Each Wednesday in June, TCM has been paying tribute to Sophia Loren with an all-night marathon of her films. (This week's block opens at 8 pm/ET with 1958's Desire Under the Elms, costarring Anthony Perkins.) For six decades now, Italy's most intoxicating export since vino has dazzled fans with her voluptuous beauty and estimable talent. Since this is no time for false modesty, we persuaded her to take a bow.
TV Guide: Onscreen, we see a goddess. What is it like to watch yourself?
Sophia Loren: I’m always afraid because there will be things I may not like. But when I get accustomed to my face, I always say “I’m not so bad after all!”
TV Guide: You affect guys like an aphrodisiac!
Loren: [Laughs] You scare me! I think it’s nice to be looked at like a special person, a nice person. I’m happy. Now that I’m talking about it I think I enjoyed every moment!
TV Guide: Favorite leading men?
Loren: Marcello Mastroianni because I worked with him the most. Cary Grant, Peter Sellers, Paul Newman, John Wayne… I worked with all of them.
TV Guide: Italian films vs. Hollywood?
Loren: In Italy, I did characters that were earthy. You get this when you are born in a place like Naples — you try to express this fire they have inside. But in America, I worked with, for instance, Carol Reed. “The Key” is one of the best I did outside of Italy.
TV Guide: Your next film is Nine (Chicago director Rob Marshall's 2009 adaptation of the Broadway musical inspired by Fellini's 8 1/2)….
Loren: For us Italians to go to America to do a musical is like a big party. Music is in my DNA.
TV Guide: That famous photo of you staring at Jayne Mansfield's chest — what were you thinking?
Loren: I was very much afraid her breast was going to come out completely! [Laughs] It was fear!
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