Loretta Goggi, just like a queen | TV Smiles and Songs

«I am aware of the love of the public and this fills me with pride, but I feel like a “sovereign” only at home!»

Loretta Goggi Credit: © Iwan Palombi

November 24, 2022 at 08:04

The bar in the center of Rome is the same as always. Even the table is the same. The most “hidden” at the back of the room, to guarantee a minimum of tranquility even in this crowded mid-afternoon time. Interviews with Loretta Goggi for me they are now a splendid habit and follow an established ritual. Herbal tea with berries for her, a coffee for me. Sugar for her: «If I have to go overboard, I’ll do it right», sweetener for me: «A handful of calories less is always better». In the middle, a saucer with tea pastry which will punctually remain there untouched, the fate of all the desserts which…sadistically are arranged by the waiters under the noses of two women on a diet.

Loretta is a ray of sunshine today: her very light hair, the shirt, the wisteria-colored overcoat and the matching earrings give her an incredible light. I tell her and she fends off: «It’s just that I like to combine jewels with clothes, it’s something I always pay attention to». In fact, her well-kept outfits at the jury table of “Tale e qual show” are always much appreciated.

Loretta, you are the queen of the jury on Carlo Conti’s programme. Moreover. For us you are “Queen Loretta”, the queen of the show…
«But go! Which queen? Either guinea fowl or nothing… maybe not stuffed and baked (laughs)».

A 62-year career, in which you have crossed television, theatre, music, cinema, fiction… you are. Do you feel like a queen in your life?
«It’s funny coming from me, but I feel like queen of my house. I have a great love for my nest, where I lived with Gianni (Brezza, her husband, who died in 2011, ed). There I am comforted by an intimacy that is mine alone: ​​I’ve never had my house photographed, I’m jealous of it. It’s mine and that’s it. And that’s not much.”

Why do you say it’s funny coming from you?
«Perhaps because I never had the image of the woman of the house. Instead I love taking care of my bedroom linen, which I choose in harmony with the bathroom linen, the tablecloths of the color that matches that of the dishes… And then, unfortunately, I’m also a serial hoarder. I make many collections, that of bijouterie and antique jewellery, that of teacups and porcelain teapots. And the latest passion is that of semi-precious stone animals: jade, opal and amethyst».

Do your sisters treat you like a queen in the family?
«But for heaven’s sake! They treat me like the sister in the middle. The eldest, Liliana, for us Lilly, has an almost maternal attitude towards me, even if we are only seven years apart, while Daniela is the little one of the house. And she rebels against my being overprotective of her. In short, thank goodness that at least I’m queen in my house!».

You are also the public, who have always loved you.
«It’s true, I always find great respect and admiration, I’m aware of it and it’s something that fills me with pride. If I’m here it’s for the public.”

And in love have you ever felt like a queen?
«As a girl I was of an unheard-of heaviness, other than a queen!».

But how?
«My peers were still “father’s sons” while I had already worked since I was a child and the sense of responsibility I had at work I carried with me even with the boys, so I was inhumanly boring… (laughs)».

And then?
«Then fortunately Gianni arrived, who wasn’t looking for an “iconic” woman and when I returned home in the evening after the show, where I had 12 heels and flashy clothes, he said to me: “Now, however, get off your shoes and my wife comes back ”. There was no need to be different from what we were: we immediately understood that we fit well together».

Did you feel like a queen with him in love?
“Yup. But he was the king, huh? (laughs)».

And do you ever treat yourself like a queen?
“When I’m on holiday. I try to go to places that make me feel good, almost always to the sea, which is my great passion. I go to hotels where they know me and where they pamper me. Especially with the kitchen».

In your career you have collected many firsts, you were the first female imitator of Italian TV, the first to host a quiz and the first to host the Sanremo Festival. But if you look back, what were the moments in which you felt gratified as “a queen”?
«With Gigi Proietti in the show “They are playing our song”. There I discovered theater in the serious sense of the term. It was a comedy with music: I had to sing, but acting was also important. Then the Sanremo Festival as presenter: there I also had to give brilliant monologues and it wasn’t that simple. And then certainly my first one woman show, “If I’m here tonight”. Before then I had always played roles, while there I realized that I could interact with the audience in the hall, have a dynamism on stage, take advantage of the cough or the phone ringing to improvise, to manage the unexpected and turn it in favor of the show. These are the three moments in which I said to myself: “Loretta, you were good”».

You are the “queen of impersonations” and have often been imitated yourself. To do it well, what characteristics of yours do you need to highlight?
«If I had to imitate myself, I would work on the eyebrows, I keep them furrowed, then on the gestures of the hands, because it has always characterized me and on touching the hair, I do it often. The voice is tough, because she is clean and clean voices are the hardest to replicate ».

Sometimes queens make tough decisions. The toughest decision of your professional life?
«Refuse to conduct Sanremo again for the two years following 1986».

«It seemed to me that it had gone so well that I said to myself: “Why risk it?”. That year I had had Sting as a guest, Eros Ramazzotti had won… I didn’t want to reply. Of course, I understood that if I had continued to drive it for another two years it would have been another great record, but in the end I decided on it. Another important decision was to refuse Bibi Ballandi’s proposal, who wanted Gianni and me in her “stable”, as he had done with Lucio Dalla and Gianni Morandi. I think we could have done interesting things with Bibi and I’m still sorry today, he was a man who knew how to look ahead ».

Then why didn’t you sign?
«Because Gianni and I have always been two free spirits, we didn’t like the thought of binding ourselves with an exclusive contract. But it was difficult to decide.”

What do you watch on tv?
«Everything, but I can’t follow reality shows because for me the show must be made by artists who must seem perfect to the public, unattainable. The artist has the worst, like everyone else, but why does she have to show it? It’s something that has nothing to do with art. But I respect the choice of those who decide to make them, we would miss him ».

The programs you love?
«I follow “Propaganda live” by Diego Bianchi, “Otto e mezzo” by Lilli Gruber, “Mezz’ora in più” by Lucia Annunziata. Among the fiction I liked “Doc”, “Imma Tataranni” and “Mina Settembre”, then “Rocco Schiavone” and “I bastardi di Pizzofalcone”. I really liked “A professor” with Alessandro Gassmann. Then I loved the series “Ozark” and “The undoing” on satellite channels».

If you are the queen, who could be the tv princess?
«I really like Paola Cortellesi: she sings very well, imitates, recites. She’s very good.”

In addition to your commitment with the Christmas episode for Telethon of “Tale e quali” and then with the version for ordinary people “Tali e quali” in January, what awaits you?
«With my sister Daniela we wrote the subject of a fiction that tells of a woman of our age grappling with a great pain in her life. Let’s see if you can make it happen.”

And will you return to your beloved theater?
“Not anymore. When I’m on tour and I go back to the hotel after the show I find myself eating alone in front of the mirror in my room. And knowing that Gianni won’t call me or join me makes me so sad.”

Where are we with your new TV show?
“There is a desire on Rai’s part and on my part to do something that could interest the public and it could be in 2023. We’re working on it, but I haven’t put the idea in focus yet”.

What would you like to do?
“What I wouldn’t rather do. I don’t want to make a program in which I “spill myself”, I don’t want to always sing “Cursed spring”. Or rather, if it’s needed because it’s functional to the story, that’s fine, but I want to be today’s Loretta. I’ve changed a lot, I have my own ideas, I’m involved in social work: it’s important for me to talk about these things. I certainly can’t put on a leotard, sing and dance like yesterday’s Loretta. That’s why Paolantoni replaces me very well!».

Loretta Goggi, just like a queen | TV Smiles and Songs