Sophia Loren on Her Comeback: Working With Son Was 'the Joy of My Life'

Sophie Loren

The actress, who hasn't appeared on screen since 2009, stars in Edoardo Ponti's new short film "Human Voice," which screened at Cannes.

This story first appeared in the June 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

In her six-decade career, Sophia Loren hasn't been much for rehearsing, relying more on instinctual performances. But there's one person she made an exception for: her son Edoardo Ponti, 41.

VIDEO: Behind the Scenes of Sophia Loren-Starrer 'The Human Voice'

To prepare for Human Voice, a new short film he directed that screened at Cannes on May 20, mother and son rehearsed for several weeks -- "talking about every line, every gesture," says Ponti. "I told her if we didn't rehearse, we'd hit the same emotional notes over and over again."

PHOTOS: THR's Cannes Portfolio With Cate Blanchett, Channing Tatum, James McAvoy

The film, based on the Jean Cocteau play of the same name, features Loren in an extended monologue as an aging woman coming to terms with the departure of her lover for a rival. It's a part she says she has wanted to play her entire career.

"When I started to think about it, I was too young. But I kept it in my heart for a long time," says Loren, 79, who is making her first screen appearance since Rob Marshall's 2009 musical Nine.

So how was it to work on the project en famille? Says the actress: "It was the joy of my life."