What the Hell Happened to Mira Sorvino?

mira sorvino 2013

Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino, daughter of character actor Paul Sorvino, scored an Oscar and a Golden Globe in her first major role.  Five years later, her career had cooled to the point where she was doing TV movies.

What the hell happened?

sorvino swann's crossing

Mira Sorvino – Swann’s Crossing – 1992

Sorvino got her start on the syndicated soap opera, Swans Crossing in 1992.  The teen drama, which starred Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, aired daily for 13 weeks for a total of 65 episodes.  Sorvino appeared in 6 of them.

The next year, Sorvino was hired as a third assistant director on the low-budget crime drama, Amongst Friends.  Gradually, Sorvino was bumped up to casting director and eventually assistant producer.  As a resulted, she landed a role for herself as well as roles for family members.


Mira Sorvino – Barcelona – 1994

In 1994, Sorvino appeared in a few projects.  Among them was a supporting role in Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, the second film in a trilogy of high-minded social comedies.

Sorvino played a “party girl” one of the main characters meets at a bar.  It was a small role in an arty independent films.  But it helped get Sorvino noticed.

Barcelona got good reviews and did respectable box office.

sorvino - quiz show

Mira Sorvino – Quiz Show – 1994

Later that year, Sorvino played Rob Morrow’s wife in Robert Redford’s biographical drama, Quiz Show.  Quiz Show was about a scandal in the 50’s around a rigged TV game show.

Morrow played the investigator who brought the show down.  Once again, it was a small role in a prestigious movie.

sorvino - Mighty_Aphrodite

Mira Sorvino – Mighty Aphrodite – 1995

The following year, Sorvino’s career was changed forever when Woody Allen cast her in a supporting role in his latest comedy.

In Mighty Aphrodite, Allen plays a father who becomes obsessed with finding the biological mother of his bright adopted son.  Eventually, he discovers that the boy’s mother is a prostitute played by Sorvino and he takes it upon himself to set her up with a nice guy.  The entire comedy is played as a satire of Greek tragedy including a Greek chorus.

Mighty Aphrodite got good reviews and did decent box office for a Woody Allen movie.  Come awards season, it got a few nominations for Allen’s screenplay.  But Sorvino cleaned up.  She won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a whole mess of critics’ awards.

All that recognition is really quite remarkable considering that 1) Woody Allen was hardly a starmaker in 1995 and 2) Sorvino played the part with an annoying helium voice.

I think the Academy embraced Woody returning to more light-hearted material like Mighty Aphrodite.  And Sorvino seemed like a fetching, fresh-faced starlet in the making.  If nothing else, she deserved the award for kissing Woody Allen.

Next: Beautiful Girls and Romy and Michelle


Posted on August 7, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 101 Comments.

  1. I had a huge crush on Mira Sorvino in the mid to late-1990’s. I think it’s a shame that her career went nowhere. I thought she was excellent in “Norma Jean” and “Romy & Michelle” is kind of a guilty pleasure. It’s a dumb movie but I love to watch it and quote it (I regularly try to convince people that “I invented Post-Its”).


    • I’m the same way. I also really enjoyed her in Mighty Aphrodite and Summer of Sam. She’s the main reason I watched The Mimic although I was terribly disappointed in it. I think it’s a shame an Oscar winning actress was reduced to Lifetime mini-series.


      • Yeah, I watched both “Mimic” and “The Replacement Killers” because she was in them. So her career may have fizzled, but she can proudly say that she was able to convince us to watch a movie about giant killer cockroaches. So that’s something.


      • 5 Oscar Blessings and 5 Oscar Curses:

        5. CURSE: Mira Sorvino

        Mira Sorvino fell into familiar territory by becoming the 4th actor directed by Woody Allen to an Oscar when she nabbed the Best Supporting Actress prize in 1996 for her role as a ditzy, yet troubled prostitute in ‘Mighty Aphrodite’. After the win she had a handful of leading roles in middle of the road Hollywood features (‘Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion’, ‘The Replacement Killers’, ‘Mimic’) but failed to capitalize on her new found crowning. She never really made a splash as a leading lady or a sought after character actress, and her career quickly fizzled out into obscure TV appearances and direct to video clunkers.


        • 10 Worst Actors To Ever Win An Oscar:

          9. Mira Sorvino

          If there’s any Oscar win on this list that turned a few heads and raised more than a couple of eyebrows, it’s Mira Sorvino’s for her admittedly unexpectedly good turn in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. Sorvino, who prior to this had acted in two notable films – bit parts in Quiz Show and Barcelona – was given a major boost by Allen’s plucking her from relative obscurity, such that critics and AMPAS voters became infatuated with her screen presence – not to mention her radiant beauty – and she ended up taking the gong home. Sure, it has charm, and sure, Sorvino fits the role nicely, but there’s not really any proof outside of this film that Sorvino is a good actress at all.

          Let’s look at her filmography: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (which treads similar ground), Mimic, The Replacement Killers, and then an increasingly forgettable slew of (mostly) straight-to-DVD fare. It’s a sad CV for someone who should have been huge, but it seems, lacked the ambition, or had a terrible agent. Even though she’s not a particularly strong actress, the roles should have come flooding in after the gong was hers, but alas, it didn’t happen, and now it seems more to be a fluke than a well-deserved win.


        • Someone needs to watch Summer of Sam. Or even Marilyn and Norma Jean. Sorvino is a talented actress.

          What is it with this site and their inane lists?


        • 8 Oscars Winners Who Should Give the Award BackL

          2. Mira Sirvino

          In one of the Academy’s most amazing upsets, Mira Sorvino beat out Joan Allen, Kathleen Quinlin, Mare Wingingham and Kate Winslet for her 1995 Best Supporting Oscar. Her annoying hooker with a heart of gold in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite was a well-written role that she added nothing to except a Jersey accent. While she did show some promise in Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion, her career has been flat for the past 14 years as she has wallowed in TV movies and straight-to-DVD fare (a.k.a. post-Oscar purgatory).


        • The Oscar Curse: How Winning an Academy Award Has Often Become the Kiss of Death:

          On the route toward winning her first Oscar, Kate Winslet overtook Bette Davis as the youngest actor to receive six Academy Award nominations. Winslet’s truly remarkable achievement commenced with a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995. The career track of the actress who beat out Winslet for that award is not quite as impressive, despite the fact that Mira Sorvino, winner for “Mighty Aphrodite” has played Marilyn Monroe and Daisy Buchanan during the time.


        • The Oscar Curse: Big win doesn’t guarantee continuing success:

          Louis Gossett, Jr., was primarily a TV actor when he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as tough-but-fair Sgt. Emil Foley in 1982’s An Officer and a Gentleman. He followed up that industry honor with 1983’s legendarily bad Jaws 3D. Gossett also starred in 1986’s box-office hit Iron Eagle, but many of his later films are of the low-budget family-friendly variety, including 2012’s Smitty, which co-stars an Oscar-winning actress with a similarly fading star, Mira Sorivino.

          Her 1995 Best Supporting Actress win in The Mighty Aphrodite was a surprise — Kate Winslet was the favorite for Sense and Sensibility — and after a series of box-office disappointments her career trajectory began descending, perhaps bottoming out as the title role in last year’s made-for-Lifetime holiday drama Finding Mrs. Claus. Sorvino was just announced to play Jim Gaffigan’s wife in the comic’s CBS comedy pilot.


        • Oscar’s Curse: How the Academy ruined these actors’ careers:

          Best Supporting Actress: “Mighty Aphrodite” (1995) Whenever you hear the name Mira Sorvino advertised in a movie, do you hear an imposing voice proclaim: “And starring Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino”? No, you don’t. Truly, it’s a shame, because the goofy faced beauty had displayed considerable charm and a flair for comedy (“Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”) in a mostly unmemorable career. Though it was those qualities that won her the Oscar as the ditzy, vocally challenged prostitute in Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” she was nevertheless greatly criticized at the time. She was fine in “The Replacement Killers,” “At First Sight” and “Summer of Sam” but has garnered more attention from her past relationships with director Quentin Tarantino and French actor Olivier Martinez. Perhaps Mira doesn’t care so much. She may have won an Oscar for playing dumb, but she does hold a degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard, where she graduated magna cum laude. Some things are more impressive than Academy Awards.


        • 10 Actors Whose Careers Went Downhill After They Won Oscars:

          8. Mira Sorvino

          You might remember Mira Sorvino from a period of time called “the ’90s,” where she suddenly shot to fame as the star of Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, playing a friendly prostitute called Linda Ash with a funny voice. It was an endearing performance, and Sorvino made it her own: she picked up the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Woody Allen is pretty good at writing roles for people to win Oscars, you see. Despite the fact that she’s an Oscar-winner, though, I wouldn’t find it strange if you’d never actually heard of Mira Sorvino.

          Because, let’s face it, she hasn’t really done very much of worth since Mighty Aphrodite. The fact that she dated Quentin Tarantino at one point should’ve been the first warning sign that something was wrong. Sure, she was in Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, which is a movie that some people have heard of, I guess, but apparently this talented actress reached her peak with Mighty Aphrodite – and it was only her third starring role. Too much, too soon, perhaps. The fact that nobody really talks about her anymore speaks volumes.


        • 10 Victims of the Oscar Curse & Oscar Jinx:

          Victim’s Name: Mira Sorvino

          Won For: Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

          Why They’re Cursed: After a few small film roles, Sorvino shocked Oscar viewers by winning Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a hooker with a funny voice in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. A number of critics called the win a fluke, and they’re looking more and more like geniuses with every passing day. Sorvino starred in the not-so-high-concept Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam failed to generate much interest at the box office. Now she’s a staple on television, starring in original movies such as Human Trafficking (for which she did receive a Golden Globe nomination) and The Last Templar. She also appeared on the hit series House, but the Oscar curse made damn sure that the writer’s strike silenced any talk of making her a recurring character. At least she can always tell people that her father is Paulie from Goodfellas.


        • HOT GALLERY: 10 Stars Who Fell Victim to the Oscar Curse:

          Mira Sorvino—Today

          Post-Oscar, Sorvino hasn’t had such luck with the critics. She followed up with some seriously forgettable roles in Mimic and The Triumph of Love. (Like we said, forgettable.) She did briefly shine as Romy White in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion before diving into more low-budget fare. She does have several releases planned for 2012—here’s hoping that Sorvino can end her epic streak of meh.


        • 10 Actresses Whose Careers Went Downhill After Winning An Oscar:

          Mira Sorvino

          Oscar Win: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite (1996)

          It’s pretty easy to explain why Mira Sorvino’s career went downhill after her Oscar win: she peaked too early. After appearing in just four movies, Sorvino landed a huge role in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite which catapulted her into stardom. Suddenly, with an Oscar under her belt, the young actress was starring in mainstream movies such as Mimic and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. In 1999, she co-starred alongside Val Kilmer in At First Sight, and after yet another box office bomb, Mira Sorvino quickly faded from the spotlight.

          No one can blame Sorvino for the career choices she made after winning an Oscar. She went from being an unknown actress to suddenly having tons of acting opportunities and she struck while the iron was hot. It’s just too bad she wound up starring in so many terrible movies, as a result.

          These days, Mira Sorvino is married and has four children. The movies she’s appeared in lately tend to get released directly to DVD, but she mostly uses her celebrity status to support charitable causes and she has spoken in front of Congress against human trafficking. So, good for her.


        • Mira Sorvino:

          She was a supporting actress who tried to capitalize on her Oscar win to become a leading lady. Her choices were mediocre to awful and her movies bombed. She was no longer a hot property and took what was offered her. She’s 46 has 4 kids and is the main breadwinner in her family.

          by: Anonymous reply 5 03/21/2014 @ 11:14PM

          After winning the Oscar she burned a few bridges by looking down on series work.

          Comparing work on a series as a prison sentence.

          Was offered a few TV gigs and TV movies, which she rejected without even reading the scripts.

          After a few years of this, she finally turned a page and started to do TV work. Even filming a few pilots that never got picked up.

          by: Anonymous reply 17 03/22/2014 @ 08:36PM

          Both she and her dad had/have stank attitudes. The difference is, Paul has always done TV, even if he thinks he’s too good for it.

          Mira learned that lesson too late.

          by: Anonymous reply 33 03/23/2014 @ 06:42AM


        • Re: Mira Sorvino – Five Fave Roles:

          DLers seem to have amnesia on this board.

          After winning her Oscar Mira starting acting like a diva, throwing her weight around. She insulted the TV industry by comparing Series TV as a Prison sentence. And saying she would never do a TV series EVER.

          Shortly after a few of her films flopped, the roles stopped coming.

          I think that humbled her, and she started to follow the route of fellow Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.

          Not looking for commercial films. But doing smaller indie flicks, and developing a career whether it be in TV or film.

          In terms of series TV, she has eaten her words. She has done a TV pilot for Jerry Bruckheimer and is waiting word if it will be picked up.

          Now she says TV is great to balance her kids and work, because there is no traveling involved.

          by: Anonymous reply 62 01/17/2013 @ 10:01AM


  2. Something cool happening at the FB page. TMC1982 tweeted some articles from Le Blog and a couple of celebs commented on WTHH to Mira Sorvino. Stop by the FB page to see who said what.

    And feel free to “like” us while you are there. 😉


    • Man, I deleted my Facebook account a while ago so I can’t “like” or even have a look at what’s happening over there.
      Is anybody going to name names?


      • I won’t hold you in suspense.

        John Leguizamo (Sorvino’s Summer of Sam co-star) was the first to respond. He simply said that Sorvino is a mom who still “does a few flix”. Ashley Judd (Marilyn and Norma Jean) said she thought the question was “rude” but she noted that Sorvino was “an abolitionist”. I am not sure exactly what that means in the 21st century, but interesting all the same.

        Tweets are frustratingly short. I am not sure how anyone deals with the constraints as I am incapable of saying anything in so few words.


  3. I’m sorry Ashley thinks it’s rude.
    The title can seem a little snarky if you haven’t actually read the articles. Most are just wondering why we aren’t seeing as much of a performer who we liked. We miss these folks. Off the top of my head, the Michael Keaton and Rick Moranis articles are particularly wishing to see more of them.


    • Yeah, the title puts some folks on the defensive. But, it’s also an attention grabber. So, I’m not changing it. Also, the articles are a bit on the snarky side by design. I figure celebs can handle the gentle ribbing I usually give them. And if not, I’m happy to have them drop by and tell me off.

      In the case of Ms. Judd (who I went to school with) I don’t think she read the article. She just got a tweet with a snarky question in it. So, I can’t really blame her for thinking it was a bit rude. Obviously, I want to see a lot more of Sorvino and Judd… wait, that didn’t come out right.


      • I’ve told this story before on Lebeau’s Facebook page in regards to these “What the Hell Happened to…” blogs. I perhaps out of sheer curiosity and maybe “just for the hell of it”, I sent a link to the WTHHT entry about Kim Basinger to her daughter Ireland on Twitter. When she caught wind of it, she immediately tweeted back to me saying “What the hell is wrong with you?” I don’t know if as w/ the case more than likely w/ Ashley Judd, Ireland thought that I was simply asking a snarky question about her mother w/o actually reading the blog. Or if she did read it, she came to the conclusion that it was a decidedly negative portrayal of her mother and her career. As a matter of fact, somebody else responded to Ireland by saying that Lebeau was trying to bash her mom from the very start and that it was “pro-stalkery”, in her opinion.


        • I was just laughing about that the other day. The article may be many things. But “stalkery”?

          Still, I’m not going to blame someone for getting defensive about their mom or even their friend’s mom.

          Funny stuff though.


        • Since both Kim Basinger and Mira Sorvino have been mentioned in the same breath:

          For Sorvino and Basinger, the problem seems to be that they simply chose to star in bad films. After success in “Mighty Aphrodite,” Sorvino moved on to the dumb horror flick “Mimic,” dumb action flick “The Replacement Killers,” dumb comedy “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion,” dumb sex film “Tales of Erotica,” and a prominent role in the very dumb box-office bomb “Gods & Generals,” the worst film of 2003. On the positive side are stints in the critically divisive “Summer of Sam” and “The Grey Zone.”

          Basinger made mistake after mistake after “L.A. Confidential” that allowed her post-Oscar hotness cool to ice. First, she waited three years to make another movie. When she did, it was “I Dreamed of Africa,” which could have been retitled “I Dream Of Getting Out Of This Theater.” The boring supernatural thriller “Bless the Child” followed, a pathetic next try at a comeback that made fellow supporting-actress winner Whoopi Goldberg’s center-square spot on “Hollywood Squares”seem like Shakespeare.


        • Five Actors Who Define the Oscar Curse:

          3. Mira Sorvino

          Mira Sorvino burst onto the Hollywood scene with her Oscar-winning role as Linda Ash in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. Besides being Paul (Goodfellas) Sorvino’s daughter, she seemed like she was that combination of smart and cute that would drive teenage girls and men to theaters for at least a couple of decades. But it didn’t happen. Maybe it was her choice of projects, like Mimic, Summer of Sam, and the Replacement Killers. Or maybe the Curse took hold: Most recently Mira Sorvino starred in a TV miniseries. She speaks like twelve languages, went to Harvard and she’s on the same network as Howie Mandel? Something is definitely amiss.


  4. Mira looked hot in “Norma Jean & Marilyn,” but I thought that film would have been better if Ashley Judd had played both roles because, along with the fact that she looked exactly like Norma, the film would’ve better reflected Marilyn’s lifelong struggle with herself if it was the same actress playing both title roles.


    • I may be blinded by my screen crush on Sorvino, but I can’t quite agree with you. I think the idea that Norma Jean and Marilyn were separate people was the point of the movie. But mostly, I am against anything that takes Sorvino off screen. I just watched her give Cuba Gooding Jr his Oscar while writing up that article and DAMN! I seriously don’t understand how Sorvino wasn’t Angelina Jolie big.


  5. I guess that thought occurred to me because I saw a pic of Norma Jean in a book years ago & thought she looked just like Judd. As I said, Mira looked hot as Marilyn, so I’m not faulting her performance. I also thought she looked hot as Romy & in “Mimic,” as dull as that film was.


    • I’m with you. I wanted to like Romy & Michelle and Mimic more than I did. If you haven’t seen Summer of Sam, check it out. It’s a good movie and Sorvino has never looked better.


  6. 25 A-List Hollywood Actors Who Fell the F Off:

    Mira Sorvino
    Best Known For: Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
    Most Recent Project: Trade of Innocents (2012)

    From a cinephile’s perspective, when you start your career working with Whit Stillman, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee, you either continue to work with greatness, or you plummet. In a ten year span, Sorvino went from Oscar winner to Golden Globe nominee for a Lifetime movie.

    Lately, Sorvino has gotten back to doing the sort of indies that brought her acclaim in the first place. And when we say indie, we mean indie: These films have titles like Like Dandelion Dust. So indie it hurts.


  7. Mira Sorvino joins CBS comedy pilot:

    The Oscar winner will play Jim Gaffigan’s wife and mother to their five kids who live in a NYC apartment.


  8. I think why Mira Sorvino’s career hit a downturn is kind of obvious, she was arguably, never really a popular star to begin with. She of course, got a lot of notoriety and buzz from her Oscar win. Because of her Oscar win and Mira being a young and very beautiful woman, studios started to promote her heavily in movies that wound up doing poorly. What also helped in getting Mira some press was her dating Quentin Tarantino for a while, who was the hot new director at the time thanks to “Pulp Fiction”.


  9. 10 actors who could use a Quentin Tarantino-steered comeback:

    This might be one of the hardest bits of casting on this list to pull off, for the simple reason that Tarantino and Sorvino were a couple, but that’s also one of the reasons it would be great. Sorvino, like Bridget Fonda, appears to have simply dropped off the radar completely, and she is too interesting a performer for that to be okay. Tarantino knows her as well as anyone does, so it just stands to reason that if he decided to write a great role for her, it could be an exciting moment that reminds audiences just how much they liked her in the first place. He’s obviously a fan and not just an ex-boyfriend. After all, he let her use Red Apple Cigarettes in ‘Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,’ one of the few moments his personal movie universe has spilled into a film outside his direct control.


  10. Whatever Happened To…?:

    Mira Sorvino

    It seems that Mira Sorvino’s name will always be linked with the dreaded “Oscar Curse.” The way I see it, if Marisa Tomei can shake of the shackles of the alleged curse than there is no reason why Sorvino cannot do the same. Sure Mira has been working steadily over the last few years but she is not getting the same caliber roles that she received in the early 90’s

    Career Highlights: Mighty Aphrodite (1995); Barcelona (1994); The Grey Zone (2001); Blue in the Face (1995); Summer of Sam (1999); Quiz Show (1994); Beautiful Girls (1996); Mimic (1997);

    Low Points: At First Sight (1999); The Final Cut (2004); The Replacement Killers (1998); Free Money (1998); Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997);

    Last Seen On The Big Screen: Reservation Road (2007)

    Where You Will See Her Again: Multiple Sarcasms with Timothy Hutton; and Waska with Jeremy Piven


  11. Ms. Sorvino is the actress-equivalent to the music world’s One Hit Wonder: In the (fickle) world of popular music, one can have THE BIGGEST HIT in the gol-durn world but if one doesn’t have a successful FOLLOW-UP in, say, three-to-six months afterward, you are, uh, finished. You might still have a CAREER — look at Joan Osborne, her “Relish” album was HUGE but its successor was not — but you’re not “A-List” anymore. Joan O still performs regularly and has a following but when was the last time you heard a NEW song by her on mainstream radio?

    Mira S hit big w/ Woody (pun intended) but her big “follow-up” never happened…now, network TV and direct-to-DVD-land both beckon.


    • I would say she had some follow-up, but nothing that hit big. And let’s face fact, Oscar or no Oscar, Mighty Aphrodite was never that big to begin with. I doubt many non-Woody Allen fans have even heard of it. I think the biggest movie of her career box office wise was Romy and Michelle which fell just shy of $30 million in domestic box office. I don’t know for sure because Box Office Mojo doesn’t track Sorvino! She’s not even listed as being in The Mimic which grossed around 25 mil. Mighty Aphrodite, by comparisson, grossed under 7 mil.

      Long story short on Sorvino, she failed to capitalize on the buzz of her Oscar win. Like so many other actors before and after her.


      • re: Oscar or no Oscar, Mighty Aphrodite was never that big to begin with

        Y’know, you sort-of brought up an interesting point: Some folks (not me, but…) have pointed out that the OSCARS are “out of touch” with real-world filmdom. Martin Scorsese has done MANY GREAT FILMS, yet no he get Oscar. A Woody Allen film — as we all know, everyone outside of NYC and LA loves and relates to Woody’s films SO well [sarcasm] — that few non-WA fans saw gets an Oscar. Go figure.

        Another thing: Every year there’s the Oscar for A Short Film Almost No One Has Seen — hey, I’d LIKE to see these short films/short subjects/whatever, but WHERE does the Average Joe/Jane see such films?!? Golly, I’s old enough to recall when going to the movies meant you’d see a cartoon or a Three Stooges short before the Main Feature. NOW WE SEE CAR COMMERCIALS at the movies — eww.


        • You’ll get no argument from me that the Oscars are out of touch. But that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. Consider the alternatives: The People’s Choice Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, etc. The Oscars are what they are, a peer reward. I don’t expect them to be in touch with the tastes of the masses.

          Btw, Scorsese did finally win for The Departed. Many, many years later than it should have happened. But it has finally happened.


  12. Harvey’s Girls

    An interesting article to include Mira and a question: What do all the following actresses have in common? Mira Sorvino, Gretchen Mol, Jessica Alba, Sienna Miller and Uma Thurman.
    They were all at one time “it” girls, which is suppose the the next big breakout star that producer Harvey W. discovered and promoted heavily, only to see the promises of greater things fizzle out. “Every few years, Harvey picks a new girl as his pet. He puts her in a picture or two, takes her to an event, and not unlike Cher Horowitz, makes her a project, an attempted creation. ”
    It also goes into casting couch rumors: “I can’t know their validity. But I do know for each of these girls, there was an enormous PR push, proclamations of “it-girl” and “the next big thing” and then a fairly daunting silence that had to be devastating to these young women who really believed this was their “it.”
    You can speculate after reading the article.


    • Interesting article. I do think Weinstein tried to be a star maker where actresses were concerned. He was successful in pushing young actresses into the spotlight. Less successful at actually making them stars. But, that’s a hard thing to do in a male-dominated industry. Assuming the casting cough rumors are not true, I think Weinstein should be applauded for promoting actresses. If he actually is receiving favors for the promotion, well, that’s gross.

      For decades, people have liked to speculate that these actresses were being exploited. It’s easy to see how the rumors got started. It’s not hard to believe the rumors are at least partially true. But since there is no way to know, I don’t see much point in speculating. I’ll just say I hope the rumors are just that – rumors. And I wish all of these actresses (and actresses in general) well. It’s a tough industry. They need all the luck they can get.

      I’m not sure I agree with the “hunger” theory. I don’t think Sorvino or Mol seemed hungry for fame so much as open to the idea of being pushed into the spotlight. Also, it’s not like this phenomenon is unique to Weinstein or to actresses. Plenty of actors and actresses have gotten a promotional push that didn’t quite work out.


  13. I liked Sorvino’s turn in that Great Gatsby adaptation. It inspired me to ‘cast’ her as the voice of Jean Grey/Phoenix in a DTDVD animated adaptation of the X-Men story arc “The Dark Phoenix Saga”:


  14. I think Mira Sorvino is a fine actress, and it’s too bad some of the films that looked good on paper (such as “The Replacement Killers”, which I thought was okay) torpedoed her career. Nevertheless, I enjoyed “Barcelona”, “Mighty Aphrodite” (I don’t even care for Woody Allen films as much as others do), “Beautiful Girls”, “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” (it’s a clever film about best friends:-) and “Summer of Sam”.


  15. I wonder if Mira in part, suffered from the same sort of problem as say for example, Kurt Russell, Tom Berenger or perhaps Brendan Fraser, if you want to talk about men. What I mean is that because of her versatility so to speak (meaning, that she could just about do any genre), she was never truly able to find her niche or brand. In other words, nobody really knew what to expect when they went to see a “Mira Sorvino” type movie. It was as if, Mira was kind of a character actress in a leading lady’s body if that makes sense.

    I guess, Mira had her biggest success in comedies like “Mighty Aphrodite” and “Romy and Michelle…”, but neither of those movies were really, massive hits (even w/ Mira winning an Oscar for the former). Basically, at the end of the day, Mira simply ran out of time to capitalize off of her Oscar win and audiences/Hollywood in general decided to move on.


    • I think that’s an accurate assessment.


    • Did Mira S really “compare work on a series as [to] a prison sentence”? If so: Well aren’t we hot-snot!

      Btw, re: Both she and her dad had/have stank attitudes. The difference is, Paul has always done TV, even if he thinks he’s too good for it.

      Wasn’t the reason Paul Sorvino left Law & Order was to focus on his singing career? What singing career?!?

      Well, if she did dis TV work, she’s gonna hafta eat ____ and do some (more) because big-time movie work ain’t happening….she’s been in too many turkeys and Woody Allen/Oscar “afterglow” will only take one so far (which is not-very). Just ask Halle Berry (re: Oscar, not WA).


    • Re: Renee Zellweger’s disastrous post-Oscar career:,9644498,2

      Sorvino’s mistake was that she tried to parlay her Oscar into a leading lady career, and did a string of shi**y movies, where she was the lead. Her career would have been in much better shape had she continued to take character parts. Marisa Tomei tried this for a brief period of time as well, but quickly went back to doing supporting roles and her career has stayed pretty strong.

      Frances McDormand and Kathy Bates won lead Oscars and have had a few lead roles but both have mostly stayed character/supporting actresses where both have thrived and stayed in demand.

      by: Anonymous reply 37 02/23/2011 @ 03:39PM


      • Re: Oscar winner Mo’Nique hasn’t had an acting job in almost five years:,13476013,3

        Marisa Tomei’s career didn’t taper off the way Mira Sorvino’s did. She took a few big paycheck/leading lady parts after her Oscar win. They didn’t do well and Tomei quickly went back to making independent movies and mixes the occasional paycheck part with something interesting. Sorvino tried for years to become a leading lady for years had one flop after another. She could have had a nice career as comedic character actress.


        • 10 Oscar-Winning Celebs Whose Movies Always Flop

          Mira Sorvino

          Mira Sorvino was one to watch after winning a Supporting Actress Oscar for Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” in 1995. Soon after, she continued her carefully crafted movie persona of the lovable ditz as Romy White in 1997’s “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.” Since then, Sorvino has hit a dry spell, with 32 movies under her belt and none a box-office hit. She was recognized for her work in the Lifetime Television film “Human Trafficking” in 2005 with a Golden Globe Nomination, but has since become more well-known for her efforts with Amnesty International since 2004. Sorvino has also served as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking.



      Sorvino is the only one that would be considered a “curse”. She was a character actress that tried to become a leading lady, and most of her efforts fell flat. She was also a good comedic actress who could have thrived there, but went for dramas instead with mostly bad results.


  16. AGREED
    love her
    Shes probably not hangin around Hollywood bcuz shez also smarter!


  17. Lebeau, have you ever considered doing a write up on Marisa Tomei? A lot of people seem to think her movies after her oscar win for My Cousin Vinny were not that impressive. I kind of feel that she’s been reduced to small thankless roles in other people’s movies.


  18. i would chris o donnel ,richard gere too


  19. Fingers crossed for a further expansion on Sorvino’s career leading up to her b-day within the next week!


    • I’m sure you have noticed I have been concentrating on new content this month. So Mira Sorvino’s birthday will be celebrated with a gallery but not an update yet. I do plan to go back and do some more updates hopefully sooner rather than later. There’s just so much to do.


  20. Speaking of a Sorvino, her father Paul, today is the 25th anniversary of “Goodfellas”! I played this video game, “Mafia II”, that reminds me of the film (storytelling in video games has come a long way, and “Mafia II” tells a fantastic, albeit short, story).


  21. Mira Sorvino meets (and apologizes to) the real inventor of the Post-It


  22. ‘@ComptonMovie’ Stars Join @MiraSorvino, @DanaDelany to Celebrate IMDb’s 25th Bday! 🎉


  23. 10 Awful Movies That Somehow Stole An Oscar:

    Mighty Aphrodite

    Best Supporting Actress – Mira Sorvino (1995)

    Woody Allen has made an insane number of cherished, iconic films over the last few decades. Mighty Aphrodite is not one of them.

    This is a movie that featured Allen and his cast-mates trying to venture out into new territory. Well, new for Allen anyways. It’s one part condescending romantic comedy and two parts contrived sexual tension, topped off with a big dash of awkwardly placed Greek tragedy.

    Mira Sorvino plays a prostitute and porn star who may literally be dumber than a box of donuts. There is zero nuance to her character, with every last line spoken like she’s trying to remember where she left her car keys. Though the blame can’t all be put on Sorvino, she became the big red bulls-eye the moment she stepped on stage to receive an award for this pile of muck.

    So what, was this simply a case of lacking any real competition? Nope. Joan Allen had been nominated for Nixon and Kate Winslet in it for her role in Sense and Sensibility.


  24. A three-pager. Never going to be one of those again. Even Lacey Chabert got seven, and that was three years ago. I like the growing lengths — allows for a more in-depth read.

    I was born too late to have any idea who Mira Sorvino was. This article, like much of the series, hammered in the lesson that should I become an award-winning actor I’d better capitalize on that…but also give myself time to make sure the capitalized film in question isn’t going to bomb…man, how does anyone sustain a career in the front-of-camera side of showbiz?

    The hostile responses are interesting. I agree it’s probably the title. We’re living in an era of headlines without reading the articles behind them, so I’m guessing Ireland and whoever it was connected with Mira had no idea you were actually writing long treatises on why those actresses deserve a fairer shake.


  25. Who started out with a promising career that really went downhill?

    Mira Sorvino. “Who?” you might ask. Exactly my point. Allow me to explain.

    Mira Sorvino – Oscar Win: Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite (1996)

    It’s pretty easy to explain why Mira Sorvino’s career went downhill after her Oscar win: she peaked too early. After appearing in just four movies, Sorvino landed a huge role in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite which catapulted her into stardom. Suddenly, with an Oscar under her belt, the young actress was starring in mainstream movies such as Mimic and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. In 1999, she co-starred alongside Val Kilmer in At First Sight, and after yet another box office bomb, Mira Sorvino quickly faded from the spotlight.

    No one can blame Sorvino for the career choices she made after winning an Oscar. She went from being an unknown actress to suddenly having tons of acting opportunities and she struck while the iron was hot. It’s just too bad she wound up starring in so many terrible movies, as a result.

    These days, Mira Sorvino is married and has four children. The movies she’s appeared in lately tend to get released directly to DVD, but she mostly uses her celebrity status to support charitable causes and she has spoken in front of Congress against human trafficking. So, good for her.


  26. Mira Sorvino: What killed her career?

    (Fri May 6 2016 11:16:59)

    Seems like she wasn’t selective enough about the roles she took, ended up being in a lot of stinkers, and was left behind.

    (Fri May 6 2016 11:36:22)

    She got married and had a bunch of kids, and she’s busy with humanitarian work, the last I read about her, which was a long time ago. Also, I just checked her age. She’s right up on 50 years-old now. That’ll stick a dagger in any female’s acting career. Seems like she’s made a very fulfilling life for herself away from Hollywood.

    (Sat May 7 2016 00:34:27)

    I read somewhere that she had a reputation for being ‘difficult’ or ‘bitch’ on set?

    (Sat May 7 2016 08:49:36)

    Yeah, turning 40 is a difficult hurdle for actresses. Only the top talents survive it, like the Meryl Streeps and Sigourney Weavers.

    I think Mira cast shade on her own hotness factor by playing some pathetic loser characters, like in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (cringe-worthy awkwardness) and in Beautiful Girls.


    • Re: Actors who were poised to be superstars and then fell off.

      Mira Sorvino suffers from the Shakira syndrome: the cause became her and her career , Hollywood and glamour became secondary.

      Mira accepted doing that movie Human Traffic because she was already a pro woman campaigner she never knew or imagined the extent of sex trafficking and since 2004 she’s a advocate against sex trafficking and dedicates a lot of her life to help victims.


    • Oscar Curse: 15 Actors Whose Careers Went Downhill After Winning


      Woody Allen has guided many actresses to Academy Awards during his career. One of them was Mira Sorvino, who had her breakthrough role in the director’s 1995 comedy Mighty Aphrodite. She plays Linda, the biological mother of Allen’s adopted son. She’s also a prostitute. Sorvino is funny and charming in the role, taking the cliched role of a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold and investing it with sincerity. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work.

      As is often the case, when someone wins one of the supporting awards, they immediately aim to become the lead in movies. Sorvino certainly had the talent and the looks to be a major star. Unfortunately, the projects available to her as a lead weren’t ideal. Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic left her overshadowed by special effects, The Replacement Killers made her the “hot girl” next to Chow Yun-Fat, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a bust that only achieved cult popularity later on. These days, Sorvino often works in faith-based films, including Like Dandelion Dust and Do You Believe? She’s quite good in these movies, but they don’t give her anywhere near the exposure that her Oscar-winning role did.


  27. Mira Sorvino Plays an Addict Trying to Rebuild Her Life in ‘Quitters’ (Exclusive Video)


  28. Mira Sorvino

    The actor: Though encouraged by her father, Paul Sorvino, to do anything but follow him into acting, Mira Sorvino couldn’t stay away from the family business for long. After working her own way up with roles on soap operas and in indies such as Barcelona, Sorvino landed her biggest break—and nabbed an Oscar—playing a happy-go-lucky prostitute who gets the Pygmalion treatment in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, a star-making turn that was quickly followed by the cultishly adored Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion. Both films promised an easy career of playing fun and flighty blondes, but the Harvard-educated Sorvino deliberately challenged herself by mixing action films like The Replacement Killers with period pieces like The Triumph Of Love, and dabbling in everything from fighting giant cockroaches in Mimic to tangling with Mariah Carey in WiseGirls. These days Sorvino continues to be up for anything in independent features like the Nancy Savoca-directed Union Square, which recently had its U.S. première at the Austin Film Festival. She can also currently be seen discussing her Mighty Aphrodite experience in the PBS documentary American Masters: Woody Allen.


  29. Swan’s Crossing aired 65 episodes, not 13. It was a daily soap opera that lasted 13 weeks.


  30. How Will Ferrell’s ‘Hilarious’ Cameo for ‘Romy and Michele’ Wound Up on the Cutting-Room Floor

    Twenty years ago today the comedy favorite Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion hit movie theaters, and to mark the anniversary the film’s director, David Mirkin, joined Yahoo Movies for a Facebook Live interview. Mirkin, also a key architect of The Simpsons, dropped all sorts of nostalgic nuggets about the film, which memorably paired Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow as clueless twentysomethings determined to fake their success at their 10-year reunion in Tucson, Arizona.

    One of the best tidbits came when Mirkin recounted how he convinced Will Ferrell to make a cameo in the film, only to cut the scene following a test screening. “Right when Romy is found out that she didn’t invent Post-It notes and the girls are humiliating her about that, she gets a call from her cellphone that she set up with a waiter,” Mirkin explained (watch above). The idea being that, with mobile phones being an “important” status symbol when they initially hit the market in the 1990s, Romy would seem like a big deal by taking the call in front of her former classmates. The waiter she recruited to make the call was played by Ferrell.

    “He was becoming a huge star, but he agreed to do this cameo for me. Flew out from Saturday Night Live. He was hilarious as this waiter who was calling her right at this moment. But it was so upsetting and humiliating for the audience to watch Romy get completely destroyed… The audience couldn’t recover from it. We had about five minutes of people still sniffing.”

    It made Mirkin realize these characters, whose Dumb and Dumber-esque naïveté drew big laughs, were also tugging at heartstrings of test audiences. “They fell for them much harder than I thought,” he said. “So we had to lose the sequence.”

    The deleted scene was not included in the film’s 15th anniversary Blu-ray release from 2012, so it has never been seen by the public. But Mirkin is holding out hope: “The 25th anniversary Blu-ray is going to have all of this,” he proclaimed (take that with a grain of salt). “So stay alive five more years.”

    Some other highlights from the interview (watch in full below):

    —Toni Collette could have played Romy. The Australian actress was fresh off her breakout role in the sleeper hit Muriel’s Wedding when she met with Mirkin to discuss the role of the flighty Jaguar dealership cashier. “Toni was really interesting and terrific,” he said. “I think she was a little worried about nailing what we wanted to do with the [L.A.’s San Fernando] Valley accent and energy. So I don’t think she was completely comfortable.”

    —Speaking of Romy’s accent, here’s where that deep voice came from: “It’s a combination of Valley and a certain amount of Philadelphia, which is so bizarre, because [Sorvino] isn’t from Philadelphia, I’m from Philadelphia,” Mirkin said. “I have no idea why she channeled that, but you can hear it, and when we were working on it, you knew it was right. It was part of what was wrong with the character. The way that she talked. So it was good, it was perfect.”

    —Kudrow improvised much of the scene where she’s hit by a limo, and also did some of her own stunts. “It’s Lisa that’s rolling across the roof,” Mirkin said of the film’s famous dream sequence. “And Lisa completely improvised ‘Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.’ And then when she comes off the back of the car, she also improvises, ‘Oh, come on.’ That’s pure Lisa Kudrow. She tells me to this day that’s the favorite scene that she’s ever shot in her entire career.”

    —Quentin Tarantino played a vital role in the film. The Pulp Fiction director was dating Sorvino, and according to Mirkin, “I should’ve put him in the movie, because he was around a lot… He was such a supportive force. He was so positive about this movie. He was the one that loved the script and told Mira to look at it.” As a nod to Q.T,, Mirkin placed a couple Easter eggs from Pulp Fiction — a Big Kahuna Burger bag and an ad for Red Apple cigarettes — in the background of the film.

    —Not so fast on that sequel talk. Despite reports circulating that Sorvino and Kudrow would be game for another go at Romy and Michele, Mirkin stressed there’s nothing concrete yet. “There are no plans for a sequel,” he clarified, before leaving open the possibility. “If we had the right idea… I would never turn down working with those amazing actors again and revisiting it again. But we’re all incredibly quality conscious… It’s all a matter of whether something would hold up. You don’t want to ruin something that’s hung around like this.”


  31. thechickinthemiddle

    From Ronan Farrow’s “New Yorker” article.

    “Miira Sorvino, who starred in several of Weinstein’s films, told me that he sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into a physical relationship while they worked together. She said that, at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 1995, she found herself in a hotel room with Weinstein, who produced the movie she was there to promote, “Mighty Aphrodite,” for which she later won an Academy Award. “He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,” she recalled. She scrambled for ways to ward him off, telling him it was against her religion to date married men. (At the time, Weinstein was married to Eve Chilton, a former assistant.) Then she left the room.

    A few weeks later, in New York City, her phone rang after midnight. It was Weinstein, saying that he had new marketing ideas for the film and asking to meet. Sorvino offered to meet him at an all-night diner, but he told her he was coming over to her apartment and hung up. “I freaked out,” she told me. She called a friend and asked him to come over and pose as her boyfriend. The friend hadn’t arrived by the time Weinstein rang her doorbell. “Harvey had managed to bypass my doorman,” she said. “I opened the door terrified, brandishing my twenty-pound Chihuahua mix in front of me, as though that would do any good.” When she told Weinstein that her new boyfriend was on his way, Weinstein became dejected and left.
    Sorvino said that she struggled for years with whether to come forward with her story, partly because she was aware that it was mild compared to the experiences of other women, including another actress she spoke to at the time. (That actress told me that she locked herself in a hotel bathroom to escape Weinstein, and that he masturbated in front of her. She said it was “a classic case” of “someone not understanding the word ‘no’. . . I must have said no a thousand times.”) The fact that Weinstein was so instrumental to Sorvino’s success also made her hesitate: “I have great respect for Harvey as an artist, and owe him and his brother a debt of gratitude for the early success in my career, including the Oscar.” She had professional contact with Weinstein for years after the incident, and remains close friends with his brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein. (She said that she never told Bob about his brother’s behavior.)

    Sorvino said that she felt afraid and intimidated, and that the incidents had a significant impact on her. When she told a female employee at Miramax about the harassment, the woman’s reaction “was shock and horror that I had mentioned it.” Sorvino appeared in a few more of Weinstein’s films afterward, but felt that saying no to Weinstein and reporting the harassment had ultimately hurt her career. She said, “There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.”


  32. A real shame about Harvey Weinstein; wow, he messed with way to many people, and just got out of hand. I Always thought he was a jerk anyways, but he’s apparently worse than I thought.


  33. I always wondered what happened to Mira, too. Now we know: Harvey Weinstein. As reported this week, Ms. Sorvino wouldn’t put out so he cooled her career. I believe her and the other victims of that man and of the casting couch system of sexual abuse in Hollywood. It’s the same for women in any industry– I had it happen to me from BOTH sexes in the fashion industry. This must stop now.


    • Agreed. And this is not limited to one guy. It’s not. Harvey is just the guy in the news today. There are a lot of other Harveys out there ruining people’s lives and careers.


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