While growing up in Tenafly, New Jersey, Mira Sorvino was exposed to the acting profession at a very early age. Although Mira, born in September of 1967, was never involved in acting as a youngster, her father, Paul Sorvino, was in the business at the time. This enabled her to get a good feel for what the industry was all about.
Even though her father had chosen acting as his profession, he discouraged young Mira and her two siblings from getting into the business during their earlier years. He felt that education should be their top priority and that acting would only lead to unnecessary psychological pressures that plague so many young actors.
Mira accepted her father's wishes and concentrated fully on her education, although the acting bug had bitten her at a very early age, and it was always something that was of great interest to her. Her strong devotion to her studies ultimately paid off, however, when she was accepted into Harvard University. Upon graduating in 1990 with a degree in East Asian Studies, Mira traveled to Beijing, and it was there that she learned to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese.
When Mira eventually returned to the United States, she let her inhibitions get the best of her, and headed to New York City to pursue a career in acting. Much to the dismay of her father's wishes, she felt that it was the right thing to do at the time and followed her heart. Discovering quickly that this was no easy feat, she worked for almost 3 years as a struggling actress and spent the rest of her free time working as a waitress in the city.
In order to prove herself and stay true to her independent ways, Mira refused to use her father's connections in show business. Her initial step into the industry came in 1992, when she landed a job as a production assistant in Robert De Niro's film company, Tribeca. From this point on, she managed to work her way up to the casting director's position on the set of Rob Weiss film, Amongst Friends.
Then the biggest break of them all came for Mira. She managed to land a role as the film's female lead character. At this point, Mira was beginning to receive some well-deserved recognition for her acting abilities, especially from people within the film festival circuit. Things were finally starting to pick up for her.
Mira's screen presence in 1993's Amongst Friends was enough to attract the attention of prominent film directors Whit Stillman and Robert Redford. As a result, in 1994, she landed her first big screen role in Quiz Show, which was directed by Redford. Shortly thereafter, Mira found herself starring in an increasing number of films including Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite (for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Golden Globe in 1995), Beautiful Girls, co-starring Uma Thurman and Natalie Portman, as well as Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Each role challenged Mira's acting abilities according to the respective movie genre, whether being comedic, dramatic, etc. However, regardless of the type of role in which she was cast, Mira excelled in her performances, nonetheless. She also starred in the box-office horror flick, Mimic, and hit the $2 million payroll mark when she acted alongside Asian action hero, Chow Yun-Fat in the 1998 thriller The Replacement Killers.
In 1999, Mira starred in the romantic drama At First Sight, alongside Val Kilmer, and later that year she landed yet another lead role in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam.
As for Mira's future film projects, she will be starring alongside Harvey Keitel in the holocaust-theme based The Grey Zone, as well as in The Triumph of Love, both slated for a 2001 release date. We also can't wait to see her co-starring role with Mariah Carey in Wise Girls, which prompted false rumors that her and Mariah were involved in a catfight.