She’s a living legend, one of the last actors remaining from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and she’s coming to Escondido to share stories from her life for one night only. Sophia Loren has a singularly remarkable biography, going from a child in Naples taking shelter from Allied air bombings to a beauty pageant queen, to an internationally renowned star sharing the screen with everyone who was anyone—Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, you name it.
And though the Oscar winner once told John Cheever in the Saturday Evening Post, "I don’t like tape recorders. I always say something that shouldn’t be published, and they always publish it," she was gracious enough to take a few questions from us on her way across the Atlantic.
The theater is billing your appearance as an "intimate onstage conversation and Q&A." Are you prepared to get strange and random questions from the audience?
Yes, I get different questions each night. It’s always a surprise. Everyone wants to know my favorite dish.
What are you looking forward to talking about? Is there a question you wish someone would ask?
Everything that we discuss, I enjoy. It’s so nice to be in front of the live audience. I actually feel their love for me. I like questions about my work. But no one has asked me about why I stayed at home from the Oscar ceremony when I was nominated for Two Women. I’ll never tell!
You are still acting at age 84—in fact, you’ve just finished shooting La vita davanti a sé, directed by your son. What is that professional relationship like?
He’s the director and I’m the actor. I do what I am told. But because we are so close, I can almost read his mind. He doesn’t have to direct me too much. It is so nice to be on set with my son.
If you could go back and relive one memory, what would it be?
Houseboat with Cary [Grant] was so much fun. And any movie with Marcello [Mastroianni]. He was life itself. We were so happy when he remembered his lines. And every moment in Two Women was so dramatic, but so satisfying. I proved that I could act.
With the benefit of hindsight, what would you say now to 19-year-old Sophia, just starting out in her career?
I would like to say, "Enjoy the ride, Sophia," but I am a Virgo. We always want everything perfect.
We have a brand-new Neapolitan restaurant in San Diego: Siamo Napoli. They have a giant picture of you taking up one of the walls. Any chance you might go in for some home cooking while you’re here?
I would love to—a good meal is always welcome. But we are usually in and out when I am doing a tour. Maybe some takeout Italian?
An Evening with Sophia Loren
November 24, 4 p.m.