Stephen Boyd and Sophia Loren – Behind the scenes of making “The Fall of the Roman Empire”, 1963

The filming of “The Fall of the Roman Empire” started in late 1962 and continued on into early 1963. It was filmed just outside of Madrid and in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains during one of the worst winters Europe has seen in decades. Tents collapsed and actors had to wrap up tightly in rain and snow to film scenes for the portrayal of the ‘Marcomanni War’ in the forests of Germania. The later scenes were filmed on a set outside Madrid which literally replicated the Roman Forum. Christopher Plummer tells some fun stories in his autobiography, including a hilarious Stephen Boyd story which you can read on this previous Blog,

Sophia Loren took over the kitchen of the hotel where the cast was staying and cooked delicious pasta for her fellow actors.  “All’s going as scheduled, no delays, no scandals, no prima donna stuff – like a certain other Roman film (“Cleopatra”)! Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd and the rest couldn’t be more cooperative with the visiting (perhaps bothersome) press…”
(Indianapolis Star, May 26 1963).

Actor Peters Sellers can be seen hanging around the set; he was trying to woo an already married Sophia Loren. Sophia Loren herself was being extra cautious around her co-star Stephen Boyd so as to not jeopardize her marriage to Carlos Ponti. Stephen was very, very fond of Sophia as interviews during this time (and even later on) confirm. Stephen said  – “I wouldn’t exactly die for Sophia, but I’d come close to it.”








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