Italian screen legend Sophia Loren has posed for the 2007 edition of Pirelli Calendar, prompting Italians to speculate whether she bared it all for the coveted publication known for its artistic portraits of beautiful women.
The 71-year-old Oscar winner will be the oldest woman to appear in the famed calendar, dubbed "The Cal." Its circulation is restricted to a privileged 30,000, including the royal family of Morocco.
Loren will appear with four other actresses in the 33rd edition of the calendar, due out in November. The others are Naomi Watts, Penelope Cruz, Lou Doillon and Hilary Swank.
Loren said "she had a lot of fun, like a young girl" while working on the photo shoot at a secret location in California, according to Pirelli, best known for its tire business.
A picture of Loren's shoot that ran in Milan's Corriere della Sera newspaper showed her in lingerie under a bed sheet with two photographers standing over her.
Despite Pirelli's denials that Loren posed nude, Italian personalities have felt compelled to comment on the idea.
"Sophia Loren is an icon, she is an eternal woman. She can do anything," actress Valeria Marini told Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.
Television director Gianni Boncompagni was dead against the prospect.
"After Juventus in Serie C, all that is left is a calendar for senior citizens," he was quoted as saying in La Stampa, referring to a match-fixing soccer scandal that threatens to downgrade the club.
"We could always seek help from Amnesty International," he said.
COPYRIGHT: (c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.