No Isabella, we are not Related: A tale of family, caution and clarity.
Facebook’s we’re related, family-tree builder, Ancestry.ca, Onegreatfamily.com, My heritage.com and a plethora of other family tree building websites boggle and bamboozle the on-line genealogist. This is where my trouble began, and where I hope I can set the record straight. We all have a need to identify where we are in the world and to know with whom we are kin. It is a happy, if not interesting find, when your search of identity links you with someone famous, better yet, gorgeous and celebrated. But when you are falsely linked to the famed beauty, things can become rather awkward and downright embarrassing. It is for this reason that I feel compelled to write an open letter of clarification to Isabella Rossellini.
I am writing to you today to assure you that the rumours are false, completely and utterly untrue. I am not, in fact, your long lost sister. At first I was confused by this accusation. Where in heaven could anyone get the idea that we might come from the same gene-pool? But then I attended your talk at the Orpheum theatre in Vancouver, and the picture pulled into focus.
It is through family, film and photography that we are mistakenly entwined. Families give us many things. Among these are our heritage and genetics. Scoliosis is a condition that can twist and pain one’s body. This is an unfortunate genetic endowment gifted from your family to you and from mine to me. You took a hiatus from school following corrective surgery to treat your scoliosis, while I took taunting from schoolmates over my metallic armour that held me rigid and allowed only the most robotic of movements. These were dismal situations for us both, yet it doesn’t prove by any means kinship.
You claimed to have already been disinclined towards school, whereas I was a particularly good student. I was sure that this clear difference would put an end to the rumours, as scholarly success is also linked to family. But then you said that your sister, your twin was a scholar, a PhD, no less. I could hardly believe it, for I have both—a sister (actually two) and a PhD. When would the similarities end?
Your mother was originally from Sweden, and my great-grandmother was from Sweden as was my Volvo, not to mention the fact that I often shop at Sweden, I mean IKEA. Then there are our freakishly similar marriage and family patterns. You were romantically linked or married to a famous director, an unorthodox film-maker, an actor-musician, among others, and I was married to a cop, a convict and an architect, affiliated with a scholar, a preacher and one actor of local acclaim. Okay, so the link in the occupations is not evident, except for the actor, but the fact is we both have impressive numbers. And then there are our children. Half of your children were adopted while you gave birth to the other half. I too have birthed and adopted children. Well, I actually birthed all four of them, but my husband (the architect) adopted the two I came with from the aforementioned convict spouse.
If that isn’t enough to send your head spinning with wonder, there is the public nudity that you and I have engaged in (not together—that would be a whole different set of rumours I would have to explain). In the film Blue Velvet, you caused a bit of a scandal when you appeared nude from the waist up. In C magazine (a Canadian fine art serial), I posed fully nude. Okay, so no one knew it was me, and it was my back and my ass that were exposed years before my tattoos so it is really impossible to say who it was, except for the fact that I know the photographer, and he’ll vouch for me. But I assure you that I was totally nude save for the towel wrapped over my head in a hair drying gesture.
Finally there are our mothers. Your mother, as you know, as everybody knows, starred in the classic film ‘Casablanca’. But what many don’t know is that on one particularly starry night, my mother and I together watched Casablanca.
In the end, if all of this isn’t enough evidence to convince the misled souls that we really are not siblings, then all they would have to do is to listen to you speak, or watch your mini-films ‘Green Porno’ as these alone set us apart—as you Isabella Rossellini are truly funny.
Affectionately not your sister,
Lorrie Miller (Aka, Rossellini)
Ps. I lied about Casablanca. I watched it with a boyfriend. I’m not even sure if my mother has seen it.