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  • Elisabetta Canalis - George Clooney's New Girlfriend
    This Italian beauty will win even more hearts on the arm of one of Hollywood's best
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    Elisabetta Canalis gets lots of attention in Italy. It's usually for her beautiful face and unbelievable physique. Sometimes, it's for her comedy. Lately, it's more about her love interest - George Clooney, who is old enough to be her father but handsome enough to be her arm candy. In Italy, debating whether “La Canalis” or “Eli”, as she is affectionately known to her fans, is with him as a career move, to help the never-wanted-to-settle-down Clooney dispel rumors about his sexuality, or because the two are pursuing a real relationship, has become a national pastime.

    Of course, few people think this is a real love story, even if long-time Clooney pal Matt Damon reportedly tried to legitimize the Canalis-Clooney love affair. It's much more intriguing to think one of the other possibilities is true. Regardless of whether Canalis intended it or not, this story with Clooney is having a positive effect on her career. She got into show business as a show girl, one of the scantily clad women who appear on Italian TV in variety shows, the news, you name it. If you go to her official Web site, you'll see nude photos of her everywhere, especially if you click on her calendar. This is seen as an important stepping stone for actresses in Italy. Since her official Web site debuted in 2005, she has been saying that she wanted to get into movies. Dating Clooney - a big-time Hollywood actor who happens to live in Lake Como, Italy - can't hurt.

    Italian Americans might already know Canalis because, for years, she had an on-again, off-again romance with soccer star Christian "Bobo" Vieri. Theirs was more soap opera than love story, but everyone in Italy delighted in the power couple's moments of strength together. When things fell apart, however, no one was all that surprised.

    These days Canalis works as a VJ for MTV Italy. But she also has had success with comedy shows including Love Bugs, which had her playing the live-in girlfriend to Fabio, a stereotypical fumbling man-boy who couldn't get his act together. A great scene has Fabio fawning over Elisabetta's friends at a get together where someone comes to your home to sell you beauty products. As Fabio makes a fool of himself, Elisabetta sends him to the kitchen to make sandwiches. When comes back, no one wants the sandwiches except for the salesperson. She had just told Elisabetta and the ladies that the mascara cost 55 euro, and Fabio expresses that 55 euro seems outrageous for a tube of mascara. “You've never sold beauty products,” says Elisabetta. “How would you know?” When the salesperson asks for a sandwich, Fabio tells her it costs 10 euro and Elisabetta objects. “You've never worked in a sandwich shop,” says Fabio. “How would you know?”

    Although based on stereotypes about the roles men and women play in romantic relationships, many of the skits ring true and you'll find yourself heartily chuckling. Frankly, despite Canalis' stunning beauty, she wins the heart of viewers with her wit. She actually comes off as a believable girl next door. You could imagine yourself being friends with this woman.

    Born to a radiologist father and Italian literature teacher in Sassari in Sardinia, Italy, Canalis' future as a show girl/entertainer didn't seem obvious. But after obtaining the equivalent of a high school diploma at the classical high school in Sassari, she moved to Milan to study languages at the Universita' Statale, according to her Web site. It was in Milan that her career began in 1999, when she worked on a successful pilot Striscia la Notizia, which is a little bit like Saturday Night Live's Weekly Update. Since then, she's appeared in other TV shows and commercials.

    And her pouty lips, sweet eyes, and va-va-voom body will soon be international sensations if she manages to hang onto the arm of Clooney. Let's hope for their sakes that we're all wrong - and this is the start of a beautiful, real love story.

    Di Meglio is the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com. You can find more information on how Di Meglio splits her time between the United States and Italy at www.francescadimeglio.com.


    Article Published 9/20/09

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