a name accepted by the city registry). She went by the name Asia, which she later used professionally. She pronounces her name as "AH-she-ah", which friends sometimes abbreviate to sound like "Ozzie". Argento has said that as a child she was lonely and depressed, owing in part to her parents' work. Her father used to read her his horror scripts as bedtime stories. At age eight, Argento published a book of poems. At the age of 14, she ran away from home.

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

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.

In an interview with Filmmaker magazine, she stated that, at one time, "I was sick for a while; I was agoraphobic. I was afraid to go out of my apartment for a long time, I could only go out to work."


Asia Argento began to act at the age of nine, when she was cast in a small role in a film by Sergio Citti. When she was 16, she starred in her father's film Trauma (1993). She received the David di Donatello (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 subsequently began to appear in English-language movies, such as B. Monkey and New Rose Hotel (both 1998). Argento also performed in French-language roles, beginning with Charlotte de Sauve in La Reine Margot (1994).

Around the same time, she made her first foray into directing with the short films Prospettive and A ritroso (both 1994) and a documentary about her father (in 1996) and Abel Ferrara (in 1998). In 2000, Argento directed and wrote her first fiction feature film, Scarlet Diva (2000), which her father co-produced. In a review, Filmmaker magazine called the film "riotously funny" and dubbed Argento "a filmmaker with a great degree of promise".

Argento at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

She achieved wider recognition when she portrayed Russian undercover spy Yelena in the Hollywood action film XXX (2002), alongside Vin Diesel. The film grossed $277.4 million and launched Argento to international fame. She directed her second feature film, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004), based on a book by JT LeRoy.

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 the denim jeans brand Miss Sixty. She became a fan of the band Hondo Maclean when they wrote a track named after her and liked the track so much that she sent them pictures which they used as the cover of their 2003 album Plans for a Better Day.

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. She dubbed the Italian version of the video game Mirror's Edge in the role of the runner Faith Connors, from 2008 to 2009.

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.

In May 2013, Argento's debut album, entitled Total Entropy, was released by Nuun Music.

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.

Also in 2014, she directed her third feature film, titled Misunderstood (2014), was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at that year's Cannes Film Festival. That year, while promoting the film, Argento stated that she was not going to act anymore and that she had decided to concentrate on writing and directing.

Personal life

Asia Argento 2009
Argento at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Besides Italian, Argento speaks English and French, which she learned for her role in Les Morsures de L'Aube.


Her first child was born in 2001. Italian rock and roll musician Morgan (lead singer of Bluvertigo), is the father. 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 was born in 2008 in Rome. The couple divorced in 2013. She and her children live in the Vigna Clara neighborhood of Rome.

Argento worked and became romantically involved with Anthony Bourdain in 2016 during the production of the Rome episode of Parts Unknown. Bourdain became outspoken alongside Argento during her allegations against Harvey Weinstein for a time after those events.



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Demons 2 Ingrid Haller
1988 Zoo Martina
1989 Church, TheThe Church Lotte
1989 Red Wood Pigeon Valentina
1992 Close Friends Simona
1993 Trauma Aura Petrescu
1993 Condannato a nozze Olivia a.k.a. Diary of a Man Condemned to Marriage
1994 Let's Not Keep in Touch Arianna
1994 Queen Margot Charlotte de Sauve
1994 DeGenerazione Lorna
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/B. Monkey
1998 Phantom of the Opera, TheThe Phantom of the Opera Christine Daaé
2000 Scarlet Diva Anna Battista Also writer and director
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-writer and director
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
2017 Shadow Short film
2018 Alien Crystal Palace Sybille Atlante
2020 Agony Isidora
2021 Sans soleil Léa
2022 Dark Glasses Rita
2022 Padre Pio Tall Man
2022 Vera Asia


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 10, Episode 8: "Southern Italy: The Heel of the Boot"
2016 Ballando con le stelle Contestant Series 11
2018 The X Factor Italy Judge series 12; auditions-judges' houses
2020 Pechino Express Contestant along with Vera Gemma Season 8

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008–2009 Mirror's Edge Faith Connors Dubbed in the Italian version; Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Microsoft Windows version


Asia published her autobiography, Anatomy of a wild heart, in 2021.

Music videos

  • "(s)AINT" – Marilyn Manson
  • "This Picture" – Placebo
  • "Live Fast! Die Old!" – with Munk
  • "Someone" – with Archigram and Antipop
  • "Sexodrome" – with Morgan
  • "Life Ain't Enough for You" – with The Legendary Tigerman
  • "My Stomach Is the Most Violent of All of Italy" – with The Legendary Tigerman
  • "Ours" – with Tim Burgess
  • "La vie est belle" – Indochine
  • "Dead Meat" – Sean Lennon


Album Released
Asia Argento (1 Disco Sux / 2 U Just Can't Stop the Rock / 3 Sad Core) 2008
Total Entropy 2013
Music From My Bed 2021


Asia Argento has received the following awards:

  • 1988: Giffoni Film Festival, Best Actress
  • 1989: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice), Golden Goblets, Italy
  • 1994: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), David di Donatello Awards
  • 1994: Best Actress, Flaiano International Prizes
  • 1994: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), Golden Ciak Awards
  • 1996: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), Golden Ciak Awards
  • 1996: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice), Golden Goblets, Italy
  • 1997: Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), David di Donatello Awards
  • 2001: Best New Director, Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival
  • 2003: Best Actress, Melbourne Underground Film Festival


In 2012, Argento was highlighted in the retrospective Argento: Il Cinema Nel Sangue at the Museum of Arts and Design 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 mother (Daria Nicolodi), father, grandfather (Salvatore), and uncle (Claudio).

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Asia Argento para niños

  • Cinema of Italy
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