Her proto-side-eye explained! Sophia Loren finally revealed to Entertainment Weekly in its latest issue what was going through her mind when she was photographed in 1957 giving side-eye to fellow sex symbol Jayne Mansfield.
"Paramount had organized a party for me," Loren, now 80, recollected of the event, coincidentally held 57 years ago. "All of cinema was there, it was incredible," she reminisced. The star-studded party was supposed to be an official welcoming for the Italian bombshell, who was still relatively new to Hollywood at the time, but Loren's spotlight that evening was upstaged by the iconic, Marilyn Monroe-esque Mansfield.
"And then comes in Jayne Mansfield, the last one to come," Loren told EW about Mariska Hargitay's late mother. "For me, that was when it got amazing…. She came right for my table. She knew everyone was watching. She sat down. And now, she was barely… Listen. Look at the picture. Where are my eyes?" (As evidenced in the infamous photo, the brunette beauty is seen cautiously staring over at Mansfield's dangerously low-cut dress, which bares — and barely covers — her cleavage.)
"I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate," Loren told the mag. "In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table."
Though the two shared some laughs together that evening, Loren recalled how she was unable to pry her eyes way from Mansfield's risque ensemble. "There may be other photos, but this is the picture," she said. "This is the one that shows how it was. This is the only picture."
Loren eventually went on to win two Oscars over her long career. Despite having 90 plus film credits and many red carpet moments, the actress told EW that the infamous photo still makes its rounds. "Many, many times I am given this photo to autograph it. And I never do," she said. "I don’t want to have anything to do with that. And also out of respect for Jayne Mansfield because she’s not with us anymore."
The beautiful actress released her new memoir Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: My Life (named after her 1963 romantic comedy of the same title) on Tuesday, Nov. 4. See photos of the glamorous star today.