For forty years the HFPA has audio-taped celebrated actors and actresses. The world’s largest collection of its kind is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. To veteran stars, our HFPA journalists are family; they banter with them and speak openly and frankly about themselves and their artistry.
When we children were out of control, my mother would say, “Children are merely men and women who haven’t yet surrendered to civilization.” I knew my parents were well-known—my mother was Ingrid Bergman and my father was Roberto Rossellini— but as a child you accept everything around you as normal. I thought every parent was famous.
We had a big family, lots of dogs and cats, a big warm,very cheerful environment. We had an open, extended family with lots of cousins and nephews all living with us, coming in and out. They’d stay for a few months, move out if they anted, and then come back. With so many children in the house, hardly a month went by that there wasn’t a birthday party filled with laughter and singing.
And that’s what I’m trying to give to my daughter. I want her to have that same warmth and cheerfulness that I had when I grew up. After my parents were divorced we lived with Mother, but there was an apartment organized for the children near my Father’s house, and we stayed there all day long.
We played there, went to school there, and then in the evening after dinner, we went to Mother’s house. We really didn’t have any problems because Mother wanted us to be a very open family. She talked to all my father’s ex -wives, and she encouraged us to grow up without any feelings of hostility.
I suppose we were lucky, because I’m been divorced from director Martin Scorsese and I’m separated from my husband, so there is always this kind of fear that you will hurt your children, but we weren’t hurt. Both my parents made a point of trying to be friendly and open and never fighting in front of us. I didn’t suffer from the divorce because, for them, it was important that we stayed innocent.
There are days I wish I could return to my wonderful childhood.
—– Researched and edited by Jack Tewksbury
|2nd August 2012,|