Beautiful Oscar winner Mira Sorvino will show us two sides of her, as a costume-laden
in the lavish comedy Triumph of Love, and later this year in the powerful
Holocaust drama The Gray Zone. Will the real Ms Sorvino please stand up?
CrankyCritic: Was it the romanticism of Triumph Of Love that
appealed to you?
Mira Sorvino: I think the diversity of the roles offered by the film interested
me. I became won over by the romanticism as the factor to do it, because initially
I thought what an incredible tour de force role to take on. In fact, it's almost
four roles. I get to try and be a man. I also worried that the character was really
unlikeable because of the dastardly things she does in her pursuit of her goal.
Clare convinced me that it's just love, and that kind of pardons a lot of sins.
It is a very romantic story and you can get swept up in what would you do for
love. What lengths would you go to? What hearts would you trod over in order to
get that true love, that lifetime of happiness?
CrankyCritic: Have you ever gone to extremes like that?
No, I've never masqueraded as a man to win someone's heart. I'm more of a guilt-ridden
person. My mother and father's upbringing made me very conscious of trying not
to hurt other people so I would not be able to do that sort of triple seduction
thing and convince the other people that I love them. I couldn't get with that.
CrankyCritic: Do you feel pressure since it's being advertised as starring
"Academy Award-winner, Mira Sorvino"?
Mira Sorvino:It seems that they do that whenever somebody who has won an
Academy Award is in a movie. The Oscars have become such a big deal these days
that it's just used as adjective.
CrankyCritic: Is it affecting the parts you get offered?
Mira Sorvino:I think it must to a certain extent just because it was an
early accolade that I greatly appreciated, did not expect, and I guess people
do tend to respect people because of that. Maybe I would not have been offered
the breadth of roles that I have been. People may not have felt I was capable
of doing characters that were not like the other characters I had played, had
I not won the award. Something like this character is not like any other part
that I've played on screen. It's like things I played in high school, on stage.
I'd never done anything this far back in history. The earliest I've ever done
was the 19th century. I actually did play a boy twice before.
I think now that the big impact of it has worn off and now I'm back to business
as usual. I think maybe, unconsciously, I sort of shied away from the traditional
expectations that are placed upon an Oscar winning actress. The year after I won
the Oscar, I did anything but the kind of movie that would be thought of as being
an Oscar-calibre movie for the next year. I wasn't in the pursuit of "let
me stay in the race." I was like let me do a crazy teenage comedy, I just
sort of went off and did fun things which was totally unexpected, and perhaps
not wise. But now I think I'm actually doing things that are more artistic again,
more close to the material that I love, although I don't disparage those things
that I did. There just not as much reflective of who I am.
CrankyCritic: You wouldn't want to do another silly comedy?
Mira Sorvino: I'd do "Romy and Michelle" again. I'd do a "Romy
and Michelle 2." I'd be happy to do that.
CrankyCritic: But not "Mimic 2?"
Mira Sorvino: That was against my grain to do it. I wanted to try something
that I was afraid of, in a way. I'd always been afraid of the horror genre even
as an audience member. It was more of an experiment, walking into a different
genre, rather than something that was close to me. I'm not saying I'd never do
another horror movie, but I don't like playing fear. It's the least enjoyable
of all the actable emotions because it's hard to produce. In real life, fear is
a short-lived emotion. It's like an adrenaline-based emotion. You get scared of
something quickly and then soon you know whether you are in danger, or not. To
recreate that fear feeling again and again for 3 months was very taxing and kind
CrankyCritic: You play a multitude of characters and genders in this
film. What are the particularly unique challenges you face and how do you go about
Mira Sorvino: I basically did a lot of preparation on the movie on many
different fronts. Specifically for the male character, I worked on the physical
side of it of trying to walk in a more masculine way. To walk with my shoulders
thrown back and my sternum up, instead of the vulnerable, sort of hiding one's
self position that women often take. Legs further apart, and a stride rather than
a step. I went to the museum and looked at the 18th century room and saw the wild
poses that the men would take. I threw some of them into the characterization
just because they were fun. Whether or not people actually stood or kneeled that
way, it was sort of a tip of the hat to that exaggerated, courtly look. They would
have one hand ready for their sword and the other for the fair maiden.
There was the voice, studying men around me trying to see what made them masculine.
I felt like this is also fun, it should be fun, because we know that she's a woman.
So part of the comedy comes from watching her over do it, or mess up. I tried
to make it a bit of a caricature of a macho guy. There was a little bit of John
Malkovich in "Dangerous Liaisons" a little bit of Tom Jones, Albert
Finney, a little bit of Captain Kirk. There is Captain Kirk in there because he'll
walk on to any planet, and be very bold, very stating his case, and seducing every
alien woman possible. I thought that that worked.
CrankyCritic: Did you rehearse much for this?
Mira Sorvino: Rehearsals started in August for about 2 ½ to 3 weeks
in Paris. We worked together with Clare one-on-one, then I worked with Jay and
Clare, and I worked with Fiona and Clare. Ben, I didn't meet until the day he
arrived on the set three weeks into the movie. In between the rehearsal period
and the beginning of the shoot, I had to go off and shoot "The Grey Zone."
There could not have been two more different sets or movies.
CrankyCritic: The film has a real fantasy feel.
Mira Sorvino:I think that was the key in the preparation of it, was really
working on the fantasy of a love that transforms your whole life and your entire
hopes for the future. And just making it the dearest aspiration of your heart
is like the fulfilment of this love and that would change your whole world. Doing
that, it made me get behind her actions and her plan and I could have enthusiasm
for all of it because there was urgency because I needed to get to the Prince.
That fuelled everything. That was the key to the character that love underneath
CrankyCritic: Your character is the only one who keeps her wits about
while she is in love.
Mira Sorvino: That's because I've got a purpose and they're unsuspecting.
The reason she chooses those means, originally she's trying to do the least damage
possible, but as soon as they start trying to throw her out and they're almost
rude in their way of doing it, she's like, "Okay, if you are going to force
me to go to Plan B, then I'll go to Plan B." She knows how love has made
her so determined that she'll do anything. She knows that she'll get her way with
them if she makes them love her because they'll lose their reason, too. But she's
pulling the strings. She's got one up on them because she loves the third person.