A generation of fans grew up admiring the seemingly ageless beauty of screen legend Sophia Loren.
So at 85, it’s understandable she wants, albeit tongue in cheek, to fib about her age.
As her latest movie introduces her to a whole new audience, Sophia laughs: “I’m not particularly fond of getting older, but I can still fake being 15 years younger.
“I like to live my life, I like to have my children, I like to get old, I like to look younger. Why not? Is that a sin? No!
“I try to eat certain things – I’ve published two cookbooks. I try to exercise a lot and do things for my body.
“I try to enjoy a wonderful, serene life. Serenity is the key to beauty. You can make peace with yourself.”
Sophia rose from poverty-stricken origins in Naples to become Italy’s most famous movie star. But her fame was always about more than just beauty.
Sophia – who plays a Holocaust survivor who bonds with a young immigrant from Senegal in upcoming movie The Life Ahead – goes on: “I never saw my beauty as anything but a gift.
Sophia Loren as Epifania Parerga in ‘The Millionairess’ in 1960 ( Image: Getty)
Sophia and her husband Carlo Ponti in 1966 ( Image: Mirrorpix)
“It was a blessing and I appreciated it opened up opportunities.
“You only tend to become annoyed if that is all people think you are. That is difficult.
“Beauty is a great gift, but it is up to you to go beyond that and not think that is the only thing that matters.
“If I didn’t have any talent for acting, I would never have been able to accomplish anything.
“Even if the world tells you that you’re beautiful, you don’t really think about it.”
Sophia’s career has spanned six decades.