Q. Let’s go back to that time, Ingrid. It is now 1939, and Ingrid Bergman is 22 years old. She is here to play in her first American movie, Intermezzo. She is…how is she?
Ingrid Bergman: She is a girl, always happy, always enthusiastic, and she is the mother of a 12-month-old child. She has come with her child and a suitcase containing a few dresses. She feels rather alone, and speaks practically no English. She only says, “How do you do?”, but she says it with a big smile, so everyone loves her, even the producers who lose sleep over her ice cream. She likes ice cream too much, banana splits in particular, and she eats so many of them that she puts on weight, and they cry - nicely, though.
[Until the adulterous affair with Roberto Rosselini], I had a very special place in the heart of the Americans. I didn’t know why at the time. I understood later that my success was a woman’s success more than an actress’ success. They were so used to the European prima donnas, who broke mirrors to get things, wear jewels even in bed, and walk holding a tiger on a leash. They were intrigued, then conquered, by the Swedish girl who had arrived with a child and a suitcase. Women, I think, liked me before men. And men identified me with their wives, mothers, and sisters. Not accidently, all the publicity went out about my simplicity, the fact that I didn’t use any lipstick.
Times were ripe for such a novelty, and you know that talent is not enough without timing. The combination created the love.”
-1968, L’Europeo magazine