Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino

Oscar win for 'Mighty Aphrodite' (1995 )

Background:

“There's a side of my personality that goes completely against the East Coast
educated person and wants to be a pin-up girl in garages across
America...there’s a side that wants to wear the pink angora bikini!” Mira
Sorvino

Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino was shot to stardom with her
critical-acclaimed, scene-stealing turn as bleached-blonde, blasphemous,
squeaky-voiced prostitute Linda in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995), for
which she was garnered with many praises and netted numerous Awards, including
an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. The character actor has since played
roles in the box office films the comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
(1997, earned a MTV Movie nomination), the thriller Mimic (1997) and the romance
At First Sight (1999). On television, Sorvino received raves reviews for her
roles as a Brazilian-born mogul in the mini “The Buccaneers” (1995), Marilyn in
Norma Jean and Marilyn (1996, earned an Emmy and Golden Globe nods) and the
agent in Human Trafficking (2005, received a Golden Globe nomination).

Recently starring opposite Stephen Dorff in the miniseries thriller “Covert One:
The Hades Factor” (2006), the bright brown-haired Sorvino will costar with
Gabriel Byrne in Russian film Leningrad (2006) for director Aleksandr Buravsky.

Off screen, 34 1/2-24-35 Sorvino was named one of People magazine’s “50 most
beautiful people in the world in 1996. The Mandarin Chinese and French fluent
actress is a political activist associated with Amnesty International and a jury
member at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. As for her love life, she was formerly
linked to director Quentin Tarantino (together 1996 - February 1998) and actor
Olivier Martinez (dated in1999-2002) before ultimately marrying her fiancé-actor
Christopher Backus. Sorvino and her husband of two years Backus have two
children, daughter Mattea Angel (born in 2004) and son Johnny (born in 2006).



Magna Cum Laude

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of veteran American actor Paul Sorvino and therapist Lorraine Davis,
Mira Katherine Sorvino was born on September 28, 1967, in Tenafly, New Jersey.
She showed great interest on acting at a very young, but her father
discouragement prevented her to pursue the career early. As a result, she
focused on her academic studies. Mira developed her passion by participating on
school plays while in high school, and later at the prestigious Harvard
Univesity, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1990 with a degree in East
Asian Studies. Shortly after graduation, she spent a year to learn Mandarin
Chinese language in Beijing and returned to America to begin her acting career
in New York. Mira has a brother named Michael and is older sister to playwright
Amanda.

As for her private life, Mira tied the knot with actor Christopher Backus (born
October 30, 1981) on June 11, 2004, about 10 months after their first meeting at
a friend’s charades party. The two fell in love at the first sight and became
engaged a month later. She recalled, “He walked into the kitchen looking for
silverware. We saw each other and something made us want to talk to each other
more.” Mira and Backus share two children: daughter Mattea Angel (born on
November 3, 2004) and son Johnny (born on May 29, 2006).


Mimic

Career:

The daughter of an actor, Mira Sorvino was banned from becoming a child actor
and concentrated on her education instead. Despite her parent’s worries, she was
discovered on numerous student plays throughout high school and university
before eventually heading for the bright of New York to begin acting
professionally. During her hard time in New York, Sorvino refused to benefit her
father’s fame and found herself taking various jobs, including as a waitress and
production assistant as well as script reader for the Robert De Niro production
company Tribeca. Her first acting job arrived in 1992 when she landed roles in
the short-lived syndicated teen serial “Swan Crossing” and the CBS daytime soap
“Guiding Light,” where she was cast as Julie Camalleti. Believing there would be
more excellent opportunities lay just ahead, Sorvino declined a three-year deal
in the latter.
Her decision was right since in the following year she was offered her first
film role in the Rob Weiss acclaimed independent movie Amongst Friends, in which
she also served as an associate producer. Finely playing Laura, Sorvino earned
good reviews from critics that led to her subsequent roles.

Sorvino then starred in The Dutch Master (1994), a comic fantasy short helmed by
Susan Seidelman, and as a modern-day Mary in The Second Greatest Story Ever Told
(1994, TV), before getting her first larger film role as mysterious noble
Spanish translator Marta in Barcelona (1994) for director Whit Stillman. Still
in 1994, the impressed director Robert Redford landed her a first mainstream
exposure with a supporting part as Rob Morrow’s Jewish intellectual wife in Quiz
Show. She shared the screen with her father in the made-for-TV film Parallel
Lives (1994) and was praised for her role as a 19th Century Brazilian tycoon who
ties the knot with a bankrupt Englishman in the miniseries adaptation of Edith
Wharton’s “The Buccaneers” (1995).

Sorvino’s big breakthrough came with her star-making turn as the squeaky-voiced,
faded blonde hooker Linda in the Woody Allen comedy Mighty Aphrodite (1995).
With the role, she won a number of accolades and was handed several awards like
an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Broadcast Film Critics Association, a Dallas-Forth
Worth Film Critics Association, a Southeastern Film Critics Association, a
National Board of Review and a New York Film Critics Circle for Best Supporting
Actress. She also received a Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations. The huge
success made Sorvino a recognizable face in Hollywood.

The brown-eyed actress followed it up with a small part as the young lady in the
improvisational film Blue in the Face (1995), Ted Demme’s ensemble comedy
Beautiful Girls (1996, as the long-suffering bulimic girlfriend of Matt Dillon),
Jake’s Women (1996, TV) and the independent films Tarantella and Sweet Nothing
(both 1996). Sorvino took home an Emmy and Golden Globe nods after starring as
Marilyn Monroe in the HBO movie Norma Jean and Marilyn (1996), opposite Ashley
Judd who was cast as Jean, before stepping back into the mainstream film with
the box office hit comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), where
she shared a MTV Movie nomination for Best Dance Sequence, with Lisa Kudrow and
Alan Cumming. Venturing into horror genre, she scored a victory by having a lead
opposite Jeremy Northam as bright entomologist whose mutant creations menace NYC
in the Guillermo del Toro blockbuster flick Mimic (1997).

1998-99 saw roles in the disappointing The Replacement Killers (1998, with
international star Chow Yun-Fat), Too Tired to Die (1998, helmed by Korean
director Wonsuk Chin), Auster’s solo directorial debut Lulu on the Bridge (1998,
memorably played Celia Burns), Free Money (1998), the Irwin Winkler successful
romance At First Sight (1999, played Val Kilmer’s girlfriend) and Spike Lee’s
Summer of Sam (1999, as John Leguizamo’s spouse Dionna). She returned to TV film
by starring with Toby Stephens as Daisy Buchanan in the A&E drama The Great
Gatsby (2000) and made her theatrical debut in NYC with the off-Broadway play
“Naked,” along side Daniel Benzali. In 2001, she produced and had a cameo role
as herself in the mockumentary Lisa Picard Is Famous, played a princess who
hides as a male in the Toronto and San Sebastian-premiered The Triumph of Love
(released theatrically in America in 2002), as well as costarred with Harvey
Keitel in the holocaust-theme based The Grey Zone, directed by Tim Blake Nelson.


The next years Sorvino was seen along with Mariah Carey in the female mafia
crime feature Wisegirls (2002), playing an American investigator sent to Spain
in Semana Santa (2002), teaming up with Sophia Loren and Deborah Kara Unger in
the heartfelt drama Between Strangers (2002) and as Jeff Daniels’ spirited wife
Fanny in the Gettysburg prequel Gods and Generals (2003). Following a guest
appearance as Diane, Leo’s ex and the only lady who ever slept with Will in one
episode of “Will & Grace” (2003), she went back acting in the starring role as
Delila in the thriller The Final Cut (2004), opposite Robin Williams and James
Caviezel.

In 2005, Sorvino once again became the center of interest when she was cast as
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Kate Morozov in the granular Lifetime
network film Human Trafficking, for which she was nominated a Golden Globe
nomination for the role. She recently starred as Rachel Russel in the miniseries
“Covert One: The Hades Factor” (2006), a thriller which also starred Stephen
Dorff, Blair Underwood and Sophia Myles. Moviegoers should look forward for her
impressive performance in the forthcoming drama Leningrad (2006). The
Russian-produce film will team Sorvino with director/writer Aleksandr Buravsky
as well as actor Gabriel Byrne.


Awards:

Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite, 1996
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty
Aphrodite, 1996 Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics
Association: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite, 1996
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a
Motion Picture, Mighty Aphrodite, 1996
Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty
Aphrodite, 1996
National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite,
1995
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite,
1995
My whole thing is characterization. I like playing separate people; it's never about one quality.More Mira Sorvino quotes [09/26/2006 12:09:00]
I loved the Chinese people, and it was fascinating to live in an oppressive society. The whole thing made me feel that I was able to cope.More Mira Sorvino quotes [09/26/2006 12:09:00]
It was more of an experiment, walking into a different genre, rather than something that was close to me.More Mira Sorvino quotes [09/26/2006 12:09:00]
That's the thing about acting - it does have the feeling of downhill skiing. When it's really all going right, you know your lines, you know what's important to your character, you pick the strongest reactions possible to elements in the story. But then you let it all go and you're in the moment and stuff happens. It surprises you and it's super strong; it's like you're living life in a slightly heightened way in the time between "action" and "cut."More Mira Sorvino quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I was associate producer of the first film I was ever in, Amongst Friends.More Mira Sorvino quotes [09/26/2006 12:09:00]

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