Who says you cant do it all? Mira Sorvino finds a way to balance being a mom and an action star.
YOU COULD SAY LIFE looks awfully good from where Mira Sorvino sits, which right now is the inside of a seaside café that dangles miraculously from the edge of a cliff on the coastline of Morocco. Shes here, in a dusty middle-of-nowhere North African village, for the waning days of a nearly two-month movie shoot that has crossed several continents. Having survived the grueling experience, Sorvino seems downright giddy just to be intact.
Shes also clearly in her element, and her excitement about her new project is palpable. The movie, set to air this month as a two-part miniseries on NBC, is called The Last Templar. Its based on the bestselling novel by Raymond Khoury, who cowrote the script with Suzette Couture. Sorvino stars as an archaeologist on an adventurous trek, and the varied-genre actress -- who has played a ditzy high school reunion attendee and a brilliant scientist with equal aplomb -- gives another convincing performance.
Shes fabulous, says executive producer Robert Halmi Sr., who also worked with Sorvino on the film Human Trafficking. Shes captivating as this tough archaeologist who can knock a guy down. It was demanding emotionally, but she pulled it off.
The cast -- which also includes Scott Foley, Victor Garber, and Omar Sharif -- survived Moroccan temperatures that swelled to 126 degrees Fahrenheit and a swirling sandstorm that nearly shut down production. But Sorvino never balked. Its not often in an actors life youre asked to helm one of these, she says. Its this huge big-action adventure/romance/ drama/comedy. Ive done so many different kinds of movies, but nothing quite like this.
Sorvino certainly has made her fair share of flicks; at her busiest point, she made nine movies in three years, including The Replacement Killers, Romy and Micheles High School Reunion, and Summer of Sam. After going full speed for so long, she took a much-deserved break from film.
I just had to get away, she says. I felt Id been working nonstop, just jumping from movie to movie.
So she retreated to Europe for a time. Then, in 2004, she married baseball-player-turned-actor Christopher Backus, with whom she has had two children. Now that shes a busy mom, Sorvino is being more selective about the roles she chooses, waiting for parts that best fit into her family life rather than trying to fit her family life into a movie shoot. Her approach seems to be working -- she already has three films set for release later this year.
Im in a great place, Sorvino says, smiling. I can only gauge it by how things are going for me and what I want out of life. What I want most is my family. My children are the best thing thats ever happened to me. The fact that Im doing interesting work is just icing on the cake. I guess I could have had a bigger career. But right now, its perfect.
Mira Sorvino plays a whip-smart archaeologist in this months The Last Templar. The real-life Harvard grad has played a lot of similarly brilliant characters on TV and film -- and some less-savvy ones as well. We show where some of our favorites fall on the intelligence scale. -- K.P.P.
As an entomologist, Sorvinos character battles giant mutant cockroaches living in the subways of New York. She may be the one that causes the problem in the first place, but at least shes sharp enough to figure out the solution.
|House M.D., 2008
In an episode of this popular medical series, Sorvino guest stars as a psychiatrist conducting a research mission at the South Pole. When she falls ill, she must perform surgery on herself, receiving instructions from Dr. Gregory House via webcam.
|Norma Jean and Marilyn, 1996
Sorvino plays a ditzy Marilyn Monroe in this HBO feature, which follows Monroes Hollywood rise and subsequent fall. The role was enough to earn Sorvino an Emmy nod.
|Mighty Aphrodite, 1995
Sorvino won both a best supporting actress Oscar and a Golden Globe for her goofy portrayal of a naive adult-film star who gives up her baby for adoption.
|Romy and Micheles High School Reunion, 1997
Costarring with Lisa Kudrow, Sorvino plays one half of a dim-witted pair of buds who attend their high school reunion pretending to be smart businesswomen who invented the Post-it.