MY LIFE IN 10 PIC­TURES

Closer Weekly - - Contents -

Closer looks back at Os­car win­ner Mira Sorvino’s sto­ried Hol­ly­wood ca­reer.

GROW­ING UP with her ac­tor dad, Paul, had pluses and mi­nuses for Mira Kather­ine Sorvino. They had a “lovely, bu­colic” New Jer­sey home, yet af­ter her school plays, he’d “break down [my] per­for­mance and tear it apart,” she re­calls. “But I learned my craft from him.” That crit­i­cism helped her win an Os­car for Mighty Aphrodite but didn’t prep her for be­ing black­listed af­ter re­port­edly re­ject­ing the ad­vances of stu­dio head Har­vey We­in­stein. She’s “proud to be part of a cul­tural change” by speak­ing about it. And as she turns 51 on Sept. 28, she’s also proud to be a mom to Lu­cia, Holden, Johnny and Mat­tea with her hus­band, Christo­pher Backus.

“I have be­come a fierce mama bear.”

7 1999 HUS­TLE UP

“I loved the danc­ing se­quences with John Leguizamo,” she said of Spike Lee’s Sum­mer of Sam, set in 1977. “We worked for a month re­hears­ing the hus­tle moves.” And, Mira added, “If I could dance in ev­ery pro­duc­tion I’m in, I would be the hap­pi­est per­son alive.”

8 2005 ART IM­I­TATES LIFE

She agreed to do the minis­eries Hu­man Traf­fick­ing with Don­ald Suther­land since “I had been work­ing with Amnesty In­ter­na­tional as their Stop Vi­o­lence Against Kids spokesper­son.… I thought it would be this great com­bi­na­tion of my ac­tivist [and] artis­tic life, and it re­ally was.”

Be­cause her dad, Paul, was al­ready well-known, “I al­most changed my name early on to my mother’s maiden name [Davis],” ad­mit­ted Mira. “It cer­tainly had a more Amer­i­can ring, but I felt this is my name, I’m proud of my her­itage, and I’m not go­ing to.”

1 1982 DADDY’S GIRL

2 1994 PE­RIOD PIECE

For Barcelona, Mira (bot­tom left) learned Span­ish…and pre­ci­sion. “If you missed a pe­riod or a semi­colon, [di­rec­tor Whit Still­man] would tell you and you’d have to redo [your en­tire] mono­logue.”

3 1996 MIGHTY BIG

Papa Paul wept as Mira got an Os­car for Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. “That [role] was a bless­ing from heaven,” she says. But af­ter Woody’s daugh­ter Dy­lan ac­cused him of past abuse, she was “ter­ri­bly sorry” for work­ing with him.

4 1996 ON A ROLE

“[Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe’s ex­hus­band] Arthur Miller said, ‘How did she un­der­stand Mar­i­lyn’s pain?’” af­ter see­ing Mira play her in Norma Jean and Mar­i­lyn (with Ash­ley Judd). “That was prob­a­bly [my] best re­view.”

5 1997 SCHOOL TIES

Af­ter their com­edy hit Romy and Michele’s High School Re­u­nion, she and co-star Lisa Kudrow stayed friends. “We like each other and crack each other up,” said Mira, who mod­eled Romy’s voice “a bit on my sis­ter, who was raised in New Jer­sey [but] had kind of a Val­ley Girl ac­cent.”

6 1998 GO TO YELL

Af­ter scream­ing through the hor­ror pic Mimic, the Re­place­ment Killers’ di­rec­tor told her he liked her voice that way. “So ev­ery day I had to yell to burn out my vo­cal cords.”

9 2011 LIKE MOTHER

“When I’m not work­ing, I’m a stay-at-home mom with no nanny or babysit­ter, un­less it’s date night,” Mira (seen with Mat­tea, Johnny and hus­band Christo­pher) tells Closer. “My mom [Lor­raine Davis] was, so I’m try­ing to be like her. It’s schiz­o­phrenic, but it’s how I get to spend the most time with them.”

10 2018 BACK IN AC­TION

She plays a CIA in­ves­ti­ga­tor on her new show Con­dor, which one re­port called her come­back. What does Mira think? “My fa­ther calls this a busi­ness of come­backs,” she says. “When­ever the crowd doesn’t think they’ve seen you lately, your next suc­cess is seen as that.”

“You have to be­lieve in your­self and take a great leap. If you don’t, you might never f ly.”— Mira

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