Sophia Loren now: The actress’ laid back life

Sophia Loren’s life could have turned out differently had she chosen Hollywood over Italy; Cary Grant over Carlo Ponti. Carlo recognized Sophia’s potential for stardom at a beauty pageant; Grant offered her the keys to Hollywood success. She fell for Grant and had an affair with him, but her heart was in Italy with Carlo Ponti. 

“My life was with him [Carlo],” Sophia talked to The Guardian about her affair with Grant. “And it was difficult because of so many things that came in the middle. But still my life was with Carlo, not with Cary Grant.”

Love influenced most of Loren’s decisions, including her gradual retreat from acting. 

Sophia still loves acting but is more choosy about her roles

Sophia Loren’s acting career slowed down by choice, not through a waning of talent or lack of roles. She told The New York Times that she prioritized her young family over career advancement. Loren had the two children she always wanted, but she hardly ever saw them. 

“So I said to myself, ‘From now on maybe slow down a bit,’” Loren said. Sophia wanted to slow down, but she found so much fulfillment in spending time with her sons that she hit a pause on her acting career. She continued:

“I was simply not working anymore. Not because I didn’t love working; I wanted to know more about my family, because I was often living at the studio. I really surprised myself by saying, ‘Sophia, it’s better that you stop acting now, and catch up later.’”

“I stopped making films for a long time but was very happy because I saw my children grow up, get married and have their own children.”

As you might expect, an actor of Sophia’s stature receives many scripts. At 88, she’s more choosy about the roles she accepts. “That’s why I didn’t work for almost 10 years,” she said. “I wanted to find a role that really inspired and challenged me.”

Madame Rosa, the main character in The Life Ahead, was the first role in a decade she couldn’t pass over. Rosa is an Italian Holocaust survivor who takes in a Senegalese orphan named Momo. Sophia talked about her attraction to the role:

“Madame Rosa was that character, not only for her different and sometimes opposing emotions, but also for the message of tolerance, love and inclusion that the film expresses.”

An added bonus was she got to work with her youngest of two sons, Edoardo Ponti. Sophia enjoys acting – she admitted as much in her interview with The New York Times – but the role has to feel right. “A role has to feel personal, because you do your best when you feel the role in your bones,” she said. 

Sophia spends most of her time in her home in Geneva. Loren told The Guardian she’s satisfied with the choices she made in life:

“Yes, well, maybe sometimes. But then I say to myself: ‘Shut up. Be strong. Just keep going and try. Sometimes you make mistakes and sometimes you win.’ I made some mistakes. But still I won.”

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