I love this shot of Maria Bello. She is one of those actresses that is so talented and can play any role in any era. Brassy, Sexy and smart, Maria is a movie star who passes The Garbo Test: A woman whose sheer presence on film is all that is required of her to be compelling. Of course, it helps that she’s got acting chops out the wazoo, too.
Not all actresses can play period. And while Maria’s roles are mostly set in a contemporary world, I’d love to see her do something set back in the 20’s and 30’s. She’s be a great flapper, hanging out at a speakeasy laughing it up and flirting with her fellow imbibers. My favorite film role of hers was in The Cooler (2003) with William H. Macy. Maria played Natalie, a struggling cocktail waitress who is Lady Luck in disguise. Natalie was an amazing role and Maria made her so compelling that I was actually frightened for her when their boss Shelly (Alec Baldwin) beats her up. Maybe Alec had something to do with that, too. But Maria definitely stole the show.
My other favorite Maria Bello movie was A History Of Violence (2005) with Viggo Mortensen. Maria plays Edie and becomes embroiled in her husband’s lies to conceal a very dangerous and dark past that now threatens her family’s security. Maria’s acting in this film is particularly compelling because she’s playing a character who awakens to the fact that, on some level, her husband’s violent past arouses her on a sexual level. Few actresses I have ever seen have been able to convincingly portray such a conflicted duality. Maria was also sexy as all get out in this movie. A raw physicality that is a trademark of her acting style.
Maria Bello is a class-act as a real person, too. She is very active in children’s causes and has said that motherhood has both made her a better person. She loves her child more than anything in the world and been quoted as saying she would kill anyone that tried to hurt him. I have no doubt that Maria was serious and would do just that if push came to shove…or kick or punch or throw off a cliff. That’s why I wish Maria Bello and all the other mothers out there a very Happy Mothers Day. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t mess with a mother. It’s so much nicer to take her out for brunch and buy her flowers and chocolates. Then she’ll love you forever.