Isabella Rossellini: Green Becomes Her
BY Brandon Voss
April 01 2009 12:00 AM ET
Which of your projects do gay fans respond to the most?
Death Becomes Her! [Laughs] Because it's like female impersonation, in a way. I also think Green Porno could have a gay following. We're thinking about creating some Green Porno costumes for Halloween. Someone said, "Well, maybe for children." I said, "No, not for children. For the gay Halloween parade in the West Village!"
What's the closest thing you've found to that magic elixir for everlasting youth in Death Becomes Her?
I wish I had a happier answer than, "Don't drink, don't smoke, eat well, and exercise," but unfortunately, that's the truth.
Have you ever played a lesbian role?
No. But if I did, my first choice for a love interest would definitely be Kate Winslet, because I admire her and her choice of work. She never plays a baby; she's always a woman, and I love that. Lately, though, I always play Jewish mothers. I don't know why. There's a film out now, Two Lovers, and it's my fourth time playing a Jewish mother.
Specifically, you play Joaquin Phoenix's character's mother. Do you have any motherly advice for him in response to his recent unusual behavior?
I do feel protective of him. I don't know what's going on with him, but I'm worried. I hope he's OK. We did the film a year ago and I haven't seen him since, but I could tell then that he was an eccentric. I hope that he's happy, but I'm not sure.
No disrespect to your illustrious film career, but my favorite character you've ever played is Bianca, Jack Donaghy's ex-wife, on 30 Rock. While arguing over who would get a full stake in the Arby's franchises they bought, you memorably uttered the line, "Damn it, Johnny, you know I love my Big Beef and Cheddar." Have you ever actually had a Big Beef and Cheddar?
No. [Laughs] It took me so long to learn that line because I didn't know what I was talking about. It was fascinating to work with Tina Fey because she has such an incredible ear for comedy. She had me go through a series of lines about food from this sort of Americana menu, none of which I'd eaten, and she picked which one sounded most ridiculous in a foreign voice. I couldn't tell because I don't hear my accent and I didn't even know what I was saying.