The Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren is known for being one of the most legendary Hollywood stars of all time. Now, as she makes her onscreen comeback in a new film that was directed by her son, Loren is opening up about her secrets to staying so youthful in her 80s.

“Sometimes when I say I’m 86, I don’t believe it. I feel 20!” Loren told AARP THE MAGAZINE.

Loren made her return to the big screen with a new role in the Neflix movie A Life Ahead, which was directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti. In the film, Loren plays a Holocaust survivor who bonds with a 12-year-old Nigerian immigrant.

“I like to work very much, and when you fall in love with a story, it’s a kind of magic, and it happened to me and my son as we were making this film,” the actress said. “What happens between the young, troubled boy and the woman I play is beautiful. These are the kinds of miracles that we need today.”

Loren also gave a few pieces of advice for staying youthful in old age, with the first being to take a bow.

“When I look in the mirror, I cheer for myself. I don’t ask, ‘Are you great?’ or ‘Are you beautiful?’” she said. “No! It’s how I feel inside, how secure I am, how happy I am. That’s what matters.”

Loren believes that keeping in touch with the grandchildren is very important as well.

“My two sons each have two kids, but I’m far away [in Geneva, Switzerland], so we talk on the phone, send pictures,” she said. “I just try to have that moment of happiness during this pandemic, as we all wait for a better tomorrow.”

A third piece of advice that she had was to always stay positive and to avoid negativity.

“If you are healthy and doing something you enjoy, then you cannot think, ‘God, tomorrow I’m going to die!’ No! You can do many wonderful things,” she explained. “I work, read, watch movies, go to church. And I breathe a lot.”

Finally, Loren thinks that acceptance of things being what they are is crucial to aging gracefully.

“I was very sad when my husband died, because you can never get over this kind of feeling. Never,” she said. “Each time you think about it, there’s a moment of the loneliness, which is very strong, but that’s life.”

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