Miriam Leone — or Valeria Ferro as she’s known when she’s gracing our screens in Thou Shalt Not Kill — has taken an interesting path to acting. A bit of a rebel, Leone often talks about how she had to trade in the Doc Martens and wild, dyed hair of her youth for little black dresses and heels to get to where she is today as a well-respected actor in a leading role.

With the intrigue surrounding this star, how could WGBH Drama Club not dig a little deeper into her life and career? Here are 10 facts we learned about Leone — with a little help from Google Translate.

1. A simple start…
While Leone lives in Rome currently, she still holds a deep love for her home town of Catania — an ancient port town in Sicily.

2. … And an early influence.
Leone's father was a Latin teacher, and it’s from him that she gained a love for poetry and philosophy writing. “Dad… was the classic father-professor, who tests you. He only gave me books, [and] to please him I learned to read when I was four," Leone has said.

3. She hates conformity…
As a child, Leone was asked once to wear an apron for class. Hating the clothing item, she ripped it to shreds and flushed it down the toilet, flooding the floor of the school bathroom. She says that her act of rebellion had deep roots in her desire to stand out.

4. …And loves adventure.
Another time, as a teen, Leone went swimming in the ocean during a rainstorm. The current was stronger than she expected, and she was almost swept out to sea, were it not for an outcropping of rock she managed to clutch to until it calmed.

5. Her love for acting started early…
Although she was interested in performance from a young age, Leone chose to attend the University of Catania for a degree in Letters. But even then she sought to continue honing her acting chops through work as a radio announcer.

6. ...But it took a while for her to truly take the plunge.
It wasn’t until she saw a retrospective of photos from Stanley Kubrick's set that Leone was inspired to risk it all and pursue her acting career full-time. “In front of a portrait of Lolita, I wondered what the actress was like today… [and] I said to myself: neither will you stay like this forever.”

7. Becoming Miss Italia.
After trading in her punk wardrobe for a more polished look, Leone secured the title of Miss Italia in 2008 — following in the footsteps of fellow beauty-queens-turned-actresses Gina Lollobrigida (1947) and Sophia Loren (1950).

8. Her path has had its pitfalls.
In 2018, during the peak of the #metoo movement, Leone spoke out on social media about being disappointed when someone she looked up to in her career said that women dressing provocatively should not be surprised if they were assaulted. Leone posted on Instagram that she “had no words.”

9. Big screen vs. small screen.
Leone has stated that she prefers cinema to television, a fact that can be seen by her last few turns on camera, including the film L’Amore a Domicillo, The Invisible Witness, and the short A Cup of Coffee with Marilyn.

10. And speaking of which...
Leone is taking on the iconic role of Eva Kant in the upcoming remake of Mario Bava’s classic film, Diabolik.

See Leone in action as Valeria Ferro in Thou Shalt Not Killon WGBH Passportor on WGBX 44 at 10pm on Wednesdays.