These days, Isabella Rossellini is more likely to writhe around in an earthworm costume than appear in ads as the elegant face of Lancome. The 62-year-old actress — who played a disturbed singer in “Blue Velvet” and was Ross’ celebrity crush on “Friends” — embodies all kinds of creatures in her popular Web series, “Green Porno.” For these short films, Rossellini acts out the reproductive strategies of various animals with the help of giant, crudely made props and costumes. On Saturday, Rossellini, who is working toward a master’s in animal behavior at Hunter College in New York, brings “Green Porno” to D.C. in monologue form.

How did you get the idea for “Green Porno,” the Web series?
I am old and don’t really work as a model anymore and less as an actress, so I thought, “Well maybe it is time to go back to school and learn what I always wanted to learn,” which was animal behavior. Around the same time, the opportunity to make short films for the Internet for the Sundance Channel came about, so I thought, “Oh, let’s do it about animals and how they mate.”

And then you turned those films into a one-woman show?
A friend of mine, a French actress called Carole Bouquet, liked my films, and she said, “You should do a monologue and take it around to universities and small theaters.” I said to Carole, “But I don’t know how to write a monologue.” So she called Jean-Claude Carriere, who was a friend of hers, showed him my films and Jean-Claude said, “I’ll help you.” That was very tempting because he’s a legendary writer, and just the experience to be able to sit down and work with him for a period of a few months was extraordinary.

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The “Green Porno” monologue was originally in French, but you’ve been performing it in English and Italian as well.
I’ve been touring it for a year and a half, and I went to England, Italy, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Australia. Sometimes the producer says, “Do one evening in Italian, do one evening in French, do another in English.” And I say, “I can’t change it that fast.” It’s 60 pages by heart. So we try to tour it so I don’t have to do every night in a different language because I would get confused.And now we are touring it in the United States. I only travel on weekends because I have to study during the week.

What kind of response have you gotten?
One of the best reviews that I got in a newspaper said, “It was the best scientific lecture I’ve ever heard. I wish my teacher was more like Isabella Rossellini.” I was very flattered by it, but “Green Porno” isn’t a brilliant lecture. It’s comical, it’s entertainment.

How is the monologue different from the short films?
The monologue allows me to go more in depth. It’s more elaborate. I talk about 65 animals instead of just the 40 from the films, and I group them by category: animals that are hermaphrodites, animals that change sexes, mammals, mothers.

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If you could give the audience homework to do afterward, what would it be?
I hate homework — that’s why I’m an entertainer. I’d rather amuse people. Of course “King Solomon’s Ring” by Konrad Lorenz, one of the founders of ethology, is one of the best books about animal behavior, even today. It’s a great discovery, to know that you don’t have to go to Africa to see animals. You can be in your backyard, even in a city, and there are a lot of interesting animals to watch.

Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW; Sat., 8 p.m., $30-$50.

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