It’s turning out to be another stellar year for Smart Talk this 2010-2011 season. Each event features a high-profile woman who talks about her life experiences. I get to attend with my husband David who blogs about Smart Talk on Around Des Moines.
The evening of April 4, we met Isabella Rossellini and she shared stories of her remarkably grounded childhood leading up to her life now. The fact that it was charmed wasn’t so surprising, but that her parents (famous actress Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini) provided a solid loving home life for her and her sister is noteworthy.
In recognition of their fame and the importance of preserving history, her family has donated all of Bergman’s memorabilia, including journals and letters without any edits, to a college. Rossellini expressed the importance of revealing the true woman not just the actress persona. (A concept near and dear to me as a personal historian)
Throughout her narrative, I was struck by Rossellini’s thoughtful approach toward all the things she does, not just her choices in work but also in considering the adoption of her son, as well as her charitable work training service dogs for the handicapped. In all these things she exuded a genuine sense of joy for learning and curiosity of others and the world around her.
My favorite takeaways included:
• On entrepreneurism and her experience with Manifesto: Companies that market to older women should in fact use models and spokespeople who are older. (Hello!! We don’t aspire to be younger again, just our best selves now)
• On Smarts: Be beautiful in the brain department. She convinced Lancome that she should know something about the perfume they launched called Tresor rather than just modeling for them (she was their model/spokesperson for 14 years). This was revolutionary for Lancome and the perfume ended up being one of their most successful.
• Beauty is not a pretty face but the expression of emotion. She shared a story of a famous photographer who wouldn’t take pictures of her when she posed; rather he waited for candid moments. From that she learned that modeling was more like acting.
• Let the creativity flow. We saw a couple of short pieces from the Green Porno series which detail the sex lives of animals starring Rossellini. They are hilarious.
I told my daughter, who is a photographer, about emoting for the camera and attempted my own Isabella Rossellini moment. (above)
Rossellini inspired with an evening of great stories and positive reminders . . . be creative, expressive, brainy and embrace the adventures of life.