Lisa Wilkinson says Sophia Loren is the least impressive celebrity she’s interviewed

In a classic dont meet your heroes tale, Lisa Wilkinson has recalled an uncomfortable interview with screen legend Sophia Loren calling it tragic given she was so excited to meet the star.The Italian actress – known as one of the last surviving actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood – kept then-Today host Lisa waiting for an hour and a half at the time.
When she arrived, it quickly became clear she’d have rather not come at all.
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“Sophia Loren is probably the person I’ve been the least impressed by,” Lisa said of her long career interviewing familiar faces on our screens.
“Talk about a person not wanting to be in the room. I should have taken the hint when she turned up an hour and a half late!” The Project host recalled.
“I thought, naively, that I’d be able to warm her up because I was so excited about interviewing this icon of the movie industry, but she didn’t want to be there and tragically I did, so I think the results were quite sad.
“She decided very early on that I was not good enough to be interviewing her,” she deduced.
Lisa, who has been isolating with her husband Peter FitzSimons in Sydney throughout the coronavirus pandemic, spoke to ahead of tonight’s TheLove Australia Project airing on Channel 10 from 7.30.
The initiative with Tourism Australia is aimed at inspiring Aussies to soak up the beauty of our own backyard as our border remains closed to the rest of the world.
“It’s our national duty right now to help our communities around the country kickstart their economy, after the bushfires and COVID-19,” Lisa said, adding that she’s excited to get out and enjoy local tourism – the push to do so somewhat of a silver lining to the devastation of the pandemic.
“For all of the sadness that sits around this with job losses and deaths, there’s elements of this that we feel we have to make lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been handed in 2020.
“Our borders are closed to the rest of the world, and you can think well that’s not a good thing, but in the end it’s making us looking our own backyard and realise you don’t have to go overseas and have a holiday,” she said.
As for her picks for a cracking Aussie holiday?
“I adore Noosa,” she said, adding that WA has some of the best beach sunsets in the world, and that you “can’t beat” skiing down the Flare Run at Thredbo at night with a few cheeky shots at the bottom.
“I think I recall there were shots at the bottom … But I can’t quite remember,” she joked.
As a partially locked down Australia looks eagerly forward to gradually loosening restrictions, Lisa said there’s one valuable lesson isolation had taught her.
“We’ve all learnt the lesson that there’s a lot of aspects of social media and the internet that have made us feel more isolated.
“I think we’re all aching for hugs, we’re all aching for meaningful conversation with people that truly matter to us. We had a chance to stop and focus and recalibrate and I think only good can from that,” she said.
But she admits it wasn’t all smooth sailing when the early weeks of isolating with her husband unfolded.
“We’re empty nesters now, so we were thrown together in a much more significant way than we have been for the last three decades that we’ve been together.
“This was 24/7 all of a sudden and I must say the first couple of weeks, we had a bit of sorting out to do … but he’s much better now,” she said.
She went on to say she’s “aching” to see more of her children.
“We really treasure now the fact that we can get together with the kids. We’ve missed them horribly, whereas before, they’d come home at the drop of the hat and we keep saying to them ‘haven’t you moved out of home?’,” she joked.
The Love Australia Project airs tonight from 7.30pm on Channel 10.