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Black And Blue In Velvet

September 28, 1986|Pearl Sheffy Gefen

Isabella Rossellini looks flawless in those Lancome commercials--and a mess as a victimized club singer in "Blue Velvet."

But the role--which shows her horribly bruised and battered body in numerous crude and unglamorous nude scenes--doesn't seem to have jeopardized her $2-million, five-year cosmetic contract. And the actress tells us that she and Lancome are completing negotiations for a two-year extension after the deal ends next year ("Just ironing out a few details--mainly involving scheduling").

(In NYC, John D. Sullivan, Lancome's corporate counsel, said the new contract should be "finalized shortly" and added: " 'Blue Velvet' is a big step for her. The movie's avant-garde and appeals to one's intelligence. We're not film critics--we would not offer a corporate opinion on the movie--but we want to continue our relationship with Isabella as a model for us and we wish her success as an actress.")

Will her victim role turn off female customers? Rossellini claims that it's a serious film exploring the tragic mental condition of a victim of sexual abuse.

"The film is not about sex, but about the diseases of sex," she said on a break from filming one of Cannon's "Movie Tales" shooting in Israel. "It's not titillating at all or erotic for the sake of sensationalism. I've been a feminist since long before I became an actress, and I'm sure that women everywhere will understand the serious intent of the film."

Her role in Israel is a different color from "Blue Velvet": Little Red Riding Hood's mother.

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