Sophia Loren began acting in 1950 when she was 16 and while she’s lent her chops to a bevy of titles, her last feature film was “Nine," back in 2009.
Now, Sophia Loren will star in the film based on the 1975 novel, “The Life Before Us,” written by Romain Gary. The project was also directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.
Director and actor Edoardo Ponti, left, directed 'The Life Ahead,' starring his mother, actress Sophia Loren.
She told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Wednesday that the long break wasn’t meant to be and that it simply “just happened.”
“I wanted to be inspired and challenged. I didn't know any films that I wanted to do right away,” Loren told the publication. “If you choose the things that you think you can do best, you always save yourself in a way, because you put on the screen an image of yourself, which is truthful.”
Added the “Marriage Italian Style” actress: “This is what people like: truth.”
In 2019, Sophia Loren told Fox News that “life” has been inspiring her.
Sophia Loren is returning to acting after an over 10-year hiatus
“I find if you don't take the opportunity to do things at the right time, what are you waiting for?” she said at the time. “And my family inspires me. I have two beautiful children and they gave me grandchildren. 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.”
Meanwhile, of her 70-year career, the Oscar-winning actress explained to Entertainment Weekly that she just loves "cinema so much.
"I want to keep doing it forever,” she added. “I know it’s difficult to find good stories, but sometimes I fall in love with the right ones. I intend to make movies forever.”
In “The Life Ahead,” Sophia Loren plays the role of Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who acts as a caregiver and nurturer to children of sex workers. After a rough go-around initially, Rosa develops an unlikely bond with one of the children, named Momo, played by first-time actor Ibrahima Gueye.
“He was a great partner [and] very in touch with his emotions. I think he will have a great future in this profession, if he chooses it,” Sophia Loren raved of Gueye’s performance. “For his first thing on the screen, he was never upset about the camera, upset about the people around. He just did what he had to do.”
Sophia Loren Biography
Sophia Loren is an Academy Award-winning Italian actress. A striking beauty, Loren is often listed among the world's all time most attractive women.
Raised in poverty, Sophia Loren began her film career in 1951 and came to be regarded as one of the worlds most beautiful women. Loren won the Best Actress Academy Award for the film Two Women in 1961 and an Academy Honorary Award in 1991. Married to producer Carlo Ponti for 50 years until his death in 2007.
Actress Sophia Loren was born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934 in Rome, Italy. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, considered himself a "construction engineer," but in fact he spent most of his time hanging around the fringes of show business, hoping to romance young actresses. Sophia Loren's mother, Romilda Villani, was one of them. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Greta Garbo, Villani had once been offered a trip to the United States to play Garbo's body double, but her mother refused to let her go.
After Loren's birth, her mother took her back to her hometown of Pozzuoli on the Bay of Naples, which one travel book described as "perhaps the most squalid city in Italy." Although Riccardo Scicolone fathered another child by Villani, they never married. As Loren's mother put it, "That pig was free to marry me, but instead he dumped me and married another woman."
Although she would go on to be considered one of the most beautiful women in history, Loren's wet nurse remembered her as "the ugliest child I ever saw in my life." A quiet and reserved child, Sophia Loren grew up in extreme poverty, living with her mother and many other relatives at her grandparents' home, where she shared a bedroom with eight people. Things got worse when World War II ravaged the already struggling city of Pozzuoli.
The resulting famine was so great that Loren's mother occasionally had to siphon off a cup of water from the car radiator to ration between her daughters by the spoonful. During one aerial bombardment, Sophia Loren was knocked to the ground and split open her chin, leaving a scar that has remained ever since.
Nicknamed "little stick" by her classmates for her sickly physique, at the age of 14 Loren blossomed, seemingly overnight, from a frail child into a beautiful and voluptuous woman. "It became a pleasure just to stroll down the street," she remembered of her sudden physical transformation. That same year, Loren won second place in a beauty competition, receiving as her prize a small sum of cash and free wallpaper for her grandparents' living room.
In 1950, when she was 15 years old, Sophia Loren and her mother set off for Rome to try to make their living as actresses. Loren landed her first role as an extra in the 1951 Mervyn LeRoy film Quo Vadis. She also landed work as a model for various fumetti, Italian publications that resemble comic books but with real photographs instead of illustrations.