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Rossellini finds it 'a little condescending' when people call her beautiful

Published 09/07/2016

Isabella Rossellini has been rehired as the face of luxury French cosmetics house Lancome
Isabella Rossellini has been rehired as the face of luxury French cosmetics house Lancome

Italian actress Isabella Rossellini has said she finds it condescending when people tell her she is beautiful.

The star of films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her has been rehired as the face of luxury French cosmetics house Lancome - some 20 years after she was dropped from its campaigns.

Rossellini, now 64, has also lamented the lack of roles for actresses between the ages of 45 and 60.

She told The Guardian: " When people tell me, 'You look so glamorous, you look sophisticated or elegant,' it's wonderful. But when people say, 'You're beautiful,' I find it a little condescending. Worse now, because they say, 'You're still beautiful.'

"In Italian, we say it's a knife with both edges, because I know that they mean it to please me, but it's almost like saying to a black woman, 'You're not so dark, you don't look so black.' I am old: this is what 65 looks like."

The daughter of Swedish screen siren Ingrid Bergman says her famous mother cautioned her of the lack of jobs for actresses in a certain age gap.

She said: " My mum told me that there is no job for women between 45 and 60, because you are in-between. You are not young enough to play the young girl, but you are also not old enough to play the matriarch, the witch or grandmother.

"So there is a period of 15 years where you're in limbo and they don't know how to hire you. Then after 60, a lot of work comes back. That was true for my mum. And you see, Maggie Smith is the hottest thing on Earth. Helen Mirren is the hottest thing on Earth. Then there is this gap."

Other celebrities who have signed up to front Lancome campaigns include Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong'o, Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet.

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