Sophia Loren, 86, ‘feels like 16’ and has no plans to retire after Netflix film role

EXCLUSIVE: The Italian acting legend Sophia Loren says 'why not?' when asked if she'll do another film after returning to our screens this year on Netflix movie The Life Ahead

Age is no barrier for Sophia Loren – as the octogenarian actress still feels like a teenager.

And the 86-year-old, who stars in new Netflix movie The Life Ahead, has no plans to retire any time soon.

The Italian actress said: “I am young, but my life is long. I feel 16.

“Will I star in another movie? Why not… It is like you are afraid to act. I am not nervous.”

Sophia returned to our screens earlier this year after a 16-year hiatus.

In The Life Ahead – which is directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti – she plays Madame Rosa, a former sex worker and Holocaust survivor caring for an ­orphaned child.

Sophia returned to our screens in The Life Ahead (Image: Netflix)

Sophia, who won an Oscar for 1962’s Two Women, has been tipped for another gong for the role.

Explaining her decision to step back into the limelight, she said: “I stopped working for a while because I suddenly I woke up and thought I don’t see my children or their children or the life that I had built around me.

“When you make a film, you have to do what you have to do and you can’t think about anything else.

“I needed time for my life and what I was trying to build around me. Otherwise, what do you live for? Just work?”

The actress also revealed that her career almost sank without trace 70 years ago because she couldn’t swim.

Sophia Loren in The Millionairess in 1960 (Image: Getty)

But after taking lessons, she got her big break in 1953 Italian comedy, Woman of the Red Sea.

Sophia recalled: “There was a producer at the time who was called Lombardo and they were doing a picture on the sea.

“I told them I came from Naples but did not know how to swim. Anyway, I learned and he said, ‘You are going to make this picture and people are going to like you’.”

After changing her name from Sofia Villani Scicolone to Sophia Loren, she went on to become one of the biggest film stars in the world.

Sophia Loren on the red carpet at the Bambi Awards in 2018 (Image: Getty)

Sophia was the first person to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance and is considered one of the all-time greats.

She tried not to let her sex symbol status define her, though.

She said: “In America, they thought about sex but there was nothing that concerned me, even though I was young and quite beautiful.

“If you treat your life and make sure it is tranquil, then you know what to do. Otherwise you get so crazy that you don’t know anything about yourself or your family.”

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