Lisa reveals her worst celeb interview

In a classic "don't 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.

"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.

Screen icon Sophia Loren was the “least impressive” celebrity Lisa’s interviewed. Picture: AP Photo.
Screen icon Sophia Loren was the “least impressive” celebrity Lisa’s interviewed. Picture: AP Photo.

Lisa, who has been isolating with her husband Peter FitzSimons in Sydney throughout the coronavirus pandemic, spoke to ahead of tonight's The Love 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.

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I’ve been so incredibly lucky over the years that my work has taken me the length and breadth of this absolutely stunning country. And tonight (Friday), along with @drchrisbrown @_rachelcorbett and @mrstommylittle we are so proud to be bringing you The Love Australia Project in conjunction with Tourism Australia, showcasing all the incredible holiday destinations we have right here on our doorstep - including the NT, the location for this shoot I did with Australian Traveller magazine a few years back. Right now, with our borders to the rest of the world closed, and our state borders hopefully not too far away from being reopened, there’s never been a better time to start planning your next Aussie holiday. We’ll be exploring some of your travel favourites, the bucket list must-dos, and plenty of hidden gems you might not know about yet. So we hope you can join us tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm on @channel10au right after @theprojecttv and start dreaming of your next Aussie holiday - it’s the best way we know how to help local businesses right around the country, and get our economy kicking again! Meantime, do you have a favourite destination, camping ground, hotel, experience, resort or hidden gem we should all know about? I’d love to hear about it! And tag them in to let them know you’re sharing the love. 🇦🇺 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 Photo: @elisehassey Camera: @canonaustralia Hair & makeup: @mwassefhairdressing Styling: @georgiarickard @austtraveller @australia @ntaustralia #devilsmarbles #loveaustralia #thursdaythrowback #throwbackthursday #northernterritory #nt #loveaustralia #australia

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"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.


Originally published as Lisa reveals her worst celeb interview

Lisa said the star kept her waiting an hour and a half. Picture: Christian Gilles
Lisa said the star kept her waiting an hour and a half. Picture: Christian Gilles