Elevator rides are normally drab; you get in ride up, ride down, and get off. Sometimes you see someone you know, most times it’s just you and a bunch of strangers quietly thinking, ear buds activated to favorite music or a podcast. That’s how it usually is for me day in, day out. Until yesterday afternoon when my normal lunch time elevator jaunt had a bit of a lift.
An older woman with short dark cropped hair, wearing a raincoat accented by a red and whitea floral scarf stood across from me, an animated twenty-something talking about the traffic and the weather stood nearby. The woman looked familiar and my brain and I couldn’t place her on first sight. Kaleidoscopically whirling about the inner archive in my mind, pulling out a snapshot from Casablanca and a magazine ad from the early ‘80s, and then it came to me. Isabella Rossellini, daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, famous Lancôme model, and animal activist. She was stunningly beautiful, with kind eyes and a settled poise about her. I am not normally star struck but I found myself gleeful at this chance encounter and couldn’t help but make eye contact and express my admiration for her work.
When I returned to my desk I shared my experience with a few co-workers, one had no idea who Isabella Rossellini was and when I used Bogie & Bergman as a cultural reference I only received a blank stare. I rang another colleague who like me knew her and her work and together we reveled in my chance encounter. Ms. Rossellin who is in New York on a press tour for her new project Mammas, a series produced for the Sundance Channel. She was at our offices to promote the project on HuffPost Live, you can view it here if you like.