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I live in New York, and the only live animals you see are cockroaches, rats and pigeons, which I admire immensely. When I see an animal that thrives in the garbage, I feel relief; in our urban environment, other animals are dying out.
Women who stay true to themselves are always more interesting and beautiful to me: women like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe and Anna Magnani - women who have style, chic, allure and elegance. They didn't submit to any standard of beauty - they defined it.
I was always interested in animals, but when I was little, animal behavior was still a new science. It was available to become a veterinarian, it was available to study biology, but not specifically animal behavior. In the '60s, Jane Goodall was the founder of this new science.
But I don't really see myself as a role model. I'm not a dictator, or someone who wants to be adored!
Before Darwin, our world was very religious. People saw altruism as something given by God for us to be good so that we could go to Paradise.
But my mother loved The Elephant Man, and my father gave David Lynch a scholarship to study in Rome.
I didn't want to become an actress because the competition with my mother would have been to much to live up to.
I always have parmigiano-reggiano, olive oil and pasta at home. When people get sick, they want chicken soup; I want spaghetti with parmesan cheese, olive oil and a bit of lemon zest. It makes me feel better every time.
One of the great issues in biology is the origin of altruism - of why you would do something for someone else that could hurt you - and Darwin posited that it might be rooted in maternal instinct, in sacrificing yourself for your children.
Food is a big part of my culture, so everyone knows how to cook. When I came to America and asked a babysitter to softboil an egg for my son and she didn't know how, I was shocked.
When I grew up in Italy in the 1950s, it was still very agricultural. Food was very important; produce was very important. Everyone made their own olive oil. It took me a long time after I moved here to understand that Americans are much further away from their food.
I graduated from Academy of Fashion and Costume Design in Rome. At first, I thought I was going to be a costume designer for films, and then I ended up working in fashion - not as a designer, but mostly as a model.
Although Dorothy in Blue Velvet was humiliated and hurt by men, basically I could react to how she felt.Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next