Movie Stars: Lollobrigida, Gina–Interview with Beautiful Italian Star at 90

Italian and international screen legend, Gina Lollobrigida, finally gets walk of fame star on Hollywood Boulevard–at age 90.

Born July 4, 1927, La Lollo is still beautiful, lucid and feisty.

Getting Star on Hollywood Boulevard

Gina Lollobrigida: I was moved because I didn’t expect that after so many years, my god, the love is still on. It’s unbelievable. I was so moved that I was like drunk because it doesn’t happen in life, a love so long, for a person. I went away with other loves that I had, like photography, and then sculpture, it was my dream. But sculpture doesn’t have the magic that cinema has. To be known as a sculptor I need 300 years, because I need to have exhibitions, so just the people that are in the museums to see my sculptures they know me completely. Cinema was one part of me life. And I’m glad I did it because I couldn’t do the sculpture. I don’t go with the fashion, I do what I like to do in my life.

Working in Hollywood

GL: I had a special love for America, and I came back because I had a very good experience on the set. When I came they treated me like a queen, and I was surprised because it was just at the beginning of my career. But they treated me like if I was the Queen of Sheba.

Becoming Famous

GL: One of my first trips was in Argentina. Peron invited me so went. And they were about 60,000 people on the street. I was tired, and in the airport when I arrived they hid me immediately because they were almost destroying the airplane. And I said to the press, don’t send the photographs in Italy because it’s too much. I was almost ashamed of being so popular that I said, don’t send the photographs. And what I was afraid, to go away from Argentina, if I stayed another week I was the saga of Evita Peron. What I was afraid, because of the people coming to say hello to me was so dangerous that I was afraid that I could be a dead person, and this I didn’t want. I was afraid of that.

 

Fear of Public

GL: The first time I went to a theater there, 30 were arrested and 9 wounded. You know to be popular is OK, but when you have a result like that you start to be afraid.

 

Lifestyle as Beautiful Woman

GL: When I’m working, I get up at six o’clock to be punctual for the work. But also if I work for myself it’s the same thing. I’m used to work because working makes me feel a light. I would like to die working, because if I don’t have the work, I don’t feel so good. My vacation, I work more because they leave me alone. So usually I do the most important thing during the vacation.

 

Tyrone Power and Queen of Sheba

GL:  We did all the movie. It was just perhaps 10 days that we had to do the main love scene, then it was finished. And he disappeared. So I was on the set and he had to do a duel with the another American actor. George Sanders. And then he fell, Tyrone. And then went to the next “roulotte” (trailer) that was near me. I remember we had the conversation, we were together. I was always thinking about the script. And he had “la corazza” (the armor) and he said, I can’t breathe. So he went down on a “roulotte”, turned to me and waves to me and said, don’t worry, life goes on anyhow. And then he was not able to go to the other “roulotte”. And not even five minutes, he was dying. They tried to put him in the car, so I said, take mine. And when they put him in the car he was dying. It was a very bad experience because he was fantastic actor.

 

Howard Hughes

GL: He was the most persistent man I have in my life. He wanted me so badly. He sent lawyers, even to Algeria. I was doing a movie and I had a lawyer there. For 12 years. When a man wants a woman for 12 years, it must be serious, crazy but serious.

 

Most Gorgeous Male Star

GL: Rock Hudson.  Sometimes in life to help a person, especially at that time, the producer made him marry the secretary. If instead of that, there was Elizabeth Taylor that liked him, so if he had another experience instead of the secretary, if he had experience with me or Elizabeth Taylor do you think that would be the same thing? He was a normal man. He needed help but he had the wrong help. I liked him very much. He was a fantastic actor. I did two movies with him and I had a wonderful time.

 

Peron and Evita

GL: Evita was dead, and when I arrived there, the people they were so crazy about me. If I stayed two days more I would become the second Evita. Peron was nice, gentle. We made photographs in the garden with all the students. We went to another city to open a casino. And the train was private train, and when we arrived we couldn’t go down, was too much people, so the train had to go back more than one kilometer to give me the opportunity to go down. Then we went to the casino and it was full of people. Now that is the danger because if I could have been nervous immediately the people would be nervous. So I tried very hard to be calm because when there are so many people anything can happen. But what happened, because of the politics, after I left already, I received some photographs retouched. So suddenly I was naked. When I was with the Ambassador, my husband, Peron, all the students, because they wanted to say that Peron was a dirty fellow. So obviously it was a retouched photograph, so I said to the Italian ambassador, and he said, forget it. It was just a dirty joke. You know, to retouch a photograph, but I was terribly popular in Argentina, really almost dangerous.

 

Marilyn Monroe

GL: We were friends together. But she was a weak person. She wanted just a man that loves her. She didn’t want nothing more than that. But when a person is so popular it is a “disgrazia,” because the men are very jealous. A very popular person they feel not well together. Unfortunately, being popular is a nice thing but at the same time it’s not easy. I know for myself.

Rivalry with Sophia Loren

GL: You want really the truth?  She liked this rival story. And she had an agent to write for 50 years the same rival thing. I was bored. And then when you read the biography, oh it’s the press. Because 50 years, and I never had a press agent. I did my work. I chose what I wanted to do. And I thought of my work. I couldn’t think of silly things like that. I didn’t have this time for that. I worked always alone. I didn’t have a lover to help me or a husband. I did my work alone, and all the press in Italy knows that I am perhaps difficult, but I am sincere. Like an open book. I don’t like tricks.

 

Trying New Things

GL: I like just to do my life and try to succeed at something that I love. I tried with singing, I tried with photography, I tried with movies and I tried with sculpturing and lately I completed drawings. I draw now better than before, especially portraits. I have about 40 portraits of people that I met in my life. I hope I can have an exhibition, perhaps in New York. And I hope to have an exhibition of my sculpture yet. There is I think a Getty museum; the Getty did another museum quite big. So it would be great to bring a good exhibition of sculpture here because I would like for people to have the opportunity to see what really I love to do.

 

Advice to Young Women:

GL: It depends, obviously. Life is a “regalo di dio” (a gift from god). And you must love life. I was always positive. I can’t be negative. If you are positive in life you will do good things. If you are negative you do bad things. Unfortunately, especially today, we live in a very difficult world. And especially the politicians, they should be careful what they do. I stop there.

 

Influenced by:

GL: I was near good artists. They wanted to make a portrait of a beautiful woman and they asked me to pose in Milano. They were about 35 artists. I accepted. And you know what I was doing? Watching what they were doing because 35 painters so I was trying to rob their secret. And also when I had some important sculptors I was watching to see what they were doing. Manzu was very close to me. And I was watching him. And he did the last portrait of me. When he finished he stopped and he was like dead, because he was happy to finish this portrait. After he gave it to me as a present. And I had just inside my garden this sculpture. And he saw me, the first sculpture, my baby, the children they are quite difficult. And when he said, go on, you are enough talented to continue. I listened to him and I continued. I started this in 1957.  My first portrait. And while I was doing my films, when I finished it I went with my camera and I went around the world, I didn’t know where and I continued for years to photograph the people in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, in America, in Russia, all over. And I had a fantastic experience, photographing the people, from the heads of state to the people on the streets. It’s marvelous to know, like when you read a book, it’s the same thing. For me my interest is to see the eyes. Because an artist you need to see. Instead of seeing the book I prefer to see the people and to get an impression. I was not interested in politics, but I was interested in human beings. That gives me a maturing of what I am now.

 

Importance of Love

GL: “Non lo mai avuto.” (I never had it). I never decided to have an important relationship, only friendships. Unfortunately, love, when you’re famous, the men can be jealous. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s bad enough to be a beautiful woman, a normal woman.

 

Her Son

GL: My son is a disappointment. They should do brainwashing on him. He doesn’t understand anything anymore, he just follows bad advice. This is my curse that not everything can go well unfortunately. He was always a good boy and now he’s no longer himself. He has the mind of the bad people that give him advice.

 

Working with Gerard Philippe

GL: He was a very important actor. But I remember when I did “Fan-Fan the Tulip” with him, the distributors changed all the posters in Champs Elysees. It was my photograph big and him almost disappeared. He was fantastic. My French was not so good. But I learned French easily. So I speak French better than English. And my first teacher was him. I did two movies with him. He was a “ragazzo allegro” (cheerful boy). He was a nice person and a fantastic actor.

 

Changes of Italy

GL: Mamma mia. Power. It’s so unbelievable that, I say in general, not just Italians, that can destroy this world so easily. It’s terrible what is going on today, for the power. The power and politics is crazy. They go so ahead that they prefer to destroy the world just to have the power. It’s crazy. For the young it’s not easy, for the young people. Fortunately for me, it’s already a miracle that I’m here in life. I was sick last winter, I was almost gone, but my good friend Andrea saved my life twice. I was lucky to get a nice friend.

 

Life after Death–Dogs

GL: I hope so.  I don’t know if would be easier to be an animal, a tiger or an eagle. I like animals. Dogs. I always had German Shepherds. The German gave to me always the best Shepherd they had, but the last time Ute was the number one of the German police. So they didn’t want to give it to me. I said I like Ute, so finally they gave it to me. But they were crying, but I had in Italy, when I arrived they said, my god that’s a lion. They were all afraid. He was also working on a movie, and wile I was having mile lire (1000 lire) a day as an extra, Ute got 300,000 lire for one day. My dog was more precious than me.