A Chat with Isabella Rossellini

Let us not mince words: Isabella Rossellini is one of the most beautiful actresses in the business. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows of her gene pool (she’s Ingrid Bergman’s daughter), but given that she seems to pop up all too infrequently in films and on television, perhaps a few more directors and directors need to be reminded. Fortunately for you and I, Rossellini can be found amongst the cast of the “The Phantom,” SyFy’s attempt to reinvigorate the franchise of the character often referred to as “The Ghost Who Walks,” which premieres on June 20th. This appearance was particularly fortunate for me, as it presented me with the opportunity to chat with Rossellini about her work not only in this production but also in “Blue Velvet,” “Friends,” “Alias,” “30 Rock,” and her infamous Sundance Channel short-film series, “Green Porno.”

Prepare for your heart to go pitter-pat as you read…

Isabella Rossellini: Hi!

Bullz-Eye: Hello! How are you?

IR: I’m fine, thanks. And you?

BE: I’m wonderful. It’s a pleasure to speak with you.

IR: It’s nice to talk to you. Thank you for interviewing me!

BE: (Laughs) Not a problem! Well, “The Phantom” is certainly not your first foray into the world of science fiction, but are you actually a fan of the genre?

IR: I’m not really a fan of the genre. You know, I do see some films, but I must say I don’t go see them religiously. I love working with the producer, Robert Halmi, with whom I’ve done several films, so when Halmi called me to play this small role in “The Phantom,” I had no hesitation. I’ve been with him for five or six productions in the last 25 years, among which are “Merlin,” “The Odyssey,” and “Don Quixote,” and they’ve always been wonderful. They’ve always been… (Hesitates) It’s been great to work with the group, he has a fantastic eye, and every time he hires a director, it’s always somebody young who…well, he just has an eye. He hires them, and they turn out to be fantastic and, a few years later, they’re top directors. That’s how it has been with Paulo (Barzman), the director of “The Phantom.” So the reason why I said “yes” to this small part was because of this history that I had with Bob Halmi, and…I was surprised, actually. I had a doubt. For me, the Phantom was so much that image that I had from the 1930s, and he kept on saying, “No, no, it has nothing to do with that. It’s not trying to be retro.” And that image of the original comic strip was so strong that I was amazed, actually, when I arrived and had seen how they had transformed it to be a contemporary, modern film.

BE: So what are the challenges of playing a part like this? Because I’d think it would be a challenge to play a live-action comic book character without taking it over the top.

IR: Well, actually, you know, to tell you the truth, there were no challenges. At the beginning, you search a little bit for the look, especially when you play a small part. Every beat counts, you know. Sometimes when you have the lead, if you think it, you maybe play a part too seriously. You think, “Maybe I should smile,” and you have other possibilities later in the film to add a smile or to add some softness to your character, for shading. But when you play a small role, in a way, you have to hit every note correctly, so I think that the way she looked also was very important. When I was told that they wanted me to be a blonde…because they told me on the phone: I live in New York, but the film was shot in Montreal…I said, “Oh, blonde, it wouldn’t work with me. I’ve tried it several times, but I can’t go with it. My hair is brown. I can become easily black-haired. I can even become red-haired. But blonde has never worked with me.” But when I arrived, inevitably, there were all these blonde wigs, so I said, “Okay, I’ll show you what I mean.” And, instead, it worked perfectly, because the character should be totally artificial. I had these metallic clothes that always tended to be on the silver side, so, actually, the look of this evil person was helped a lot…it helped me to imagine the character. But the challenge is not the words. It’s so much fun that I’m always amazed that I even get paid for it. (Laughs)

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New TouchScreen Watches from Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole recently launched its new touch screen watch series and they were kind enough to send us one to check out just in time for Father’s Day. We were impressed with the design and functionality and thought it would be a great gift for the dad who’s interested in more stylish accessories but is also comfortable with new innovations like touch screen technology.

This new touch screen watch is the first of its kind in the fashion-forward watch category. This innovative feature bridges fashion and technology so the user can use the watch’s tools with the touch of a finger. The watches take advantage of the kind of touch screen technology available on smartphones and music players.

As you can see from the photo above, the watches mix have a modern, sleek design you would expect from Kenneth Cole, maintaining the brand’s signature, classic look with a stainless steel round case paired with a silicon strap. Don’t be put off by the bright display. The digital information only brightens up when you want to see better, and the effect is not that extreme. In its normal state the digital display is very muted so it doesn’t distract from the elegant design.

The watch functionality includes 32-City world time and an alarm, stopwatch and light up screen. It’s easy to use so it’s practical for everyday use and for more formal setting, and it’s perfect for the dads who want to feel younger. At a suggested retail ranging from $125 to $175, it also won’t break the bank.

  

Everyone loves Johnnie Walker Scotch

The gang at Johnnie Walker was kind enough to send us some samples of each of the scotch bottles above. Needless to say, productivity at Bullz-Eye headquarters immediately plummeted.

It did, however, give us another great idea for a Father’s day gift. Booze may not be the most creative gift, but it’s usually a winner with most fathers, particularly when it involves great Scotch.

You see above that you can choose among five different “labels” for Johnnie Walker, each with a different color. Check out the web site and you can choose the best one for you or the lucky gift recipient. After extensive taste testing, we’re partial to Johnnie Walker Black Label and Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Two hundred years in the making, Black Label is the signature blend from the House of Walker. Big whisky flavors with hints of rich fruit and smoke make this Scotch whisky the perfect gift for the father who stands strong as the cornerstone of his family. You can’t lose with this one, and at a retail price of around $34 it won’t break the bank.

If you’re looking to spend a tad bit more, try the Blue Label which runs around $220. This is the rarest, most exceptional whisky from Johnnie Walker, and it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a more memorable gift. Just make sure you’re around when he opens the damn thing!

  

A Sherpa Chair for the dad who comes to your games

Summer is here, so there are tons of events where a portable chair comes in handy, from little league baseball games, to fireworks displays and family cookouts, along with fishing and camping outings. Also, football season is right around the corner so portable chairs definitely come in handy when you’re tailgating.

So as you’re contemplating gifts for Father’s Day, this Sherpa Chair offers a great option. The Sherpa Chair folds completely and it takes up little space. The chair has shoulder straps that allow it to be carried just like a backpack, with both hands free to carry other items, so your dad can easily hand this off to the kids or grand kids for them to carry as well! It also sports a spacious pouch for carrying extra gear or some cold beers.

With these features you can carry the Sherpa Chair anywhere with ultimate convenience. It is ideal for a lawn chair, camping chair, fishing chair, hunting chair or even a sporting chair.

Check back for our full Father’s Day Gift Guide for more suggestions.

  

Trunk Organizer for Golfers

With Father’s Day coming up next weekend, we’re going to be featuring some cool products for dads, and we’ll be putting a bunch of them together in a full guide that will be published later this week.

We’re kicking things off with this cool trunk organizer from Samsonite. It’s a great gift for any guy who loves to golf, and it will help him organize that messy trunk.

The organizer is the ideal size for any trunk or back seat. With two levels, it fits nicely in the trunk but it doesn’t take too much space. The bottom level has room for three shoes, so you can fit more than golf shoes. The ventilated mesh front door makes it easy to see what’s in there and it makes it possible to air out the shoes while storing them.

The top level has a bunch of compartments to store all sorts of stuff, from phones, to sunglasses and cigars, along with golf gear like gloves and tees. It also has movable dividers so the user can customize it in the way that fits his needs. There’s plenty of room for stuff like shirts, shorts, jackets and more.

It’s a great gift, and you may want to pick one up for yourself as well.

  

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