Sophia Loren is world-renowned for her beauty, grace, and an acting career that bridges more than 60 years. Born in Rome, Italy, Sophia has worked with a host of notable actors and directors and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as the mother in Two Women, an Academy Honorary Award, and several Golden Globe awards, among others. She brings her style aesthetic to eyewear with the Sophia Loren collection with Zyloware Eyewear.
BETH SCHLAU: You were the first celebrity to have your own eyewear brand. What was the reason that you launched into this venture?
SOPHIA LOREN: Bob and Henry Shyer of Zyloware Eyewear approached me 35 years ago. It was the first time that I was asked to do publicity and I said to my son, “Well, I’ve never done this kind of thing. Let’s try.” For me, the Shyers are like family. It’s a relationship that we have built up slowly over the years and we know each other very well. I am so glad of it, because, first of all, I need glasses. I wear them not just to see better but because I like the lens tint that I have on my glasses-it’s a shade of green and red which gives you a kind of healthy look on the cheek and shows my eyes more. I get many compliments on my glasses. The collection replicates my style sensibility-it is feminine, elegant, with a touch of drama.
BETH: It’s very rare in the eyewear business to have a brand last as long.
SOPHIA: But we are rare people! Both the Shyers and myself, it’s a wonderful approach. Sometimes when you realize how well you get along, you say, I’ve been so lucky because we understand each other.
BETH: In your acting career, which performance do you feel was your best?
SOPHIA: I have made so many films, it’s hard to say. A Special Day, Two Women, and Marriage Italian Style are a few that gave me so much joy-working on stories that
I really believed in.
BETH: What actors did you enjoy working with most?
SOPHIA: Marcello Mastroianni, Cary Grant, and Peter Sellers, with whom I made a record, “Bangers and Mash,” that was very successful in England and a beautiful experience.
BETH: You covered a lot of different kinds of topics in your films and you did comedies as well as dramas. How did you decide what to work on?
SOPHIA: I chose a film because I liked the story, except when I was asked to make a movie with Marcello Mastroianni-I did it because I loved working with him, and he with me. We worked together for 24 years! It was so nice, so beautiful, so sincere when we worked together. In the beginning, we thought it was because we’re doing comedies that people like us together, but then we started to do dramas, and it was great. He was a good friend as well as a colleague and he was funny, very funny.
BETH: What are your recent works?
SOPHIA: I did a short film, The Human Voice, about a woman who is tragically losing the last man of her life. It’s a 25-minute monologue that takes place on the telephone. My son, Edoardo Ponti, was the director and it was very successful. I’ve also written a memoir, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, My Life, in which I talk about my childhood in Italy during World War II, my career, and my family.
Beth Schlau is Vice President, Editorial at First Vision Media Group.