Elisabetta Canalis: Not Just George Clooney's Gal
By Michelle Ruiz Posted Jun 20th 2010 12:00AM
When she isn't referred to as George Clooney's beautiful Italian girlfriend, (and she usually is,) Elisabetta Canalis goes by the ever-popular label of "model/actress." Though famous for her acting roles in her native Italy, where she's affectionately called "Eli," Canalis' American credits have mostly fallen into the "model" category, i.e. Maxim model, GQ model and Roberto Cavalli lingerie model.
While she's wow-ed in those scantily-clad photo shoots, Canalis, 31, is preparing to show off her acting chops with a five-episode guest starring role on the third season of the TNT drama, "Leverage," premiering June 20. She'll play a femme fatale known simply as "The Italian," a tough chick who hassles Timothy Hutton's main character, Nathan Ford, a former insurance investor-turned-present-day Robin Hood on a mission to bring down the powerful and corrupt. So what do we know about the gorgeous brunette aside from her ties to Clooney? After the jump, meet Miss Canalis.
According to TNT, Canalis' perfectly-named Italian character is a "shadowy intelligence agent" who, in the season premiere, blackmails Nathan into helping him bring down a financier.
Canalis' deliciously villainous role will also find her involved in a heist seeking revenge against a crooked African politician. Though she's expected to stick around for just five episodes, it seems Canalis will make her mark on the crime drama.
"Between 'The Italian' trying to control Nate and Nate trying to hold both his crew and his personal life together, it's looking to be a challenging and twisted summer," TNT said of the new season.
All eyes will be on Canalis to see if Clooney's off-screen love has real on-screen potential. Though her American roles have been limited (she played the tiny part of 'Lady in Castle' in 'Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,') her experience as a television personality is working in her favor. Canalis was the host of the Italian incarnation of MTV's 'Total Request Live' and a fly-girl equivalent on one of Italy's most popular variety shows, 'Striscia la notizia'.
Though we haven't seen much of Clooney ex Sarah Larson, a former 'Fear Factor' contestant, since their split last year, Canalis' 'Leverage' arc could catapult her from Clooney arm candy to fellow actor, or dare we imagine, future Clooney co-star?
She's already on her way to achieving an impressive off-screen milestone - Clooney's girlfriend of one year, recently weathering tabloid rumors of a split shot down by Clooney himself. Given her fearless motorcycling around Lake Como on the back of his bike, Canalis has proven at least one thing even before her 'Leverage' debut: She can do action.
Elisabetta Canalis Snapshots
They sure do make a gorgeous couple, don't they? Elisabetta Canalis and George Clooney are seen here on the red carpet of the Academy Awards in March. Click for More Elisabetta Pics >>>
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Elisabetta Canalis Snapshots
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