She’s universally hailed as one of the big screen’s most iconic beauties and sex symbols and she still turns heads at 86.
Yet despite her age, Sophia Loren says she still “feels 20”. So just what are the Italian actress’ secrets to keeping that ever-lasting youthful glow?
If she could sum it up in a word, it would be acceptance.
“If you accept the ageing process and live in the present, then you age gracefully,” the Italian star told The New York Times.
Not for her the endless obsession with cosmetic surgery. “Why change your body and be somebody else if you are happy inside? I never thought of that – never. I like what I have. I like me,” she told AARP magazine, whose December/January 2021 cover she graces.
“When I look in the mirror, I cheer for myself. I don’t ask, ‘Are you great?’ or ‘Are you beautiful?’ No! It’s how I feel inside, how secure I am, how happy I am. That’s what matters.”
She’s also given a few other tips over the years, such as having olive-oil baths and sticking to a Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of fresh veggies and pasta.
“I love to eat, and I love to eat healthily. I love pasta. Everything I am, I owe to spaghetti,” she once said.
“Of course, you can't expect to add rich cream sauces and still enjoy its good effects.
“But if you stick to a healthy sauce, pasta is fine. I have lots of energy, and that is because I cook my own food, I go for walks in the woods and I enjoy myself.”
She also credits her good genes. “It's in my DNA. You should have seen my mother – she was 81 years old when she died and she looked wonderful. When she was walking, she looked like she owned the world.”
Sophia is also proof she can still command the big screen. Critics have hailed her performance in the new Netflix film The Life Ahead, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, in which she plays Madame Rosa, a fiery Samaritan and former sex worker from southern Italy.
“Possessed of fiercely expressive features that can flit between anger and enchantment in an instant, Sophia commands the screen,” Mark Kenode wrote in The Guardian.
If this is what pasta can do for you, bring it on.
Sources: nypost.com, theguardian.com, nickiswift.com, dailymail.co.uk