Isabella Rossellini, the Italian actress and daughter of Ingrid Bergman and film director Roberto Rossellini, attended the 2019 Governors Awards to honour her close friend and colleague, David Lynch.

Rossellini, who won an Independent Spirit Award for the Best Female Lead in Lynch’s 1987 film Blue Velvet, arrived at the ceremony as part of the proceedings to hand Lynch his first Oscar.

Lynch joined fellow director Lina Wertmüller and actors Geena Davis and Wes Studi as honorary recipients of this year’s Governors Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Jean Hersholt also joined them on stage to receive the Humanitarian Award at a ceremony at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.

Prior to receiving his award, the director was greeted by a number of friendly faces who all honoured his commitment to cinema. Rossellini, during her speech, detailed the moment she was approached by Lynch to play the role of Dorothy Vallens in Blue Velvet—despite being the second choice to Helen Mirren.

“I learned that with David his words are not nearly as important as his reactions,” Rossellini said. “He’s a director whose face conveys exactly that he’s thinking. I learned that when you are in one of his films, you have to let his quiet guide you.”

She continued: “The emotions which David cannot hide are dug out of us actors, and we serve them for his film. Don’t look for straight, linear, simple narrative in David’s films. He dwells much deeper than that – he dwells in a realm of emotion that alludes simple explanation, definitive answer, rationality. He is attracted to mystery and he tries to capture it for his film; the mystery of our emotions, our feelings, our passions, our life.”

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