Isabella Rossellini Takes Her Love of Animals to the Screen

The award-winning actress's new series takes an up-close look at animals' dating and mating rituals.

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on October 06, 2010

Ever wonder how and why animal attraction works? So does Isabella Rossellini. In her new Sundance Channel series, Seduce Me, the award-winning actor takes a scientifically accurate look at the dating and mating life of animals ranging from bugs to cuttlefish.

But what she'd really like to do is get inside the head of a canine. "I would love to be a dog for a day," she says. "I'm not a scientist, but I studied Darwin in depth, and I completely agree [with him] -- there is a continuity between animals and human beings. They like to protect the house, and they have feelings about their babies the way we do. Their DNA and our DNA are similar. So why would they feel differently?"

The daughter of Italian film director Roberto Rossellini and Swedish actor Ingrid Bergman and the face of Lancome for 14 years, Rossellini has been raising, rescuing, and adoring dogs since she was a child in Italy. Rossellini, 58, says she has always loved dogs "immensely." She remembers the timing of her films by which four-legger was in her trailer at the time. And over the last several years, she has taken on a new role with wet-nosed friends: training Labrador puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.

"I wanted to do something working with animals," Rossellini says. "I'd love to have a farm, but farms aren't the way they used to be. So this seemed to be the perfect thing. I wish I could raise cows and horses, but I don't have the space."