"Bros Don't Prefer Blonde" w. Isabella Rossellini | Crooked Media
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October 05, 2022
Keep It
"Bros Don't Prefer Blonde" w. Isabella Rossellini

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss Bros’ performance at the box office, Blonde’s polarizing depiction of Marilyn Monroe, whether Hocus Pocus 2 is better than the first, Lena Dunham’s Pride casket tweet, Kanye’s White Lives Matter shirts, and Christian Walker’s feud with his father Herschel. Plus, Hollywood royalty Isabella Rossellini joins to discuss her new one woman show Darwin’s Smile, the enduring gay legacy of Death Becomes Her, and what she learned from her iconic parents Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini.


Ira Madison III [AD].


Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. I am Ira Madison, the third.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel. This is unusual for me. I’m three quarters of the way through my iced coffee this morning already, which means I will be zippy today. Usually I’m only about a couple sips in, but I don’t know what happened, what got into me. You know what I feel like? Recently a friend sent to me.


Ira Madison III A Try Guy?


Louis Virtel I don’t. I’ve actually never once felt like them. Um a friend sent to me a list of titles. I’m going to read them to you. And you guess what they are. Okay.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Louis Virtel Ca-ching, exclamation point. Thank you, baby. Exclamation point. Later, exclamation point. Bring me water. Exclamation point. And what a way to want to be. Exclamation point. What are those?


Ira Madison III Loretta Lynn songs.


Louis Virtel May she rest. They are not Loretta Lynn’s songs, but you’re actually on the right track. They are literally sequential songs from Shania Twain’s Up album.


Ira Madison III *Laughs*


Louis Virtel Well, let me make this an exclamation point. Is that the year she was introduced to Red Bull or something, what is going on?


Ira Madison III I, I don’t know why I did not remember those titles, but waiter get me some water.


Louis Virtel That’d be a good Billy on the Street Game. Shania Twain Song Title Our 1930s comedy routine. Is it? Waiter!


Ira Madison III That first half of the album is it’s fine you know she’s not just a pretty face. I’m going to get you good. But then once we get to like all the songs with exclamation points, I’m not in the mood parentheses to say no.


Louis Virtel The rowdiness is so funny. She’s truly broader than Reba. Honestly, Reba has the reputation for the wackiness, but Shania is simply flying off the hook every song.


Ira Madison III Well, you know and her new song, Waking Without Dreaming is out.


Louis Virtel And that’s all you have to say about that?


Ira Madison III *laughs* I like it.


Louis Virtel Okay. You do? yeah


Ira Madison III I’m ready for this Shania-ssance.


Louis Virtel Right. But apparently when she was in Vegas, she was fantastic. Everybody I know who went. Mind you, everybody I know who went is also a devoted stan. And they can’t be trusted, as you know. So I’ll have to go investigate myself at some point.


Ira Madison III That is fair. Yeah.Umm.  Anyway, we have got such a week. I want to say that I feel like so much has happened since we last recorded.


Louis Virtel Oh, God, no.


Ira Madison III Absolutely too much.


Louis Virtel I’ve lost years of my life.


Ira Madison III The Try Guy fiasco for one.


Louis Virtel Which, by the way, I had no idea how invested people were in The Try Guys, let alone one of them having an extramarital affair. Honey, I can’t name these people. I know the gay one from seeing him in L.A.. Eugene seems nice. Yeah. Yeah


Ira Madison III People were very shocked how many people were invested on Twitter. And obviously The Try Guys have fans and their own brand that’s very popular. But also most of Twitter used to work at BuzzFeed from 2014 to 2017.


Louis Virtel Well, they certainly brought it the fuck up this week. My God, was I sick of that. They’re like, if you worked at BuzzFeed in 2015, the things you saw. The things you saw? You saw like Channing Tatum hanging out with puppies. Shut the fuck up.


Ira Madison III You saw Josh Duhamel wandering through our desks looking for coffee?


Louis Virtel Yeah, people treated it like it was like SNL in the seventies, you know, like Paul Simon would just be walking through with Carrie Fisher on his arm or whatever.


Ira Madison III It was random working there and there. There are differences between like, I have no idea what went on, in like the New York offices because I was in L.A. But yeah, I feel like the revisionist history of like how insane it was is a bit much. It was mostly just like a bunch of kids doing their jobs, underpaid, while celebrities walked through.


Louis Virtel I just imagine there’s like, you know, a white board with a bunch of like a line graph on it going up, like, here’s where the viewers need to go. Here’s we need this many eyeballs. So you better nail that list of the 25 times. Jenna, Dewan Tatum worked it or whatever.


Ira Madison III You know.


Louis Virtel I read a lot of BuzzFeed at the time. I don’t mean to denigrate everything they put out, but.


Ira Madison III I would with I think about the fact that I used to write like four articles a day for BuzzFeed, quote unquote, articles, mostly lists and other things, but it’s like coming in in the morning and having glitter ops meetings. Glitter arts was the name of my team.


Louis Virtel Help me God. And they investigated Mariah in 2001. You remember? Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. It just coming up with, like what you were going to write about someday. You come in and you’re like, girl, I don’t know.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I’m done.


Ira Madison III Let me read. Do something that someone already did. Yeah.


Louis Virtel You’re like, I’m going to steal 25 tweets about, you know, what exactly who is popular at the time, you know? Yeah. 25 Thirsty tweets about Eddie Redmayne. I don’t know.


Ira Madison III Well, that’s disgusting.


Louis Virtel Those people all went to jail. They’re not with us now.


Ira Madison III I do wish I could do a lot of those BuzzFeed things, though, because I did Once Upon a time make a post about how I found Macklemore attractive. Wow.


Louis Virtel You can’t take it back. Here’s what.


Ira Madison III I can’t take it back.


Louis Virtel Here’s what I did brilliantly. For years, I blogged for sites that all now don’t exist. So you can’t find any of that shit now. And at the time, I consider that a detriment to my career. Like, oh, I can’t go back and, you know, use these clips I spent all my time on. But ultimately, I saved myself the embarrassment of having to explain why I made a slideshow about, you know, the times Gwen Stefani fell on her face or whatever exploitative thing I wrote.


Ira Madison III I know that you cannot find this old article that you wrote once about Kevin James being the new Chris Farley.


Louis Virtel Did I do that?


Ira Madison III You should know what I look at. The Wayback Machine. Like the article is not saved on the archive. So.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Mmmhmm


Ira Madison III It’s gone.


Louis Virtel That was. That was when I was. I was hungry for hits at movie line dot com, I would say, is blank, the new blank. Except it would be a completely offensive idea. So people would just get into the comments and shriek and, you know, throw a knife and all that.


Ira Madison III Well, we’re about to find out if Billy Eichner is the new Woody Allen. I don’t know.


Louis Virtel I the thought came to my mind only in good ways. I’m not comparing.


Ira Madison III Oh, no, no. The the nice Woody Allen. Yes, he he has no Billy, to our knowledge, has no stepchild that he wants to marry.


Louis Virtel To our knowledge. That’s right. We have something.


Ira Madison III About. He’s not even married. Right. So makes.


Louis Virtel It easy.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And Luke Macfarlane was appropriately aged in Brazil.


Louis Virtel Right? No. I mean, it’s kind of the rare rom com about people in their forties. How many movies how many movies like that exist, period, you know.


Ira Madison III Yeah, just I mean, most Judd Apatow movies kind of.


Louis Virtel All right. So Judd Apatow now has this sort of collection of films. Yes. They’re all a.


Ira Madison III 40 year old virgin. And that that one movie about the marriage that I didn’t like.


Louis Virtel This is 40 or this is.


Ira Madison III Yes, this is 40. Yeah. Okay. A lot of. For those in his movies. Wow.


Louis Virtel Yeah. A serious.


Ira Madison III Budget. Maybe this movie should have been called gay 40. Mhm.


Louis Virtel Now, 40 gay days, 40 gay that night. I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t work in ad copy.


Ira Madison III Sorry. Anyway, we are going to get into brokers, we’re going to get into all of this week’s releases. Actually browse blond.


Louis Virtel Which I watched.


Ira Madison III Hocus Pocus two.


Louis Virtel Yes, I also watched that. Yeah. This is a real Siskel and Ebert episode. Wow. It should get spicy.


Ira Madison III And I’ll see if.


Louis Virtel We can get into a fight where we swear Guinness at a local Chicago diner or something.


Ira Madison III Ira Lewis at the movie is.


Louis Virtel You’re telling me we can’t sell that in the room, guys? All we’re going to do is watch these movies anyway. It’s easier if you just give us this show.


Ira Madison III Well, we tried to sell it, keep it show in the world, and we saw how that works. Well, guys, you’ve seen us.


Louis Virtel Unprofessional.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Three years of hitting the pavement in Tinsel Town.


Louis Virtel Thank you. The narrator from L.A. Confidential or.


Ira Madison III Whatever the fuck that was. Also, in addition to this conversation about the movies that are out now, we are joined by the iconic, elegant. Fantastic. I have so many adjectives for her, regal Isabella Rossellini. All right. We will be right back with more. Keep it.




Ira Madison III It was another big weekend for movies, but actually only if you saw the horror movie smile.


Louis Virtel Right. Which people apparently love. I haven’t seen it yet.


Ira Madison III I haven’t seen it yet either, because I promised my friend Drew that I would see it with him. And I have not been back in town to see it with him as a supplier. But that movie’s budget has been. An immense smile has been everywhere. And I want to say that the creepy marketing campaign of people like standing up, doing the creepy smile at baseball games surprised those people did not get hurt. Yeah. Yeah. Clever marketing campaign, though. But no, we have three movies that we’re going to talk about this week. First of them brothers, let’s get into it. But the movie did not do well at the box office.


Louis Virtel Yes. It made something like $4.8 million or something. And obviously it’s a for a rom com in general, it has a pretty big budget. But at the same time, I don’t mean to say this, to throw shade it anybody who made the movie, but I’m also not surprised because one, I just think it’s rare that a rom com would do well, period.


Ira Madison III Let alone especially in October.


Louis Virtel Yeah. The October placement is a little bit strange. Yes, this is Blanchett’s season. You need to not get in the way of that.


Ira Madison III The girls are waiting for Tar. Okay.


Louis Virtel Oh, by the way, I have my ticket for that. That will be coming up next week. See you at AMC on Thursday of the day before it comes out officially. But also, I don’t know, like it like for instance, Trainwreck, which is the movie I still would most compare pros to. By the time that came out, I mean, everybody definitely knew who Amy Schumer was. It would have been crazy if you had not seen either an Amy Schumer special or inside Amy Schumer, which, by the way, I’m very thrilled is coming back. I fucking love that show. I’m psyched for that.


Ira Madison III But I just started watching that for the first time, by the way, cause I from McCallion was like, It’s really funny. Oh yeah. And I had only seen sketches here and there, and it’s kind of great.


Louis Virtel The point of view is so strong.


Ira Madison III We’re now in this era of reevaluating Amy.


Louis Virtel Yeah, no. For a sketch show, it had a really strong point of view and a necessary one in that genre. But yeah, like Billy obviously has had multiple TV triumphs over the years, namely Billy on the Street, a show he created where he screams of people on the street. I, of course, wrote for that. Full disclosure, I’m a friend of Billy’s, so know that going forward in this conversation. But I still think, like for him to vault from that and like American Horror Story appearances to marquee star like I could see that being a lot of audience members still not knowing who he is or not knowing he can act like that. And by the way, I do think his best acting performance today, too.


Ira Madison III It’s he’s very good in the film and I would agree with that, too, mostly because what Amy Schumer did, Trainwreck comparing it to that, you know, like she was doing stand up look, she was sort of everywhere to, you know, like whether it was controversial or not, you know? And I still think that Billy on the Street is somewhat niche. And his biggest grossing film, he played a meerkat.


Louis Virtel That’s right. He I, I knew what it was the minute you said it.


Ira Madison III Yes. In fact, it’s like he did get the.


Louis Virtel Time, right? Yeah.


Ira Madison III Right. He did get to stand next to Beyonce, which, you know, not everybody gets know at and is close friends with Mariah Carey. So we love that. You know, but I think like the sitcom Difficult People is maybe even too far removed from the release of this film. And I know it took Billy a long time to get this movie made right as well. But it’s interesting the conversation around, you know, this versus gay film streaming, you know, with the Fire Island stuff earlier this summer. And it’s almost like I feel like the film will find an audience, but on streaming, unfortunately.


Louis Virtel Well, it’s interesting because I’ve seen a lot of people come up with, well, what I’ll call glib arguments for why the movie didn’t do well. And then there’s defensive be.


Ira Madison III Glib Online.


Louis Virtel I know it seems crazy. And in a way, yeah, but people like, well, you can’t blame X and X because we have things like RuPaul’s Drag Race, like Moonlight was a hit, you know, about regarding people going to see things that are gay related. First of all, if we’re going to talk about RuPaul’s Drag Race, it took forever for that show to become a phenomenon like, for instance, and like nominated for Emmys, etc.. You know, it was something you watched on cable with your gay friends before, and it didn’t hold the national conversation. And it wasn’t like mandatory viewing for gay people until many years. And and also a movie like like, I don’t know, dramas, like when people bring up Brokeback Mountain, it’s like I think people are more comfortable watching gay people in drama than watching gay people having a good time. Like it’s it’s homework they want to do if it’s gay people, a jungle, and if it’s gay people just living their lives, they’re like, Well, I don’t have to see that. I live my own life, you know?


Ira Madison III But it’s also, you know, there’s you also can’t compare a film like this to a drama that’s in awards contention. Yeah. And people are being told, like, it’s great, you know, and also. It had a like multiple different demographics wanting to see, you know, it was a queer film, you know, but also it was like a black film, you know, and it was an awards film, you know. So like this has the gay stuff going for it. I will actually say that a large part of the problem is, you know, the marketing. I mean, listen, we know these Judd Apatow films. We know like four year old Virgin Knocked Up like Bridesmaids, you know, like the thing those movies do well as one not be released in October when it’s like awards season and horror movie season. There’s a reason smile, beat it. You know, it’s a cheaply made horror movie and everyone’s going to go see a horror movie opening weekend. But also like the trailer, I think if you remember from the trailer, like, you know, the like straight people had a good run joke. You know, I think that like for a movie like that, you need like the one like big sort of raunchy joke that is in the trailer that is everywhere, you know, everyone knows like the one joke from like every comedy. They love that because it was in the trailer and it’s everywhere, you know? And I think that the trailers didn’t really do the work of it. I think that the poster unfortunately doesn’t do the work, though the poster doesn’t tell you what the movie is now.


Louis Virtel And also it’s I feel like the the poster, which is two guys from behind with hands on each other’s, but it sort of looks like the Born in the USA album cover or something. Yeah, it doesn’t get to the spirit of the film, which is one like somewhat acidic humor. There’s whimsical romance in it. This feels to me a little bit more coded, like, I don’t know what you think you’re going to see from that movie, but it’s not what you actually get in in the film.


Ira Madison III I wish I’d seen Bruce Springsteen in the movie.


Louis Virtel That would have been cute. Like a movie I keep thinking of in this regard is American Pie, which had no stars, you know, in the leads anyway. You know, you might have heard of one like, I don’t know, someone like Tara Reid maybe before it came out. But you weren’t seeing the movie for someone like her and why that movie became a phenomenon. And it’s like it really assured audiences you were getting this raunchy good time. You know, you’re going to be gagged by some of the the visuals in this, by what the characters say, etc., and what you guys.


Ira Madison III Are going to pay.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Fucking right. Have you seen that in a movie before. No. Whereas in the Rose trailer I think it went, it was almost a bit unassuming, you know, like you don’t really have to see this. Here are a few jokes that are lightly at straight people’s expense, you know?


Ira Madison III Yeah. And also, unfortunately, like I told you, I go to the movies for entertainment, you know, and I’m never going to be swayed by like, I need to see this film for gay activism, unfortunately, which is how it was marketed a bit. And it’s mostly because we’ve been tricked into this thing by movie studios that like, we have to show up for everything. If it’s a black, then you have to show up for it. It’s against them. You have to show up for it because there’s that dangling carrot of are you ever going to get another one, you know? Right. And I think that, like, those films still have to offer the audience something else in the marketing. And I think that unfortunately, like the past few weeks, like leading up to it, a lot of it became, you know, like, we need to see this to support gay mainstream films, you know, which I want to see it because it’s raunchy, right? But it’s funny, you know.


Louis Virtel And there’s something, I think, unfortunately, about that kind of marketing where you’re emphasizing, oh, it’s the first of its kind in this way, this way, in this way, where it almost seems like you’re getting away from, well, this is something you’re really like, you know, you’re you’re treating it like homework as opposed to, you know, just something you have to see. You know, I think if there’s a vibe about a movie that makes it seem really funny, you know, I think people galvanize pretty quickly. Yeah. I mean, I think there are also, like, myriad other reasons why it didn’t work. Again, like Billy is is a kind of a new idea for a marquee star. Like we we brought up Woody Allen before, but I think Woody Allen took a few years before people were like, Oh, I trust this person to go see movies with him. And he played like the same personality again and again. So people kind of came to know what to expect by the time Annie Hall was a phenomenon, for example.


Ira Madison III So yeah, and you know, like, it’s not like, what’s up? Tigerlily, you know, made a lot of money.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. But.


Ira Madison III You know, um, yeah, you sort of have to work up to that moment. I mean, you know, we both love Billy. You know, this is an obviously the end of his career, so I’m excited for it. You know, as one of his first as his first film, you know.


Louis Virtel And just by the way. The jokes in it are fucking hilarious. I mean, I constantly a missing from pop culture. I feel routinely shamed for wanting to make jokes that are pop culture references or whatever. I think there are a lot of people who think that’s a workaround or become dated quickly or something. Meanwhile, everybody who listens to this show will know this. I literally think in terms of pop culture, if something happens to me that is unusual in my life, I’m comparing it to a movie I saw or whatever, a celebrity who said something at one point. And I find a lot of I think celebrities and pop culture are a great way to communicate with each other. So and I don’t I personally find that to be nothing.


Ira Madison III To it, though, to, you know, like you can’t just say, you know, like a quote from Anchorman and call it a that, you know, no, there’s a different art to referencing pop culture like on a show like 30 Rock or something where, you know, we you have to sort of know your audience and you have to know the reference and you have to be commenting on it as well. You know, it’s not just sitting around with the street kids in middle school like hearing them, quote, Seinfeld reruns. Back to you.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III There’s something more.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, exactly. It’s it’s that you’ve processed pop culture as if it’s a mutual friend you guys all have. And we’re going to talk about it that way. Anyway, this movie does that brilliantly. It’s my favorite thing about the movie. And if you haven’t seen it yet, I mean, I would be blown away if you didn’t like the movie. It’s that good.


Ira Madison III So yeah, I think Guy Branum, it’s fantastic, you know.


Louis Virtel And another person, obviously, he’s co-hosted our own podcast several times, one of a kind person. I mean, again, I think I posted about this on my Instagram the other day, but it’s rare that there’s a gay comic who might be better at trivia than I am, and I have nothing but reverence for him. Like, I don’t want to kill him.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but anyway. Yeah, I thought the movie was fun. I will say one note is not to bring up one of my favorite Douglas Sirk quotes, but people would always ask him, you know, like what his movie is about and where they commenting on things, or were they real or something, you know, like he has this great interview where he’s just sort of like, you know, no. Because I feel like the moment, like you start to make a movie about something is sort of when you fail. And I don’t I’m not saying that this is a failure because I enjoyed the movie, but I will say my least favorite parts of the movie were where it felt like we were teaching LGBTQ history.


Louis Virtel Sure. Yeah.


Ira Madison III You know, I feel like I feel like the movie by being like a raunchy, funny gay film on its own is the activism and the lesson in and of itself. You know, Billy’s. Character is the lesson in and of itself, you know. So even though all those fucking people are funny, ha. And, you know, Miss Lawrence from Real Housewives, you know, on TLC, Madison, you know, like they’re all fucking funny people. You know, I wish moments I were wishing they were just, like, funny and going back and forth with each other instead of talking about, you know, LGBTQ culture. Right. I still recoil whenever I hear the phrase cis white male on screen. Yeah. Like. Like, even like saying it as a joke now. It just feels like it’s so been taken over by, like, people on the Internet talking about. Yeah. It’s fraught, you know. And I have to imagine, like, if it makes us recoil, it has to make, like, straight and non queer people recoil, too. Yes.


Louis Virtel Well, you know what? I would compare that to in pardon me, people who don’t want me to say this name ever again. When Madonna when Madonna made Ray of Light.


Ira Madison III Or something changed. We’re going to start a madonna ticker. Yeah, right. We did a buzzer assault back like knives out. Yeah, right. Yeah.


Louis Virtel But when she made Ray of Light, which, of course, was a critical success, something changed in her. It’s like she thought she stopped thinking that she herself was the message and that she had to have another message to deliver. And that’s when the lyrics became a bit pretentious, and that’s when the lyrics became a bit nonsensical, if you’re asking me.


Ira Madison III Miss Kabbalah.


Louis Virtel That’s right, yeah. That era,.


Ira Madison III Miss Bracelet.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Miss Bracelet. Woof. Remember Britney in the every time video? Moving on. But anyway, it’s like, nope, like for certain people. Them existing and, you know, conveying that life however they can is still revelatory. You know who who’s the other Billy Eichner in movies, you know, it just. It just doesn’t exist.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Well, which was more annoying during that era livestrong bracelets or Kabbalah bracelets?


Louis Virtel Oh, well, I would say that. Well, Livestrong bracelets did not give luxury to me, whereas if you had a Kabbalah bracelet, I know you’ve been to a couple of meetings and I think Stella McCartney was at one of them. So I think there’s a little bit of exotic lure there.


Ira Madison III Chic. It gave working class.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III Even though it was mostly just rich white kids at my high school who had them. But it was more of a bro athlete thing.


Louis Virtel Right. And and the liar thing. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But you brought up Madonna. And now I have to say that I’ve just rewatched this 84 interview that she gave, you know, on music. She’s like on a panel with James Brown and.


Louis Virtel With shout outs. Yes. Oh, it’s one of the best interviews I’ve had.


Ira Madison III I had never seen it before. I was talking to my friend Lucas Timm about it, who’s like a huge Madonna stand. And it is just, you know, me, I love it. It’s like I’ve got my whole nuts tattooed, but like seeing oats in 84 be like, you know, I got in this industry to be a musician and people who got into this industry to be a musician, they don’t want to also be an actor, you know?


Louis Virtel And he’s railing against the existence of music videos as a way to sell guess primarily. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Because this is like 84 and like the whole like boasts most of the conversation is like music videos. Should artists have to do them? Madonna’s like I think is a great way to reach people who can’t go and see her concerts. And she’s like, When you’re performing on stage, like it’s the same thing as acting, you know, when, you know, if you just put a camera on them, it’s the same thing. And then like when he went on his tirade, she turns you him, she says, you’re acting now, which is the only he is.


Louis Virtel So he has to stop speaking at that moment. And she’s.


Ira Madison III Like, Is.


Louis Virtel That like signature bastard snicker? After which she’s like, You’re acting now like that?


Ira Madison III I like I like it. I like the 84 interviews of her because she’s like she’s sure of herself, but she’s also still. Deferential to icons in the music industry. A bit like she stops at him because they’re arguing. But like when she talks about other people like James Brown and people being on the panel and Joyce Clinton, she’s like speaking as like, you know, like I’m grateful to be here, you know? Right. And it’s interesting to see Madonna in that era of like, I’m grateful to be here.


Louis Virtel And also like, yeah, I know Debbie Harry preceded me 5 minutes ago, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Aware of where she exists on the timeline.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Um, last timeout. Did you read that great interview with Karen? Oh.


Louis Virtel I did. And she the. Yeah, yeah, we’re just on Kimmel, too, so I didn’t.


Ira Madison III It was really good. And, like, I think Alex Young asks her a question about like a Random Moment. She had gotten like advice from Debbie Harry. She says, I’m in Lizzy Goodman’s book, Meet Me in the Bathroom. There’s a story about how Karen approached Debbie Harry for advice on how to navigate being a girl in a boy’s world. And she told her, Just enjoy it while it lasts. And her response was ambivalent. And Karen was like, She feels bad about that incident because she was wasted. And then like she tapped Debbie on the shoulder and like, she’s probably just trying to enjoy herself. And this young, sloppy girl comes up to this bad ass and she’s like, But the advice wasn’t very helpful at the time. And she says, But maybe that’s something I would say ten years from now. But I loved it. Like Karen owed Debbie Harry all those shoulders. Like, how do I be like a girl in a boy’s world? She’s like, enjoy it while it lasts.


Louis Virtel And Panteg giving Winona Ryder in Black Swan.


Ira Madison III Yeah. All right. So the other polarizing movie this weekend was Blond. And let me tell you, this movie is trash.


Louis Virtel Well, blond, first of all, is blond.


Ira Madison III Is 2 hours before it is.


Louis Virtel Fuck is David. Lean behind the camera. What the fuck?


Ira Madison III I was like, Listen.


Louis Virtel Marilyn, I’m Arabia, motherfucker. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I was like, Well, let’s talk about the assassination of Marilyn Monroe by the coward Andrew Dominic.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Well, it’s such a man’s idea of, quote, unquote, adding dimension to a woman’s life. Because, truly, this movie is one of the most leaden movies in recent memory to me. And secondly, painting someone as a perpetual I’m not going to say victim. I’m going to use a different made up word, which is suffering.


Ira Madison III Does not mean.


Louis Virtel You think of them as a human being.


Ira Madison III It means we’re not talking about voters. Okay. I know.


Louis Virtel This is not about Pankhurst and Susan being.


Ira Madison III Anthony now. Yes, she I love Adams.


Louis Virtel I thought she was great. I thought she was actually great in this movie.


Ira Madison III Honestly. Yeah, I think she’s good too. But there is something about how she has to portray basically a baby. The entire film. Yeah, she’s. She’s a woman who, like I, there’s rarely any scenes where she is taking action of her own volition. It’s constantly just men bouncing her back and forth and the idea like it’s not novel. The idea that, like, you know, like there was a conflict between who Norma Jeane was and Marilyn Monroe was. But like the idea that she absolutely hated seeing herself on screen and being in films, it’s like, Well, bitch, why are you an actress?


Louis Virtel You know? Let’s, let’s.


Ira Madison III Let’s, let’s examine that, you know?


Louis Virtel No, no, you’re right. There’s not a moment in this movie where she does anything that reveals a real character. It’s like she suffers through some indignity or worse, you know, some human rights violation, basically. And then she sort of, like, nervously giggles at what’s happening or eventually burst into tears. But that’s it. It’s like it’s like a movie scolding everybody who hurt her entire life. And that’s it.


Ira Madison III It’s a little don’t worry, darling. Tomatoes, you know, a little. Like I was thinking of Rosemary’s Baby. It’s like it’s one of those woman figuring things out. Films, except she never figures it out.


Louis Virtel No, she’s just a tragedy from beginning to end. Yes.


Ira Madison III And I want to say, one of the weirdest things is like the relationship that’s concocted between Chaplin Junior and Edward G. Robinson Junior. And she’s allegedly did date Charles Chaplin Junior and maybe was involved with Edward G. Robinson for like a hot second. But like. There’s like this whole threesome that’s built up between these three. And like, it’s also the insinuation that way Charles Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson, like, are a couple, too. But I’m like, this is where I’m talking about like having bounce back and forth from Benjamin and like this, like this man’s idea of a woman, like even the depiction of her in a threesome with two men and two men who seem to be in a relationship with each other as well, is devoid of any things, sexy in like Charles and Edward in the film. Like they never even kiss one another while having sex with her. They never fuck for another. It’s just sort of like you’re presenting a gay couple who was dating Marilyn Monroe on screen and they are devoid of sexuality too. It’s just very weird.


Louis Virtel Also, the way they act towards her is like gross. They’re, like, leering and like, they just feel like a bunch of hands that are constantly all over her. The sex is, like, really icky, honestly. Do you know what? I would kind of.


Ira Madison III Be talking to gross people? I mean, it reminds me of repulsion.


Louis Virtel Right? Oh, we can go into that.


Ira Madison III But, you know, sometimes this was scenes where Catherine Deneuve is just like the hands coming at her from the hallway. Right. Um, God, we’ve talked about Polanski and Woody Allen in this episode.


Louis Virtel We win. Yeah. You know, honestly, a movie I would kind of compare it to, and I know people love this movie, but a similar problem to me is Spencer, where they think they’re adding dimension to this, this the beloved icon’s life. But really all they’re doing is making all the people around her seem like flat villains and then turning into like some sort of opera, her quote unquote inner struggle, even though her inner struggle is just crying.


Ira Madison III So I wanted to ask you about that, too, because like I was talking with my friend, Juan Ramirez is a reporter for The New York Times who likes this film for some reason. But his but he did ask, why didn’t people have some of the same complaints about Spencer? First of all, it’s because he bought it. Spencer does the same thing.


Louis Virtel Yes. No, and I agree. And also well, first of all, it’s a brief ah, film, mercifully.


Ira Madison III And then 2 seconds is like a commercial, to be honest, compared to this film.


Louis Virtel But also like I feel like Spencer more artfully gets into the surreal than this movie does. Like any sort of surreal Kafkaesque touches in this movie are just to say, Well, here comes another disgusting thing she went through. You know, guess how JFK treated her like that’s it.


Ira Madison III True. And I would say that, like, even if you don’t like Spencer, like Pablo Larrain, like, I think. You think he’s a good director?


Louis Virtel Yes. Yeah. Not asking interesting questions about the women he makes movies about, but I do think he’s talented. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Um, and I would also say that, like, you know, like that, you know, by nature of us sort of knowing more about Diana, she at least she at least has a purpose in that, like something she wants to do.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.


Ira Madison III She wants to get out of that fucking house.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Marilyn is just haplessly, like, walking away from a horrible childhood. And by the way, I want to give Julianne Nicholson some props. She’s given a famously wretched mother character and does amazing with it.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, the whole film is people, like, with wretched characters, like doing putting in work, you know? Speaking of ratchet characters, um, my King Bobby kind of plays Joe DiMaggio, and I think the greatest crime that has ever been done to cinema is hot people constantly playing Joe DiMaggio. Have you seen that man’s face?


Louis Virtel He has a memorable.


Ira Madison III He looks like Mister Ed. Yeah.


Louis Virtel He does have a wonderful nose, but that’s about it. I will say also Adrien Brody, really good as Arthur Miller in this movie.


Ira Madison III He is. And you know what? I will allow Adrien Brody playing Arthur Nolan because Adrien Brody is alien looking. And also I think playwrights deserve to be represented by hot people on screen. No, unless you’re David Mamet.


Louis Virtel Correct. That’s progress. Unless, of course, you’re arrow hot and find David Mamet. Please don’t do that. Also, Adrien Brody to me, I’ve always thought of him synonymously and I had with Get ready. Do you know what Clue Master Detective is the expanded version of the board game.


Ira Madison III With. With the new.


Louis Virtel Yes, Miss PJ, Mr. Rose. He looks exactly like Mr. Brunet to me, and I want him to play a clue. Master Detective Silver Screen Adaptation. Please do it.


Ira Madison III Adrian Burgess. Call up Ryan Reynolds.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Yeah, I guess they’re working on it. Never mind. There are all these people in there. Yeah. Also.


Ira Madison III I don’t know. Stick him in a stick a bit of knives out, so.


Louis Virtel Yes. I mean, we kind of he had that air a little bit in midnight in Paris, too, to bring up Woody Allen one more time playing Salvador Dali. Correct.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, I rewatched Manhattan this week. Okay. I’m sorry.


Louis Virtel Meryl. Luminescent that.


Ira Madison III Sound? Yes, because we were talking I was talking about, you know, Billy, like Woody Allen’s sort of like early days and how that sort of like a model of like who he could be, you know, because, like, you know, and I think we should have more insufferable gay protagonists, to be honest.


Louis Virtel Right. Totally.


Ira Madison III To get back to get back to prose. I think it actually wasn’t navel gazing enough.


Louis Virtel Right. You know, he we.


Ira Madison III Like self-indulgence.


Louis Virtel He has monologues in that movie where I’m like, oh, you’re speaking not for me, but this is the closest I’ve ever seen to like a lead character in a movie resembling a life that is like mine. And I’m not saying I need, like, access representation on the silver screen, but to even hear a little bit of it, pretty jarring. Anyway.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I will also say that was the last thing about that last thing about Bruce again. But like, would you say he’s more Tom Hanks or the Meg Ryan?


Louis Virtel Hmm. I’m going to say. Well, I would say he’s more Billy Crystal.


Ira Madison III Yeah, more than Billy Crystal. Okay. Yeah.


Louis Virtel So that with a little bit of a meg Ryan, don’t fuck with me follows vibe.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So I so I think like for his next film, I like Luke, but I think for his next film, we, he needs to be opposite a meg Ryan. He needs to be opposite a star that people know that is like. And they have, like, crackling, sexy chemistry. But people are going to be like, I want to see those two together. Yeah.


Louis Virtel It would be interesting to see him, I think maybe dating a younger person too. I’m not saying I thought Luke Macfarlane was actually fabulous in this movie. I really enjoyed him. But like whatever put choice of our next to Billy Eichner, I want to see what happens.


Ira Madison III Mhm. Yeah. Or like we have a myriad of like younger gay. That’s true actors now you know, I would say, um. Lucas Hedges. Right.


Louis Virtel By the way, what are we doing with Lucas Hedges right now? Last I saw Lucas, he was wearing boots out of Coyote Ugly out on the town with Tommy Dorfman. Yes.


Ira Madison III I there. He has not done anything since the premise that B.J. Novak anthology on SS and on screen was the last thing we saw. Lucas and was let them all talk.


Louis Virtel Jesus Christ, what the hell? This is a disaster. This is an Oscar nominated actor.


Ira Madison III I hope she’s shooting something. Yeah, and not just, you know, walking around town like Nancy Sinatra.


Louis Virtel Which she did very elegantly. I don’t mean to say she’s. Lucas can’t do that.


Ira Madison III The last thing I want to say about this film is that my favorite tweet about it was with somewhat separate, like Joyce cold open void, basically to me to be writing about this.


Louis Virtel Jesus Christ people.


Ira Madison III She was jealous of.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s right. Also, apparently, it has very little to do with the book itself, like the the filmmaker say his name again.


Ira Madison III Andrew Dominick. Yes.


Louis Virtel He said like they used that as a Bible, but nothing in particular is taken from the book. So I don’t know what that means. Those feel like contradictory statements to me.


Ira Madison III But anyway. Joyce is a mess, too. So there.


Louis Virtel You go.


Ira Madison III Blond. That’s what we think of it. Now, Hocus Pocus two, because we famously on this podcast don’t like the original.


Louis Virtel No. And my problem with the original is it’s mainly not about the three. Very funny, which is. Yes, right. You know, it’s about these like kids and they’re super boring. The movie can’t figure out what to do with itself. And there are a couple of good one liners that Bette Midler gets. But this movie, this new movie, I just want to say, still doesn’t really focus on the three, which is enough. Like it still is about these other people. And it’s like, can we just have them hanging out like in an absolutely fabulous type environment where it’s just about the three of these people?


Ira Madison III But yeah, where’s our practical magic with these three? Like every time they’re on screen together, it is amazing. But they have great chemistry.


Louis Virtel I’m sure you book them for this movie, telling them, well, you know, you’re not the only stars who won’t be that much of a time commitment or something, whatever. But I want to say. Bette Midler not skipping a beat. She was very funny throughout, which didn’t surprise me. She obviously recently had a legendary run in Hello Dolly, but it was really cool to see her still like giving those sideways glances. That was really broad, comical moment that you associate with very old Bette Midler as opposed to and I’m not saying she was bad in the movie, but watching Sarah Jessica Parker in this movie, I would compare her doing this movie to when Amy Poehler came back to do Wet Hot American Summer to where you realize since she did that first project, the type of characters she played are totally different now, like Amy Poehler used to be among the silliest people you would ever see in a project. You know, if you watch her on CONAN O’Brien, she’s playing like banshees who are screaming her like little kids, things like that. And as time went on, she became really adept and prolific at playing mature characters, you know? And Jessica Parker, obviously a Sex and the City and and just like that. But also like you think of her as somebody who plays roles like divorce. And so for her to hearken back to that time in her career when she was this wild card person who would be an Atwood or Honeymoon in Vegas or L.A. story was really fascinating because she truly would never play roles like that ever again.


Ira Madison III I know, but I missed that, like, square peg. Sarah Jessica Parker. I miss, you know, girls just want to have fun. Yeah. I mean.


Louis Virtel In her back, right? I just think it’s like she would have no reason to revisit that. That’s something she already did, you know? By the way, have I said this before? Do you know what Sarah Jessica Parker’s first line in the movie Atwood is?


Ira Madison III No.


Louis Virtel If I’m not mistaken, Atwood is reading a review of his newest thing, which is a disaster. And Sarah Jessica Parker plays an actress who’s in it, and she looks at the review. And the first thing she says is, Am I really a horse face? Can you believe all that? We have fucking dragged this woman through. It’s so fucking still. Like, is that supposed to be some, like, in-joke? She has to be on and on, and then I have to watch her say it. It’s just like the arc of all time. Also, she’s fucking gorgeous.


Ira Madison III You know, her first line of Mars attack. So here we go.


Louis Virtel What is it?


Ira Madison III I mean, this serious?


Louis Virtel Oh, really? Go ahead. Oh, I thought this was about to be a go ahead.


Ira Madison III No, Glenn Close. Like when the aliens are coming in, like Glenn Close, it’s like, where is these aliens from? Jupiter. And she says, no, Mars attacks. That’s not it. It was. It was a bit. I hate you. Yeah.


Louis Virtel No Mars.


Ira Madison III Attacks.


Louis Virtel But then the title hits the screen.


Ira Madison III I love them like a title hits the screen after someone says the line. Yeah. And it’s like it’s it’s funny to me. Think about like a title hitting the screen, like, 45 minutes into a movie.


Louis Virtel Right? Oh, that’s fun. It reminds me a little bit of when Vox Lux has the horrific first act where there’s like a school shooting, and then we get the entire credits of the movie 15 minutes in. When people are fucking sluts like that. Sometimes I’m like, You’re pretentious, but also that is kind of cool.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I you know, I still haven’t seen Columbine the musical now, but people tell me I would love Vox Lux.


Louis Virtel It’s two exclamation points. Columbine, exclamation point, exclamation point. But yeah. Oh, yeah. The characters. Unforgettable, indelible.


Ira Madison III No. So better than the first Hocus Pocus or not.


Louis Virtel Oh, I would say definitely yes.


Ira Madison III It’s better.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I mean, it’s just more focused. It gives it it zeroes in. More on the thing you really wanted from the original hocus pocus. I just continue to be baffled when people love that movie because it’s not like Clue where. I do think people slightly overhype clue, including myself. It’s like the movie I’ve definitely seen the most times. There are definitely parts of that movie that don’t work, that are overlong, that aren’t the funny, or they’re too broad or whatever. But hocus pocus. I, I really I really struggle to understand because we were a good scene is.


Ira Madison III Yeah, we were like five. Yeah. And also that’s a conversation for another day, like movies that we love, that we’ve seen too much that are like their scenes that don’t work. I found this in revisiting Heathers, which I fucking love. Mm hmm. But some of the scenes are just, like, so long and, like.


Louis Virtel Repetitive.


Ira Madison III Sort of talk. Repetitive. Then it’s like, cut, like, 20 minutes from Heathers. And it’s a better movie.


Louis Virtel Yeah, definitely.


Ira Madison III Definitely. Anyway, coming up, Isabella Rossellini joins us.


Louis Virtel [AD].


Ira Madison III Today, we are delighted to be joined by actual royalty, an icon you know from such films as Death Becomes Her, Blue Velvet and much more that we’ll get to. Also, a farmer whose art often intersects with her deep love of animals and her latest, one woman show, Darwin’s Smile opens in Los Angeles this weekend. And we are thrilled to welcome to Keep It the elegant and delightful, Isabella Rossellini.


Isabella Rossellini Oh, thank you so much. What an introduction.


Louis Virtel But you hear your voice for even 2 seconds and you already live up to it. There’s. There’s the room changes when you start speaking. Do you get that feeling often?


Isabella Rossellini Is it my accent? I tried very much to erase it, but you can’t. I was unable.


Ira Madison III I feel like there’s something about your quality, like the voice, just the way you speak that just sort of, like, gives a bit of wriggle and maybe it’s the accent. But even even when you’re doing comedy, I mean, I mentioned these iconic films, but, you know, I feel like I am constantly going back to your appearances on like 30 Rock, which is so wild to me. You just doing that later in your career and and you work so much to still like. Do you still find joy from being on set after doing it for so long?


Isabella Rossellini Yeah, I’m totally surprised. This year it turned 70 and I didn’t think I was going to work at 70. Not because mine is tired, but just because there is less work. So it’s true that for women at least, there is work between 55 and 65, 50 and 65. My mama, that was also an actress, Ingrid Bergman warned me, said, you know, there is a certain age where there is not much work because you are too old to be the love interest. Not that at 55 you don’t have a love interest, but it’s not portrayed in films. And you are too young to portray the grandmother or the Prime Minister or whatever. And so I did experience that. And that’s what made me become also a farmer, because in two years I wasn’t really working, nor as a model, nor as an actress. I went back to university and took a master’s degree on animal behavior and conservation and bought a farm and then job as an actress came back. So now I’m working a lot as an actress and as a farmer.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel Also, it’s interesting that this is a live show you’re doing. Talk about your journey into doing just live performances. I mean, I think of you primarily as a, you know, movie actress and occasionally a TV actress.


Isabella Rossellini Yeah, well, I started to write, you know, in that period that I wasn’t really working and I was going to university. I found out about animal and animal behavior was fascinating. And I first started with a series of short film, comical films for Sundance Channel called.


Ira Madison III Green Porno.


Louis Virtel Fabulous, Fabulous.


Isabella Rossellini And they went viral. They were incredibly successful. And so then I made a second series as Decoded Seduced Me and another one about motherhood and all these different way because biodiversity exists. So you don’t think that everything is a couple male female having babies? Sometimes they are hermaphrodites, so each individual is a male or female, sometimes they are animal theropods, scientifically, sequential hermaphrodites. They are born one sex and they become another sex aging. So all of these things I thought that were so amusing because we might have learned them in school, but they I don’t know. I didn’t remember that maybe professor were very clear about this. So I made a series comical about nature and that went viral. And then from that, a friend of mine who’s a French actress called Carol Book said, You got to make monologues using all these short, short film that you have done. Because at the end, I made about 50 short films and I did my first monologue, and then I continue and this Darwin smile is my third monologue. And this one is based on expressions of emotions and studies that have been done on animals and how they express emotion and expression of emotion is also the job of an actress, isn’t it? So in this one I talk about expression of emotion in animal and in humans, but also my experience as an actress. And how do you reconstruct this emotion? Do faking they portray them in films? So this one connects all my different interests.


Ira Madison III I have to imagine, you know, with such varied interest with that to your you’re a great person and let’s have a conversation with like over guitar. I mean, Jenny Slate was on our podcast recently and she discussed how she got you to be an Marcel the Shark with the shoes on and you know should you cooking welcome dinner for her and I’m just like do you love just sort of like what a conversation topic you what do you love to bring up with guests when you have over like I assume like people would just love to hear more about animals in general. I mean, this is fascinating to me.


Isabella Rossellini Well, a lot of people like animals and a lot of people, you know, they might they might say, my dog, you know, my dog is very attached to me. He tells me things. And then then they wouldn’t recognize that other animal have intelligence saying, no, only human beings have intelligence, although they might treat their dog like a cognitive being. So science now has proven the animal is not only instinctive, they are also degrees of difference in, but if intelligence. And this is a new science and it’s quite fascinating also because if you think about it, we only have five senses while human being and our senses, we perceive a certain range of color, but animals might see in the ultraviolet color they can hear better than an arctic and smell things we don’t smell. So the world in front of their eyes or in front of their ears, because sometimes they don’t have eyes. It completely different. They perceive the world completely different than we do. And that is also incredibly fascinating to me. I wish I could make a film about that. Wouldn’t it be great? Something about surrealism? It would be amazing. But it still the images haven’t come to my mind. If they will, I will make that film. I will make that clear.


Louis Virtel It seems like a good topic to be fascinated with because you can never be done learning about it. You know, there’s always some animal you don’t know about. There’s always some species. I’m sure that’s mind blowing. Do you find yourself still constantly reading up, constantly getting new information?


Isabella Rossellini Oh, yes, absolutely. I think that one, I was not very good when I went to school. When I was at the right age, I wasn’t good at all. And but when I went back as an adult in my fifties, it is actually it was wonderful because it was pure curiosity. You know, it wasn’t a pressure like you studied, but now you have to get a job and you have to monetize your knowledge. I just did it out of pure curiosity and it was such a relief of all the pressure of the exam, the grades and all that. So, yes, I continue being very curious and I find enormous joy in following my curiosity.


Ira Madison III You brought up surrealism. Of that, you know, good Porter was a bit of that as well. Where did you find that your love of sort of telling stories in that way came from? I mean, was it inspired, you know, by working with Lynch on like Blue Velvet and, you know, like Wild at Heart or was it something that, you know, you learned early on sort of as an instinct?


Isabella Rossellini So probably being a raconteur, telling stories, probably something that I was born when I come from a family of raconteur. My father my father was a film director.


Ira Madison III Absolutely.


Louis Virtel Oh, was he? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Yeah.


Isabella Rossellini And my mother was an actress. So telling story was part of my upbringing. And so probably I acquired fro them or I acquired genetically, I don’t know, or both genetically and culturally. So telling story and listening to story, it’s fun for me. Then when I started to direct my own short film film, I realized that my style was a little bit surreal and and comical, which wasn’t something that I had done a great deal of comical films. So it was my tone, it was my language. And I also thought maybe that’s why I got along so well with David Lynch. And I understood him so well because a lot of people say, we don’t understand David Lynch’s story. But I did and I didn’t. It’s not the narrative’s not important. You know what happened to that first? And it didn’t go to that point and it didn’t go that doesn’t matter. But it is a truth of the feeling that you feel into interior and even the kind of confusion I remembered David once defending himself from the accusation. I can understand your film, he said, but you enter into a room and immediately there is an atmosphere. And you know, immediately if you have to say hello, how are you? To the people you say, Hey, hello, how are you? Why, that’s what is interesting to me, that there is a mystery, but yet there is an atmosphere that makes us behave. And that was what he tried to capture. And I was absolutely clear about that. So it wasn’t so much the narrative. Why were these people sitting in that room and what were they doing? But the aura that people have and yet the temp, you know, the mood that you constantly pick up. And so that is very clear in this film. So anyway, my films as a director were quite surreal and comical and and the surrealism of it I didn’t expect when I wrote it, I just wrote it trying to follow what I wanted to explain and funny. You know, I think that when you make it funny. You also spend a lot of time making it funny for yourself because you have to find a joke. And so it’s a very pleasurable moment with yourself in front of a white piece of paper because it’s joyful. So I didn’t want to dwell in the sadness. I wanted to dwell in fun. And that’s how my film and all my work, including Darwin Smile, is comical.


Louis Virtel I want to say something about you being funny because one of my favorite Oscar speeches of all time is when your mom won her third Oscar for Murder on the Orient Express, and she gets up to the mic and she’s she’s thrilled to win it. But then she also says sometimes Oscar has the wrong timing and she looks at four. She finds Valentino Cortez in the audience, who’s up for day four night. She says, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take this from you. And it’s like one of the most, like, humble. And yet you can tell she she so appreciates the moment, the time to speak. She’s such a brilliant interviewee anyway. Was humor like a huge part of your life growing up? Because obviously both your parents have it have such an austerity about them on the screen?


Isabella Rossellini Yes, they do have an austerity on the screen, but they were very funny people, especially my dad who made very dramatic film, the most famous, one of the one that he did right after the Second World War that were very emotional, heart wrenching film. And yet father in life was very, very funny. I mean, I remember laughing to the point of them had to leave the room to just get a breath because you made love so much and Mother had a very light, charming sense of humor. Father Really? Ha ha ha. Mama More of a smile. But yes, both of them were very amusing and fun. And laughter is something I always say when they say, What is your first quality that you’re looking in a person? And I always say, That makes me, her or him laugh. Laughter is very important to me.


Ira Madison III I would say one of my maybe far left right films that I enjoy is Baby, your first screen appearance, and you interact with your mom on the screen and Minnelli as a matter of time. And I’m just wondering if you look back fondly on that film, because it wasn’t received well at the time. But, you know, it was your first moment on screen with your mother and sort of like how you maybe feel about that film years later.


Isabella Rossellini Well, you know, I mean, years later now, you know, I lost my parents and I was 30. I didn’t have my father or mother. And I wish I’d had them longer with me. I wish I could work with them and learn more from them because what I learn from them, I learned it as a girl hanging out. But now that I am in the same profession, I have more articulated questions that I can’t ask them that day. When my mum asked me and with Vincent Minnelli asked me to be to just play a dress, it was a one day job to play a nun that my mother’s character is dying and I am the nun next to her, holding her hands as she’s dying. And I thought it was interesting because Mom and I resemble each other and Minnelli and Mama. I thought it was interesting that when this woman, she plays an old woman quite confused. She looks up, she sees the non that is assisting her. But the nun has a face when she was younger and with my face. So they laugh that moment that they might be kind of a natori. So I did it because of course it was interesting to be with Mama and Minnelli, and Liza Minnelli was in the film, but also it was extremely intimidating. So once I was on set, I remember that day being very shy, very troubled, waiting for the day to be over. Also, I think the producer thought, Oh, this could be a nice article. So he invited a lot of paparazzi. And so, you know, you are even more exposed to criticism when you are the daughter of a they expect you to surprise to the incredible and you can never really match the expectations that are so high. So it was a little bit of a torturous day. But looking back, I, I really can’t believe that I was in a film with Liza minnelli, directed by Vincent Minnelli, and with my mom.


Louis Virtel It’s interesting comparing your roles to specifically your mom’s, because I really think of most of what you do is, quote unquote, provocative. Like Isabella Rossellini is in a movie like watch out, you don’t know what you’re in for, whereas, you know, your mom has all these famous movies. But I would compare her to someone like Greer Garson or something. She’s like the leading lady that, you know, who’s who’s who is regality and charm we’re all kind of enamored by. Is there a specific role of your mom’s you would have most like to play, and do you think there’s a role of yours? She would have played well.


Isabella Rossellini Hmm. You know, I never. I never thought. I never thought about that. I never thought I would have like to play my mother. I was interesting. My mother did a film when she was was there actually her last feature film. She did it with the Swedish director.


Louis Virtel Autumn Sonata. Yes.


Isabella Rossellini And that and mother had a lot of argument with Ingmar Bergman’s true story of a woman, not an actress, but a pianist who has a very big career and neglects her family, neglects her daughter for her career. And and years later, you know, I think maybe just ten years ago, the film was done right already 45 years ago. But about ten years ago, it was at the Berlin Film Festival, and there was an homage to Bergman. And they were doing a retrospective of his work, including Autumn Sonata and Liv Ullmann, the actress on the film with Mama, was there to present the film, and I was asked to join the label Man on stage to present the film, which I did, and I was delighted to see live and live, but had such criticism of the film that I was really interested and I always have a kind of a secret dream of remaking Autumn Sonata, but we Liv Ullmann directing because she’s also a very good director. She argued that that film, which is a very beautiful, moving film, we all love it. It really is accusatory of women having a career because Bergman himself, although he had wives that were actresses and he did a lot of films with with them, we had two actress, they were his partner. And yet when when they continue their career beyond him, maybe he felt that wasn’t right. They should be home. They should take care of the family. What about the children? That together. But he was exonerated from this responsibility. And I thought you had such an interesting point of view. And I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to do the same film? But with Leif point of view of a more modern woman who defends because the film was and 45 years ago and women were still asking themselves, my mum always said that she doesn’t choose acting. Acting chose her. It was really a calling. She was only happy if she acted, but she felt very guilty. She had four children and she had to often go away and not being with us. And it was a very enormous conflict and that was 45 years ago. Nowadays, women have no hesitation in having a career and they would ask the husband to be home and they were making a film or or they would ask the people that give them the job. I mean, this is the next requirement to able to bring children to the set so that at the end of the day, with the school, there can be a little bit with their parents. The film not to be always shot in a different continent for three months so that you don’t see your family. I mean, they are things that nowadays we all argue and to. So that is yes, I would like to do Autumn Sonata with Liv Ullmann directing.


Louis Virtel And I just want to pop in and say if people have not seen Autumn Sonata, the movie is amazing. The interplay between Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann is second to none. The drama is unbelievably intense and yet so real, too. It’s not a melodrama. It is a real drama. So I really encourage people to go see it.


Ira Madison III Umm. I’m interested by what you said about your mother saying that, you know, like acting shows her. Would you say the same for yourself?


Isabella Rossellini I know you know about acting, but probably telling stories. I do prefer to write and direct and create my shows. I do like to add, but not all the time.  I don’t have the same call. I think that I will always do something. In fact, yesterday my publicist was here in San Francisco, where I am now with my show, Darwin’s Smile that I’m going to come to Los Angeles next weekend. And she came and I said, I worked very hard this year. And then I said, But at the end of October, I’m going to take two months off to rest. And she said, Oh, come on, rest. You never rest. What are you going to do in these two months? So it’s true that I am always doing something, something creative, even with my farm. I mean, it doesn’t have to be in films. It can be with the farm. It can be with other things. But I am always finding busy. Busy narrative. Telling stories is what I like. Mm hmm.


Ira Madison III A follow up, I think, to that. You know, about acting in your mother. You talked about Autumn Sonata. You know about how live, you know, sort of like disagreed with, you know, Ingmar sort of feelings about women and acting and him being the director. And your mother was obviously very to Rossellini and you were married to, you know, to directors who, you know, when people talk about film, they’re always talking about David Lynch. There I was talking to talking about Martin Scorsese. Did you find that you had a great sort of working relationship with them while you were married as you were an actress?


Isabella Rossellini So I was married to Martin, but we never we never directed me in any film. And instead, David, we met doing during the movie, but then we fell in love. The you know, you were asked me before that my mom did films that were like great leading lady. And my film is like, Oh, watch out. What is she doing? I think that my father was a very much of an avant garde filmmaker. I mean, now, as we look back at his film and they are classics, but of course, he created a new style that critics called neorealism that was very influential for films. And so this kind of experimental filmmaking and trying different ways of narrative, but it’s something that I grew up with that maybe, as I expressed it, stronger than my mom, although my mom was one of the very few Hollywood actresses where the full career in Europe I mean, if you look at my mom, she worked in Sweden, she worked in in Italy, she worked in France, she worked in America. So she had it wasn’t really a regular, predictable Hollywood, fantastically beautiful career, but just in one in one country. But so I think that I don’t know sometimes that asked, why do you marry? Why did you marry directors? I don’t know. First of all, I also got married with Jonathan Wiedemann, work for Microsoft. So he wasn’t he wasn’t a director. And my lovers were not directors. But I think there is a familiarity, a common interest. I loved what my parents did. I always knew that I was going to remain in films and work in films or theater. And so when I met Marty, there was already a ground of common love. I mean, Marty loves films and I love films. So we watched a lot of films together. We talked a lot of films when we still nowadays when we call each other, we talk about films. And so it was a ground of bonding.


Louis Virtel I mean, we must bring up death becomes ah, certainly the film that comes up most among gay men when we discuss Isabella Rossellini, what do you think is the staying power of that movie? Which I just want to say in general, I can’t compare anything else to it, really. There still is no second. Death becomes her like it’s its own genre. Really?


Isabella Rossellini Yes, it’s fantastic. Well, you know, Robert Zemeckis was a fantastically successful director in Hollywood, making more successful commercial films like Roger Rabbit.


Louis Virtel Forrest Gump, etc..


Isabella Rossellini You know, he is very experimental. And when I met him, he reminded me very much of my father or David Lynch or Martin Scorsese. He worked with a very small group of friend with whom he went to school in college, and they invented those special effects. And then once they had the special effect, they wrote the story around it. And he was very active. I really knew. And I love Zemeckis. I think he’s a marvelous man. And we got along very well. And when we did the film, we certainly didn’t know that the film was going to be. It became really a film that it is. Are you call it iconic or.


Ira Madison III Absolutely.


Isabella Rossellini Whenever a person says, Oh, I love your work. Death Becomes Her, I say “Oh, the person who must be gay.” Immediately


Ira Madison III But I’ve always wondered about that, too. You know, just because we there are so many gay films, you know, but, you know, for Robert Zemeckis, you know, making this film, you know, it’s just it has this fun sensibility in it that you never really see from male directors of the time. Or even now, you know, there’s this fun playfulness in it. And just the way that you, the women interact in the film like it feels, it feels freshly original even now.


Isabella Rossellini No, it does. It does. I heard that they were going to make a musical for Broadway that becomes their I don’t know what happened to it before COVID. So, yes, I agree. But when we were doing the film, we thought it was just going to be another function for for everybody from family, for it. We didn’t expect it. It is a film for family. I mean, everybody can go see it. But it was particularly impactful with the gay community that what we didn’t expect. We were surprised by it and delighted that we could represent a particular sense of humor, you know, that we capture a particular ironic irony and a fantasy about women and women’s relationship of competition and hatred. And wasn’t Bruce Willis marvelous?


Louis Virtel Oh yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah.


Isabella Rossellini They all kind of the macho, the most beautiful men play this man completely victimized by women, obedient. I thought it was extraordinary and fun. Also, how wonderful sense of humor to his own image, how ironic he had been about his own image as this super superhero superstar, a wonderful man of Hollywood, to to make fun of himself and his and his image, his public image.


Louis Virtel I guess our last question is, it’s just so interesting how inventive you are when it comes to finding new hyphens to add to your career. I mean, no one would guess that you would become a farmer, that you’d be a scientist, in addition to being all the things you are already. Do you see any other additional occupations you’ll be adding to your sort of repertoire as the years go on? Have you? Are you bubbling up with, you know, other versions of yourself?


Isabella Rossellini I am 70, so I don’t know how long. That is a preoccupation. Not only how long I would live, but how long I will be rational. Sometimes I ask because I do this things that are unpredictable. So sometimes I go to my best friend and I say, Am I going gaga and I’m okay to do it? Or is it the sign of dementia? When I started to be a farmer, a lot of my friends thought oh okay. Oh, they thought it was the beginning of losing it. But now they like my farm. My farmer is very rational and very together, is go by my father and it’s fine. But yes, sometimes I do go to the people and say. Can I do it? Or is it the first sign of dementia?


Louis Virtel Seeming pretty rad to me. So fear not.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Isabella Rossellini Thank you.


Ira Madison III Oh, well, thank you so much for being here with us, Isabella.


Isabella Rossellini Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.


Ira Madison III You can catch Darwin’s Smile in Los Angeles, October 8th and 9th at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. We’ll be right back with Keep It.


Ira Madison III And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It is. Keep it, Louis. What’s yours?


Louis Virtel Well, the Internet threw up at us recently and it involved the impresario Lena Dunham. Lena Dunham tweeted, I guess she is currently in the promotional period for her new Amazon film, Catherine called Birdie. And she tweeted, When I go, I want my casket to be driven through the New York City Pride Parade with a plaque that reads, She wasn’t for everyone, but she was for us. Who can arrange. Now, I guess there’s something Tom and tongue in cheek about that. She’s asking to be, you know, treated messianic Lee in a pride parade. I don’t think of it any more than that. I think it’s like pretty funny, kind of amusing. People reacted like she said, I’m the new emperor of America and you all have no rights anymore because I’m your gay guys. Including. I’ll just read some tweets I’ve seen. Can I start living my life with whatever amount of confidence Lena Dunham has that make her think she’s an LGBTQ icon? Okay. She’s done plenty of great like girls remains an amazing show. There is no second one of girls industry fabulous. I still think Tiny Furniture is really good. It’s like people.


Ira Madison III Lying about using poppers on Watch What Happens Live like that is gay history.


Louis Virtel That’s the that’s iconic, right? Now, I’ve said it iconic. That’s what she is. There’s just something about her in general that has always inspired, like, 70% too much rage. If it were just, oh, that was annoying, that’d be one thing. But it’s it can never just be. She was annoying. It was just she’s the worst of X, Y and Z. It’s like you can’t people can’t comment on her without snowballing into furor. And I just want to say that it was a perfectly amusing and slightly zany quote. I don’t know. I just whatever the genies that make it makes you want to, like, fight. Lena Dunham I don’t have and I don’t understand it.


Ira Madison III No one had that energy when, you know, the dwarves walked Snow White and her glass casket through pride.


Louis Virtel Right. And and Millie Bobby Brown. Then, of course, hit all of them with her car. Which. Was funny. We all laughed.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I saw Millie parked outside of screenings of Bros. And maybe that’s why people didn’t show up.


Louis Virtel Right? Because she was reving that engine.


Ira Madison III They were afraid of dying.


Louis Virtel That’s right. Yeah. They’re going to be knocked right off that AMC Curb. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Honestly, if I were Millie Bobby Brown, I would star in a remake of Christine.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. That would be it.


Ira Madison III And where she’s killing gays.


Louis Virtel It’s like how Lea Michele finally leaned into the illiteracy thing. Like she’s doing little Instagram bits now. It’s like, Millie, come on, hit gay people with your car. The Internet wants it.


Ira Madison III Because now the illiteracy jokes are over.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah. Now we can’t do them anymore. Right.


Ira Madison III Yeah. People are still doing them, but they’re not funny.


Louis Virtel Right. That is really interesting. By the way. It is completely defanged now. There’s no reason to make a joke about that.


Ira Madison III Hmm.


Louis Virtel All right, Ira, what is your Keep It?


Ira Madison III My keep it is a double Keep It to to two crazy men who are like working on rebrands and I need people to start giving them oxygen. Okay. The first one, Kanye West.


Louis Virtel I mean.


Ira Madison III Kanye West.


Louis Virtel A legend of this portion of the show.


Ira Madison III Just did his new show in Paris and like with with Candace Owens in attendance.


Louis Virtel I saw that. I saw that.


Ira Madison III His new bestie wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts. And first of all, I’ve never met a white life that mattered.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Mattering. That’s a specific area of interest, I don’t know about mattering.


Ira Madison III Okay. The only one who’s come close is Jennifer Garner.


Louis Virtel Wow. Really? Okay. When she hugged Victor Garber that one time and was crying. That did matter. I agree.


Ira Madison III Yours to me, once a week.


Louis Virtel Right. But then I log off and then what do I do that matters? Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But, um. Wow. It’s just. It’s more idiocy than we’d expect from him. But my thing at this point is stop going. Like, there’s one thing for his annoying fans online to, like, gas him up in Instagram comments when he does something rude like stalking Kim Kardashian for months and turning into the Joker, essentially. But. Going to his fashion show. Like, that’s different than like just like listening to a song or two when it comes out like you’re going to this, you’re sitting there while these shirts are being marched out. Get up and leave.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III And the thing, too, is that, like, black people have already decided that, like, we’re sort of done with him and this trash for, like, a long time. And sometimes, you know, like, you give him excuses and, you know, you keep giving him an inch and an inch and an inch. But it’s like he used to decry not being a part of the fashion industry and worked so hard to get into it because he was knocking down doors for black people, he was really just knocking down doors for himself because there’s no black uplift happening. It’s the people in the industry who are now propagating this, you know, like by giving him attention, giving him press, giving him the oxygen, like you are part of the problem now.


Louis Virtel I mean, he gave you all the clues to quote that movie, The Snowman. I mean, he’s standing there with Candace Owens. That’s when you can say, oh, enough is enough. This is over. There’s nothing here.


Ira Madison III Shout out to Jaden for being there. Jaden Smith. But leaving and tweeting, “I dipped.”.


Louis Virtel Done.


Ira Madison III And.


Louis Virtel We love an example.


Ira Madison III And tweeting, tweeting. “I don’t care who it is. If I don’t feel the message, I’m out.” And let me just say, that is a spiritual successor to one of my favorite quotes ever, Kim Cattrall’s. “I don’t want to be in a situation for even an hour where I’m not enjoying myself.”


Louis Virtel Which almost sounds like a threat. But I do love that quote.


Ira Madison III So that’s how I feel about that. And the other one is, I don’t think we’ve even talked about him on this show, to be honest. But Christian Walker.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Who today is like standing up for his rights and railing against his dad. Anyway, go ahead.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Christian Walker, this annoying TikToker who you know is like, sort of like that Shop HRH girl who’s always screaming and she’s kind of funny. But he the comedy comes from just like him saying, like, fuck you liberals and like, fuck you gays, you’re doing too much. And it’s like almost campy and a parody. But he’s used he’s used it to create a brand. And like every time people share his shit like it, just like hate sharing it does well for him, you know.


Louis Virtel And also like irony sharing it like, oh, he really spilled. But he said Fagots are too much or whatever, you know.


Ira Madison III I know. And so he’s the son of Herschel Walker who somehow has more children than Nick Cannon.


Louis Virtel And that’s like a Johann Sebastian Bach situation at this point. My God.


Ira Madison III And they are all like secret children that we’ve never heard of before. I mean, like he has more kids than Marlene Evans on Days of Our Lives at this point. Okay. And like Stefano Demierez. Not all Herschel Walker on a secret island and had him give birth to children without his knowledge.


Louis Virtel But you don’t know that for sure. We can guess. Yeah.


Ira Madison III It is is. He is a vile person. Yeah. You know, like, he’s, you know, he’s, um, said so much gross in the media, like, he’s also an idiot at like, we knew Trump was an idiot. Like, we know Ron Sanders is an idiot. This is a new level of stupid.


Louis Virtel A lot going on. Yep.


Ira Madison III You know there are words I want to say about him. We’re in mixed company, so I’mma keep it cute. I’mma be like Aunty M in Wizard of Oz. You know “There’s words I’d like to call you, but I’m a Christian woman.


Louis Virtel Wow. I didn’t know you knew Aunty M’s virtues so well.


Ira Madison III But the fact that Christian used to support his father and all his like racists and like anti-abortion and like just general gross rhetoric.


Louis Virtel And hypocrisy.


Ira Madison III And hypocrisy only to now be like, I supported my father until he lied to our family and continued to run when we told him not to. And he’s going against my morals. And I’m like, girl, you don’t have any morals in the fuck up.


Louis Virtel You know, it’s it’s like when Ann Colter does tweets an anti-Trump thing or something. It’s like, you think I care? You think like you’re now you’re adding to the conversation by, quote unquote, coming to your senses, like, give me a break.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, so don’t let him rebrand. He’s dumb. This. This just feels like another ploy to be on us. And, like, even if he is fighting with his father, you know, like, take it to Maury, okay? Like, take it to the Karamo show. I don’t know, but, like, just like, I have no interest in it. And if you’re shocked that your father turned on you, you know, to quote the iconic Brandi Marshall in selling The O.C., one thing about those tables, they turn.


Louis Virtel Now you’ve got me thinking about Maury and Connie Chung. They were Watch What Happens one time, and I was like, I never see these people all together. Why aren’t they? Why don’t we give them a show on, like, A&E or something?


Ira Madison III Do you remember Scream three?


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III Jay and Silent Bob. What? They see Gail Weathers. “It’s Connie fucking Chung. Hey, Connie. How’s Maury?”


Louis Virtel But of course, we’re too distracted by Kourtney’s chopped up to really process jokes at that point as horrific.


Ira Madison III Horrific. Those are my Keep Its. I have one more.


Louis Virtel Oh, there’s a third one? Okay, great.


Ira Madison III Twitter circles.


Louis Virtel I get this. I’m completely with you.


Ira Madison III Twitter circles is a place where like, it’s basically close friends on Twitter and a lot of the gays are using it now for, you know, just to post nudes. The gays who haven’t crossed over to Only Fans, they just want some light titillation, you know. But my main problem with circles is like people using it for that and people are also using it to talk shit, which obviously.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III But stop screenshotting people’s Twitter circles.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s vile.


Ira Madison III Stop. Stop being a snake. And this one screenshot, I’m sure people screenwriting the nudes and sending them around, but like if someone is dragging someone in a Twitter circle and you screenshot it and you send it to the person who’s being dragged.


Louis Virtel Like it’s believable that you are.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You are gutter ball trash. Okay. Like you were so low. I can’t even sweep you off the floor. Okay. Like it’s just.


Louis Virtel Childish.


Ira Madison III Snake. It’s childish and it is snake behavior. Yeah. And then, like.


Louis Virtel Also inserting yourself in a conversation. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Like, it’s, you know, you’re not in the Kool-Aid. You don’t know the flavor. Okay. Like every conversation. See your way out of my Twitter circle? I have. You know, I just think that doing shit, like, that is, like, so rude. And I also then think, like, don’t post that online and go back and forth about something that was in someone’s Twitter circle. I mean, because you weren’t supposed to see it in the first place.


Louis Virtel Can I tell you my problem with Twitter circles? I don’t like seeing what I would call other people’s Grindr messages. Like like starting conversations that like in like setting things up. To me, it’s a little bit like you’re performing, you’re I feel gay men in general, but actually people in general are a little obsessed with exclusivity and like to see people, like, kind of flirting and setting up. I don’t know. It’s sort of like it’s it’s like you’re saying you’re all in cahoots with each other and then like, if you’re only in some circles and not others, you’re like seeing a fragment of.


Ira Madison III Hashtag Cahoots.


Louis Virtel Yeah. You’re you’re seeing, like, fragments of conversations and realizing you’re not in others. And, like, it seems like people sort of I don’t know, it just fills me with an icky feeling.


Ira Madison III I feel like I agree with that because I like, you know, not to say bring the mystery back to romance, you know, but it’s like we’re all fagots. We know we’re hooking up with each other. Yeah, like, you know, like, you know, when someone like, who lives in Los Angeles, you know, like, goes to D.C. for the weekend and they take a photo with this one gay its like, oh, we know they fucked.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But that’s that’s the mystery of it. I hate that like the someone posts like a nude right and then there’s the other responses to it on in the Twitter circles where it’s was like, oh, when are we going to meet up? Or things like that. That’s what you mean.


Louis Virtel Yes. Right.


Ira Madison III Like. Like I don’t need to see this conversation happening in real time to get to DMS.


Louis Virtel Right, exactly. Like, why is this public? There’s something gross about that particular interaction being public. I can’t explain it. Like, I feel almost like neo con saying that, but I don’t like it.


Ira Madison III I mean, not to be a not to be a prude, you know, which I love what our friends post. I love our friends who. Right. Do Only Fans, you know. But I’m just like there’s certain aspects of it where like an onlyfans is wort you know? Or if you just want to post your shit, like that’s just like who you are. But there’s, there’s a next level of performing that just feels like you’re doing too much, but you’re performing letting everyone know that you’re having sex and it’s like we get it.


Louis Virtel Yes, yes. It’s it’s like it’s not sexy, for one thing, but to I just like insta close friends better for this reason. It’s like, yeah, by all means post like nudes or whatever and post them to whoever you want to see them. But then I don’t need to see the next part where you’re like, Oh, this X, Y, and Z person reached out to me and can you believe it? And all that. So.


Ira Madison III Yeah, look at us.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Tipper Gore. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. We should have a full episode about the filthy 15 and the weird ass vanity six songs she picked to be on that list.


Ira Madison III All right, that’s our show this week. Shout out to Isabella Rossellini for being an icon.


Louis Virtel Yes. And such an awesome interviewee, of course. Yes.


Ira Madison III We’re going to see you backstage. We’re going to see you at the farm girl. We’ll see you next week. Keep it as a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third.


Louis Virtel And Louis Virtel.


Ira Madison III Our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.


Louis Virtel Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian, and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.