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International Star You Should Know: Italian Actress Matilda Lutz

For 23-year-old Italian Matilda Lutz, a co-starring turn in a film tentpole didn’t seem to be in the cards four years ago, when her mother encouraged her to take acting classes to overcome her shyness. But she enrolled in a drama course — albeit half-heartedly — and now Lutz, who has a recurring role in the popular Italian TV series “Fuoriclasse,” has parts in Gabriele Muccino’s “L’estate addosso” and Federico Micale’s “L’Universale,” as well as next year’s “Rings,” the third installment of “The Ring” horror franchise that has grossed more than $410 million worldwide.

LUSTROUS LINEAGE: Lutz’s parents both have careers in the fashion industry, with her dad, photog Elliston Lutz, based in New York, and mom Maria, a model in Milan. Matilda, who moved to Los Angeles two years ago, has modeled a bit, too, but wants to be known as more than just a pretty face. “I guess when you’re surrounded by beauty,” she says, “you realize that’s not everything.”

WATTS NEW : With “Rings,” she follows in the footsteps of Naomi Watts, who starred in the first two films. Lutz describes the role as being “kind of like a warrior.”

CONCENTRIC RINGS: The actress speaks French as well as Italian and English, and loves to read and go to concerts. “Having fun is what I do,” she laughs. But to keep things fresh, she picks up a hobby every few months — most recently, boxing. “Paint yourself there, and that’s where you’ll be,” she says.

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