A decade after her last time on screen, 84-year-old Oscar-winning actress Sophia Loren is returning for “The Life Ahead” (La vita davanti a se), a new feature directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.
An adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel, Loren plays Madame Rosa – a Holocaust survivor who forges a bond with a 12-year-old Senegalese immigrant boy named Momo. The new take is set in the present in the southern Italian port city of Bari and filming has just begun in Italy.
Loren tells Yahoo she’s working ten-hour days and is allowing herself to “express things on screen in a way that I think audiences will find very surprising. He [my son] knows me so well. He knows every inch of my face, my heart, my soul. He will only move on to the next shot when I hit my deepest truth.”
The film also stars transgender Spanish actress Abril Zamora, Renato Carpentieri, Babak Karimi, and and non-professional child actor Ibrahima Guys as Momo. The aim is for the film to be completed by March.
The property was previously adapted by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Mizrahi with 1977’s “Madame Rosa” which won the foreign-language Oscar. Simone Signoret starred in that version which is said to be quite different from the new one.