The Road to Mira Sorvino

The Academy Award-winning actress gives FLARE the scoop on choosing the right script and style

The Road to Mira Sorvino
The Academy Award-winning actress gives FLARE the scoop on choosing the right script and style

She’s best known as the Romy from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion but judging by her Oscar win (which nobody talks about and should) in 1995 for Mighty Aphrodite, Mira Sorvino is a solid dramatic actress with a long future ahead of her. Her intense scenes in her latest flick, Reservation Road, have her at her most subtle and most severe as she portrays a woman who has to deal with a broken family and an ex-husband caught up in a well-hidden crime. During the Toronto International Film Festival, Flare had a chance to catch up with the class act.

FLARE:  Did you need to read the Reservation Road script a few times before signing on or did you say yes after one read?
MS: It was self-evident how good it was on the first read. A lot of scripts today are dark for the sake of being dark, but contain no real human content. This script was thought provoking and apathetic. I think you relate to all the characters when you watch it, as much as you sometimes judge them, but you really relate to everyone in it. 

FLARE: Is research and a lot of prep time a big part of your job?
MS:  It is. For my character in Reservation Road, it was more like finding her personality, and finding her look, and where she kind of fits in. She is not an extreme character and she does not come from a place where she had a specific dialect. We surmised that she is a former, hopeful singer/songwriter that didn’t make it and now she is living in a small town as a music teacher in a school and she has made peace with that. She doesn’t quite fit in and is not the perfect suburban woman, but she is doing fine. I think she is the only character who is sort of happy.

FLARE: Since your father was a part of Hollywood already, which films have had the most impact on your career?
MS: When I was a kid I remember seeing Jessica Lang in Francis and just crying my eyes out. I think that was the most important female performance I have ever seen. It made me want to become an actress.

FLARE: Did you ever get to speak to Jessica Lang and tell her that.
MS: No, I have never met Jessica Lang, but wish I could.

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FLARE: Red carpet events. Are they fun or frightening to dress up for?
MS: It is still fun to have a feeling at a special event, you know a celebration of all the work that you did together. You get to present your work to the world as a cast. I looked at a bunch of stuff before coming here. You know I am very suited for Armani and Prada but I am open to everybody…whatever works.

FLARE: In terms of your Oscar-winning performance in Mighty Aphrodite—did your zany costume help you get into character?
MS: It definitely did, I even bought some of the clothes for her. I still have a pair of cow-print shoes in my closet to this day that I’ve worn with the same cow-print skirt. It really is kind of hilarious. They are high heels and have a pointy toe, and they are not leather, they are this fabric with a little black fish net mesh on the side—they are just ridiculous shoes, but they got me ready!

FLARE: Do you shop for your roles?
MS: I love shopping for my characters. I’ll usually bring at least some element of my own to doodle with. It helps me get into character.

FLARE: Which role do you think you are known for or most associate with?
MS: I would say traditionally, the two most frequent ones are Mighty Aphrodite and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. (Like Romy) Everyone has that inner geek that they connect to.

FLARE: You have three movies coming out after Reservation Road. What are you most excited about?
MS: The next one, which is called Multiple Sarcasms, with Timothy Hutton and Dana Delaney. It’s got a lot of great people in it, and it is really funny. Joan Jett has a cameo and sings in it. And, she is actually amazing—I rocked out to it like a ten-year-old girl! 

Elio Iannacci


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