Monica Bellucci credits fellow Italian film beauties Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale with inspiring her acting career - but fears she can never recreate their screen magic.

The 36-year-old actress loves being compared to her glamorous predecessors, but is adamant modern media makes it impossible to emulate their mystery and inaccessibility.

She says, "Of course it's great when people talk about me like that.

"But I don't think we can compare because the idea of a diva doesn't exist any more. There isn't the distance there used to be between actors and the public.

"There are so many ways to create images - DVD, television, internet - and in those days there was only the big screen, it was more mysterious.

"But I have to say that I do movies today because those actresses are my inspiration."