The brunette and the blonde, but the same tenacity and the same great character. Italy and France. Mediterranean carnality, snobbish sensuality from beyond the Alps. The continuous spotlight and total confidentiality, despite the common protection of private life. Very different and yet so similar, Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, two absolute stars, who in addition to their strength of character, have in common the fact that they have become part of the myth of cinema. They also have the year of birth in common: 1934. And this is why for both of them the passing of 2024 means something important: turning 90.
For the national Sophia the 90 candles arrive on September 20th, for BB just a few days later, on September 28th. In short, mother Sophia, in life as on the screen, has never faked feelings that she didn’t have, feelings of a comic and dramatic intensity that few other actresses have been able to touch. Providing, needless to say, extraordinary female images: from the pizza girl in L’oro di Napoli, to the explosive red dressed mambo dancer in Pane, amore e…, to the heartbreaking Cesira in La ciociara, to the three women in Yesterday, today and Tomorrow; to the extraordinary Antonietta of A particular day. Just to name a few. She embodied all the most intense nuances of the Southern European woman, just as Brigitte Bardot interpreted the equally strong characteristics of blonde, unconventional, carefree and unconventional charm.
A bit of Sorrento against Saint Tropez. In short, sexy icons, but always with an extraordinary intelligence, a thinking head that led them to wander freely from the cassette cinema to the busy one. And that Bardot’s passion also led to a radical choice such as that of leaving her career and limelight at the age of 40, in 1974. Since then BB, rather than launching glamorous fashions – from ballerinas to bikinis – has fought her battles in in favor of civil and animal rights, transforming the villa on the French Riviera into a sort of idyllic zoo and embracing a vegetarian diet, without ever hiding his political sympathies for the right. Exemplary lives and careers that ideally intersected when Sophia was forced to take French citizenship to escape the accusation of concubinage for her love for Carlo Ponti. But only a parenthesis in a private life characterized by discretion (exemplary wife, happy mother of Carlo Jr. and Edoardo, grandmother of four grandchildren), the recognitions are so many that in 2009 she entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most awarded Italian actress ever and was crowned in 2021 by the ovation at the Davids for her latest film “Life in front of her” (directed by her son Edoardo).
As for Brigitte Bardot, she no longer lives with her husband Bernard d’Ormale in La Madrague, her legendary property by the sea and very exposed to the curious, but in La Garrigue, her second home, where she lives surrounded by her animals. Last summer she felt ill due to the heat, while in the spring rumors circulated that she was admitted to intensive care. “I want to reassure everyone. I’m fine”, he specified. In the meantime he is so well that he has regained all his polemical verve. In an interview with the weekly Valeurs Actuelles a few days ago, he has something for everyone and says: “Once upon a time I would have said that I didn’t want to live in an Islamized France. Today I say that I don’t want to die in an Islamized France!”. He attacks from Islam to Wokism, from Macron to Pope Francis, up to the neo-feminists. “We are in full decadence, we are losing all our conquests in favor of a squalid, mediocre and dangerous everyday life for the reputation of our beautiful country”. Meanwhile, TF1 has announced that it has started the production of a documentary about her which will be broadcast in 2024 to celebrate her ninetieth birthday. And in Italy the first season of “Bardot – The Series” (Federation Studios, with the participation of France Televisions, in co-production with G Films and RTI Mediaset Group, in association with Netflix) with Julia de Nunez is expected on Canale 5.