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At age 85, Sophia Loren is keeping busy.
The Oscar-winning actress is appearing in a series of intimate onstage conversations across the country about a career spanning more than five decades. And she’s reminiscing about her life and the many adventures she’s had through the years.
The Italian icon, who is recognized as one of the last surviving stars from Hollywood’s golden era, is also back on front of the camera for a film called “La Vita Davanti a Sé” (“The Life Ahead”), in which she plays a Holocaust survivor who develops a bond with a 12-year-old Senegalese boy. The movie is Loren’s first feature film in a decade and is being directed by Edoardo Ponti, her son, who has directed her in two other films, Variety reported.
Loren spoke to Fox News about why she’s telling all for fans, how she feels about sex-symbol status, and taking memorable photos.
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Sophia Loren is keeping busy, careerwise, at the age of 85. (Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Fox News: What inspired you to do an event like “An Evening with Sophia Loren”?
Sophia Loren: It’s really wonderful to do something like this. I have the opportunity to see so many people that I don’t know, but they know me. They always have questions about my movies and I’m happy to answer them. It truly is wonderful to give them this opportunity for us to finally speak with one another.
Fox News: You’re still celebrated as an icon in Hollywood and a sex symbol. How do you feel about those titles?
Loren: Oh my God, it’s wonderful, don’t you think? Oh, I think it’s wonderful, yes. Even my children know of these titles *laughs*. They say, “Mom, you are this” or “Mom, you are that.” I enjoy it very much.
Fox News: How do you feel about your famous scene in “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”?
Loren: Which one?
Fox News: The striptease scene, of course.
Loren: Ah, the strip scene. Well, it was part of the picture, part of the scene we had to do. And it was really fun to give Marcello Mastroianni a chance to be terribly funny, as he was, actually. And that was, I think, really the brilliancy of the film. We had a lot of fun bringing that scene to life. And I think that still shows today. I love that people still appreciate it and it makes them laugh a lot. It makes me happy to still make audiences smile.
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Italian actress Sophia Loren performs a striptease in a scene from the film “Leri, Oggi, Domani” (‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”), 1963. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
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Fox News: It seems like you’ve never taken a bad photo. What is your secret?
Loren: I’m photogenic. I photograph well, what can I do? But it’s not just about taking good photos. It’s about working with a photographer who knows how to capture the real you. But really, to take a good photo means you must have fun at the moment, even if you feel a little ridiculous.
Fox News: What advice would you give to a young Sophia Loren starting in Hollywood for the first time?
Loren: I don’t know. I have no idea. … Making movies is not so simple. You have to earn the work and learn the many lessons from them. You never truly know what is waiting for you, what is ahead of you, even if you think you do. I think of it as a long walk. But it was one I was very glad to do.
You have to always be prepared, cope with both the acceptances and the rejections, but not let the rejections stop you from working. You have to be prepared to do things you have never done in your life. These are not things you learn in school to be an actress. You have to just look forward, jump and go. Sometimes you will fall, but not many times.
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Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, her spouse, at the Cannes Film Festival, circa 1959. (Getty)
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Fox News: What was the secret behind your lasting marriage to Carlo Ponti?
Loren: My only marriage. … I married once in my life, and that was a wonderful marriage. It was a marriage of love. It was a wonderful moment in my life. We have two beautiful children, and my family is always with me, always around me. … I never forget.
Fox News: Is it true you burned your diaries? Or is that Hollywood legend?
Loren: You know, maybe sometimes I like to say these things *laughs*… Sometimes you burn the things you don’t want to burn. Maybe that’s possible, but it was not because I didn’t like my life. No, not at all. My life is inside of me. Nobody can cope with it and nobody can say, “No, no, you forgot.” No, I never forget. … Also, it’s like a joke you know? It’s not a serious thing — sometimes. Fortunately for me, sometimes I have a nice sense of humor.
Fox News: Prince Harry recently spoke out about coping with intense media scrutiny. Would you give him any advice?
Loren: You know, I don’t really like to talk about other people’s lives because it’s not your life. To say someone’s right or not right? It’s not fair. People have to live, people have to breathe, people [have the right] to have children and be happy. … People deserve happiness.
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Italian actress Sophia Loren is lying on her belly holding her head up and playing with her hair while looking at the camera. She is wearing a white fur around her body. (Tony Vaccaro/Getty Images)
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Fox News: What’s inspiring you lately?
Loren: Life. Because I find if you don’t take the opportunity to do things at the right time, what are you waiting for? … And my family inspires me. I have two beautiful children and they gave me children. So for me, I’m always surrounded by a great, great love every day. I think every day is an opportunity for life, to do something you want to do. That inspires me… You just love yourself and you love what you do.
Fox News: It’s been said you live in Geneva. What’s life like for you today?
Loren: Geneva is very, very close to Italy so I am never far away. When I’m in Rome, I’m with my sister. But I chose Geneva a long time ago before I had my children because it was a very quiet place to live… And it’s peaceful. But whenever I want to go to Italy, I just get on a train or plane and I’m there. And then I get to be with my sisters and my friends. Italy will always be in my heart.
Fox News: It seems like you’ve done it all. What would you want your legacy to be?
Loren: Oh, it’s a little bit too early to think about that. To be remembered? I’m still alive *laugh*. I’m full of pep! I’m full of things I want to do. It’s a little bit premature to think about that. No, no, no — it’s too early.
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Director/actor Edoardo Ponti, actress Sophia Loren and conductor Carlo Ponti Jr. arrive at AFI FEST 2014 Presented By Audi – A Special Tribute To Sophia Loren at Dolby Theatre on November 12, 2014, in Hollywood. (Barry King/FilmMagic/Getty)
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Sophia Loren will be attending “An Unforgettable Evening with Sophia Loren on Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 at Maryland’s Robert Parilla Performing Arts Center. She will then appear at the California Center for the Arts on Nov. 24.
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