Sophia Loren returns to our screens once again at the age of 86, as the star of “The Life Ahead” showing soon on Netflix on November 13th.
Her performance in this new movie “The Life Ahead”, is Sophia Loren’s first role in ten years, after a glittering movie career spanning seven decades, but she really does shine through, as though she had never been away.
Loren, in a recent interview with correspondent Seth Doane, said “It was time for me to start again at my age, which I’m not going to tell you, and maybe you know it already, but it’s fun, it’s fun, it’s wonderful.”
When asked about her current age, and how she feels being back on the screen again, Loren replied, “Everybody ages, I mean, me too! I’m not a saint! Me too, but what can I do? Should I be afraid? Why? It’s wonderful. And I look wonderful for my age anyway, don’t you think?”, to which Doane replied, “Oh, absolutely agree!”.
Sophia Loren has played many roles throughout her career where she didn’t look glamourous, and this latest role, in this movie, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, sees her as “Madame Rosa”, a former prostitute whose job is to look after the children of sex workers in an Italian town, reflecting a remarkable period in the young Loren’s childhood where she also lived in a Turin suburb with her unmarried mother, in poverty.
Loren told Seth Doane, “That’s why I made the film – she reminded me a lot about my mother. My mother was absolutely like that. Inside she was very fragile, but she looked strong”.
Doane when interviewing Loren’s director son Edoardo, “Did you always have your mom in mind for this role?”, to which Loren added, “I wish he did!”. Ponti said, “I don’t think that anybody could’ve inhabited the role of the character of Madame Rosa in the way she did.”
Doane continued, “That’s quite a resource to have in the family,” to which Edoardo replied, “If my mother happens to be such an amazing actress and I happen to be a director, I would be an idiot if I did not cast my mother in my movies”.
The movie plot focuses on a friendship between Momo, a 12-year-old Muslim immigrant from Senegal, who is a Holocaust survivor and is so beautifully acted by Ibrahima Gueye, in his first-ever acting role.
Loren said, “He was really like somebody that has always been in this business. I think he was born for it. I think so”, which is quite a huge compliment when coming from such a legendary screen actress who has played opposite some of Hollywood’s most famous ever actors, including Cary Grant, Paul Newman, Clark Gable and, Marlon Brando.
Doane also enquired of Ponti, “Did you second-guess at all, putting this completely untested actor next to your mom in these leading roles?”, to which he replied, “Thank God I didn’t! To make sure that he felt comfortable with my mother, we all actually, during the shooting, lived together under the same roof, so he could see her the way that I see her.”
Doane then asked Ponti, “So, Ibrahima would get up in the morning, and Sophia Loren would be in the kitchen saying, before we shoot, ‘I’ll make you breakfast’?”
“Correct, correct,” Ponti said. “Because that was the only way to create the right bond for them to know each other.”
Sophia Loren had for ten years just dedicated her time to her family, until the right part, with the right director, came along, and now, here it is, with “The Life Ahead” hitting your screens on November 13th on Netflix.