A soap opera and Hollywood starlet will explore the great soprano’s love life.

Cuban-American actress and model Eva Mendes has accepted the role of Maria Callas in a new film about the legendary singer’s torrid love affair with Aristotle Onassis.

“Julian Fellowes wrote a script for me based on the relationship between Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis”, she told The Independent.“As [he] wrote it for me I couldn’t say no to it”.

The 37-year-old A-lister is the face of cosmetics company Revlon. To play Callas she will have to trade modern-day Miami bling for classic, 1950s glamour but, controversially, she will not have to lip-synch. Unlike Franco Zeffirelli’s 2002 biopic Callas Forever, starring Fanny Ardant in the title role, the new film will not require any singing as its subject is the sacrifices La Callas made for love off-stage.

In the script entitled Greek Fire,Fellowes ( Gosford Park) draws on the biography of the same name by Nicholas Gage, who gives the only full account of what was, for the diva, an ill-fated and all-consuming romance.

Callas left her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini for Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1959, causing a scandal. The relationship ended in 1968 when Onassis took...