Isabella Rossellini reveals the freedom she feels at growing older

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  • Whether it’s acting, modelling or even farming – there isn’t much that the legendary Isabella Rossellini hasn’t done. 

    And with her latest project, Sex & Consequences, Isabella is set to put on a show that is to be live-streamed from the farm on Long Island she now calls home. Focusing on the joy of sex, animal cognition and altruism, she will be giving audiences an insight into her extraordinary repertoire. 

    Now 68-years-old, Isabella Rossellini revealed in a recent interview with The Guardian, that “I’ve had the career I had, good or bad, and now I continue pursuing what is interesting to me.”

    Later, she continued, “This is the great thing about getting old: things that preoccupied you when you were young cease to preoccupy you. I would have loved to have had one Oscar. Well, too bad. I have six sheep, two dogs, two children,” before laughing and concluding she is more than satisfied. 

    A glamorous childhood

    The daughter of two film star legends, Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini, Isabella grew up in France and Italy and had a glamorous if unconventional childhood. 

    She later went into the family business and began modelling, before deciding to act in her late 20s. She believes her parents’ reputation ‘opened doors, but the judgment was much more severe.’ 

    Then, having achieved success as a model, Rossellini was dumped by beauty giant Lancôme for being too old. She was 43 at the time.

    “I was told advertising is about dreams,” said Rossellini. “And women dream to be young, so I couldn’t represent that dream.”

    She went on to reveal that she had seen it happen before with other models and even her own mother Ingrid Bergman with films.

    Yet Rossellini undoubtedly came out on top as twenty years later. Lancôme, now run by a female CEO, not only apologised for this behaviour, but invited her back to model for them. 

    Lancome, Isabella Rossellini

    Italian actress Isabella Rossellini during the launch of perfume “Trésor” by Lancome in their Parisian boutique. (Photo by frederic meylan/Sygma via Getty Images)

    Rossellini continues to do so to this day and believes she symbolises something different for Lancôme now. She said, “I’m not there now to represent beauty; I’m there to represent a different dream”, before going on to add, “life goes on and there are many chapters. I think that’s why they keep me.”

    In fact, Rossellini went on, she’s grateful for the past rejection. It was this which made her decide that she would do everything she had always wanted to. 

    The key to happiness according to Isabella

    “Ageing brings a lot of happiness,” she explained. ‘You get fatter and more wrinkles, and that’s not so good, but there is a freedom that comes with it. The freedom is: I better do what I want to do now, because I’ll be dead soon. So this is my last chance.”

    When asked what career she would choose if she had to restrict herself to one, Rossellini told her interviewer, “the farm”.

    Sex & Consequences will run on select dates from 16-25 October. Tickets for the live stream can be bought at dice.fm.

    Mama Farm in Long Island is apparently so-called because it is dominated by female hens, sheep and bees. Isabella started the farm herself and believes it is nurturing. At times, she said, it feels like paradise, adding, “If I see a man and woman walking about naked, I’ll know I’m in Eden.” 

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