SOPHIA LOREN - The One and Only Diva
-If I were as lucky as you are...
-What luck are you talking about?
-Being a woman. I’d pin them all down anytime, anywhere.
(M. Mastroianni and S. Loren,
What a Woman!)
So what’s Sophia’s secret? How was she able to reach the very top and remain there all this time? Only Katharine Hepburn had a similarly generation-spanning career...
Because that’s just what a diva is: an archetype; an ideal which everyone knows is unobtainable, but which is magnified by the magic of the big screen and projected directly to the seated spectator. Divas and the public meet both in the darkness of the cinema and in the darkness of the frustrations of everyday life. They meet in the mind, in that place where dreams and desires are created, the part that feeds on stories of tempestuous love, sweeping passion, and sheer, unbridled lust: a diva can’t allow herself to go out walking with her kids, or to be photographed in the queue at a supermarket.
Someone who’s lived through two World Wars and the hardships suf-fered in the post-war years wants a diva at the very pole of existence; someone visible but who at the same time cannot be touched. Just like a star.
And the timing was also right for her to reinvent the cliché, because, naturally, Sophia had to be a diva in her own way. There was never a scandal, or whispers of gossip about her. She spent half a century with the same man, and they’d still be together today had they not been separated by his death. The sensation-alist tabloid press could get nothing from her, so it was just as well other stars kept them busy ...