While on my way to the Cannes Film Festival (where I still am as I write this), I stopped off in New York City to get the temperature on a number of Tony-nominated Broadway shows and also to shoot a couple of episodes of The Actor’s Side — including this one with the ever-talented and versatile Isabella Rossellini. She currently stars in Hulu’s new drama series Shut Eye, in which she plays the matriarch of a family involved in the world of fake fortune telling, among other things. It has just been renewed for a second season and will start production again in June in Los Angeles, moving from Vancouver.
In this wide-ranging interview we talk about her acting resurgence since co-starring with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in 2015’s Joy, and how that led to her doing a TV series for the first time (even though she was previously Emmy-nominated in 1997 for a guest role on Chicago Hope). Her new character, a fake clairvoyant named Rita, is far from that, and represents one of the most cruel parts she has ever had — one that is lots of fun to dig into. She also talks about how watching Marlon Brando again in The Godfather gave her the key to playing Rita.
Also up for discussion: her film career including David Lynch’s immortal Blue Velvet; how her accent can be a drawback in getting roles; her famous parents, director Roberto Rossellini and three-time Oscar-winning mother Ingrid Bergman, who gave her the first movie role she had — a bit part as a nun in A Matter Of Time, one of her mom’s films (and the last ever for director Vincent Minnelli); her own filmmaking talents including the series she wrote, directed and starred in for Sundance called Green Porno; and of course her famous modeling career and the reasons why Lancôme dumped her when she hit 40, and now more than two decades later is back in business with the Rossellini brand.
Check out our conversation above.