Ornella Muti was born Francesca Romana Rivelli in Rome in 1955 to a Neapolitan father and an Estonian mother. She began her career as a model during her teenage years and made her film debut in 1970 with La Moglie più bella (The Most Beautiful Wife). Her follow-up role was in the 1971 film, Sole nella pelle (Sun on the Skin) in which she played the daughter of wealthy parents who runs off with a hippie they don’t approve of. The film offers a telling journey through Italian society in the seventies with the political climate, the breathtaking seaside as well as the styles and cars of that time. Much of the film is set amid the sunny Italian seaside, and succeeds in capturing the innocence and beauty of first love.
Muti made her American film debut in 1980 with Flash Gordon. She played the role of Princess Aura. She’s appeared in two other American films, including, Oscar, which was directed by John Landis and featured Don Ameche, Chaz Palminteri and Sylvester Stallone. In 1992, she was part of the all-star cast of Eugene Levy’s Once Upon a Crime. Since then, she’s chosen roles mostly in Italy and France.
Muti’s range is impressive. Although she’s been granted such titles in her films as "appasionata" and "bilingual lover", her extraordinary beauty does not keep her from playing roles that focus more on her the soul and conflicts of her characters. She’s naturally funny and brings to her roles a subtle sense of humor. This was most apparent in Lo zio d’America in which Muti acted opposite Christian De Sica. The story highlights the usual drama found within any given Italian family and the whole host of unfortunate circumstances and coincidences that follow the protagonist. The film earned such rave reviews, a sequel was made and aired shortly thereafter on RAI Italia.
Muti has three children. Her oldest daughter, Naike Rivelli, is following in her mother’s footsteps. The 32-year-old actress works mostly in Italy and Germany, and is versatile with the projects that she accept, taking on thrillers, dramas and the occasional period piece. She received positive reviews for her role in the 2008 horror flick Open Graves about a group of surfers who discover an old board game that claims a life every time it's played.
|My moment with Ornella Muti in Maratea, Italy|