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Mira Sorvino

Mira SorvinoBorn: 28-Sep-1967
Birthplace: Tenafly, NJ

Gender: Female
Religion: Atheist [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mighty Aphrodite

As a young girl, Mira Sorvino read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, and became fascinated with China. She started hanging out in Chinatown, and soon picked up the Mandarin language from Chinese-American girlfriends. She was a straight-A student in high school, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in East Asian Studies. Her thesis was on the Nanjing Anti-African protests. She now speaks Mandarin fluently, and though Chow Yun-Fat's native language is Cantonese, they were able to chat at length in Mandarin on the set of The Replacement Killers.

Her father, noted character actor Paul Sorvino, discouraged Mira from entering acting. She worked as a waitress and gave Mandarin lessons for several years, while auditioning for stage, TV, and movie parts, and usually being rejected. She briefly appeared on the soap opera Guiding Light and had small roles in several minor movies, until 1995 when she played a hooker and porn star in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite, and won an Oscar. Since then, though, with only the rarest exceptions, she has appeared in artsy films, eschewing offers of potential big-budget blockbusters. Her more memorable films include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, John Woo's The Replacement Killers, and Spike Lee's Summer of Sam. She also battled killer cockroaches in Mimic.


[1] GQ magazine, August 1997 interview.

Father: Paul Sorvino (actor)
Mother: Lorraine Sorvino (therapist, div.)
Mother: Vanessa Arico (stepmother, m. Paul Sorvino 1991, div. 1996)
Brother: Michael Sorvino (occasionally an actor)
Sister: Amanda Sorvino (runs animal resuce mission, b. 1971)
Boyfriend: Quentin Tarantino (film director, together 1996-98)
Boyfriend: Olivier Martinez (French actor, together 1999-2002)
Husband: Christopher Backus (waiter/actor, m. 11-Jun-2004, two daughters, two sons)
Daughter: Mattea Angel Backus (b. 3-Nov-2004)
Son: Johnny Christopher King Backus (b. 29-May-2006)
Son: Holden Paul Terry Backus (b. 22-Jun-2009)
Daughter: Lucia Backus (b. 3-May-2012)

    High School: Dwight Englewood High School, Englewood, NJ (1986)
    University: BA East Asian Studies, Harvard University (1990)

    Oscar for Best Supporting Actress 1996 for Mighty Aphrodite
    Golden Globe 1996 for Mighty Aphrodite
    Italian Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Smoking

    TELEVISION
    The Guiding Light Julie Camalletti (1991)
    Swans Crossing Sophia Decastro (1992)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Trade of Innocents (28-Sep-2012)
    Woody Allen: A Documentary (30-May-2012) · Herself
    Smitty (10-Apr-2012)
    Union Square (15-Sep-2011) · Lucy
    Angels Crest (22-Apr-2011) · Angie
    The Presence (Aug-2010) · Woman
    Multiple Sarcasms (8-Apr-2010) · Cari
    Attack on Leningrad (15-May-2009)
    Like Dandelion Dust (25-Feb-2009)
    The Last Templar (25-Jan-2009)
    Reservation Road (13-Sep-2007)
    Covert One: The Hades Factor (9-Apr-2006)
    Human Trafficking (24-Oct-2005)
    The Final Cut (11-Feb-2004) · Delila
    Gods and Generals (10-Feb-2003)
    Between Strangers (30-Aug-2002) · Natalia
    Angel of Death (24-Apr-2002)
    Wisegirls (13-Jan-2002) · Meg Kennedy
    The Grey Zone (13-Sep-2001)
    Triumph of Love (6-Sep-2001)
    The Great Gatsby (14-Jan-2001)
    Welcome to Hollywood (27-Oct-2000) · Herself
    Bamboozled (18-Sep-2000) · Herself
    Lisa Picard Is Famous (14-May-2000) · Herself
    Summer of Sam (20-May-1999)
    At First Sight (12-Jan-1999) · Amy Benic
    Free Money (3-Dec-1998) · Agent Karen Polarski
    Lulu on the Bridge (14-Aug-1998) · Celia Burns
    Too Tired to Die (20-Jan-1998)
    The Replacement Killers (12-Jan-1998) · Meg Coburn
    Mimic (22-Aug-1997) · Susan Tyler
    Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (25-Apr-1997) · Romy
    Norma Jean & Marilyn (18-May-1996)
    Sweet Nothing (27-Mar-1996)
    Beautiful Girls (9-Feb-1996) · Sharon Cassidy
    Tales of Erotica (1996)
    Blue in the Face (15-Sep-1995) · Young Lady
    Mighty Aphrodite (13-Sep-1995)
    The Buccaneers (5-Feb-1995)
    Quiz Show (14-Sep-1994) · Sandra Goodwin
    Parallel Lives (14-Aug-1994)
    Barcelona (Jun-1994) · Marta
    Amongst Friends (23-Jul-1993) · Laura
    New York Cop (1993) · Maria


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