Sophia Loren Receives Glamorous Career Tribute at AFI Fest

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Sophia Loren onstage at the Dolby Theatre
Sophia Loren onstage at the Dolby Theatre

Photo Credit: Courtesy AFI Fest/Michael Kovac

Sophia Loren brought some old Hollywood glitz and glamorous to the Audi-presented AFI Fest in Hollywood last week; the Italian screen icon was the recipient of a career tribute at the Dolby Theatre.

Rob Marshall, Loren’s director in the 2009 musical, Nine, moderated a discussion with the Oscar winner who, in typical form, was surrounded by red roses and clad in a sultry Armani gown, during their 45-minute chat.

Edoardo Ponti, Jacqueline Lyanga (FEST Director, AFI FEST), Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Bob Gazzale (President and CEO AFI)
Edoardo Ponti, Jacqueline Lyanga (FEST Director, AFI FEST), Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Bob Gazzale (President and CEO AFI)

Photo Credit: AFI Fest/Doug Gifford

The 81-year-old actress teased the audience, coyly describing Cary Grant as “a special person” and Daniel Day-Lewis as “one of the best alive” but paused significantly and poignantly upon being asked about Marlon Brando, whom she famously did not get along with.

A surprise guest was ardent fan Sofia Vergara, who recreated a famous shot Loren had taken next to Jayne Mansfield with Modern Family co-star Julie Bowen. She sweetly told the audience, “There is only one Sophia!”

Sophia Loren and filmmaker Rob Marshall
Sophia Loren and filmmaker Rob Marshall

Photo Credit: Courtesy AFI Fest/Michael Kovac

Edoardo Ponti, one of Loren’s two sons, then joined his mother onstage to speak of The Human Voice, a short film he directed starring his mother. “She gave me life; the least I could do was give her a movie in return,” he joked, adding, “She really had no reason to prove herself yet again; she gave so much to the world, why risk even denting her legacy with such a daunting role that has challenged so many actresses across the generations and the cultures. Why? Because she’s an artist.”

After Loren exited the stage, the short was shown, followed by an accompanying screening of the restored classic, Marriage, Italian Style, for which she received a best actress nomination in 1964.

Joe Mangianello and Sofia Vergara
Joe Mangianello and Sofia Vergara

Photo Credit: AFI Fest/Michael Kovac

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