Hey. I'm an actress, a mom, and very excited to tell you about my new project Intruders which premieres Saturday, August 23 on BBC America.

Victoria from reddit will be assisting me today. AMA!


edit well, thank you everyone. This has been not only painless but lots of fun. You now know some surprising "little known things" about me. And I hope you are all going to watch Intruders on its opening night August 23 at 10 PM ET. And keep watching throughout our 8 episodes on BBC America. Zaijian.

Comments: 149 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

escherbach12 karma

Hi Mira, thanks for doing the AMA.

We chose Mira as the middle name for our baby daughter because of its latin meaning - "wonderful". When we mention it people often say, "oh like Mira Sorvino" - do you know why your parents called you Mira?

(And it's cool that she has such an intelligent and talented actress as a namesake :-) )

MIraSorvino17 karma

Aw! How sweet. Yes, my parents also chose it for the meaning of "wonderful." It's also the root of the word miracle, and it's the name of a star - I think it's a red giant variable, but I might be wrong. And it was the name of a great russian actress, Mira Rostova.

escherbach7 karma

That's right, it was the first variable star to be discovered, and was named "Mira" because it was so, well, wonderful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mira

I used to also mention that to friends and relatives, but they would start looking at me funny. The fact you mentioned this makes me smile, thank you :-)

MIraSorvino10 karma

Cute. Thank you for confirming it.

GrandMasterT12 karma

Mira, could you tell us an interesting or funny story about working with Robin Williams in 'The Final Cut?"

MIraSorvino19 karma

Every moment with Robin Williams was interesting and funny. I can't really separate them out, because he made every second with him fascinating and delightful and entertaining. He was probably the funniest person I've ever met, but also one of the kindest and most generous. And I am incredibly saddened by his loss.

emergdoc7 karma

How did winning the academy award change your life back then, and how does it affect you now?

MIraSorvino12 karma

It was the most amazing, unexpected honor. Completely changed my career overnight, gave me opportunities I couldn't have even dreamed of. And to this day, I hold it as the most incredible memory, that night I got to share with my family and with fans and the Academy.

jonemillard7 karma

Hey Mira,

I am a big fan of your work. I really loved your performance in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Was it difficult to perfect that voice? And what was your inspiration for it?

MIraSorvino11 karma

Actually, I stole the voice from my sister Amanda. I just brought it down maybe an octave to make it lower, but that was the way my sister used to speak growing up, even though we were raised in New Jersey she sounded like she was from the Valley.

GetFreeCash7 karma

Hi Mira! I came by to say that I'm a big fan of your work, especially in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Really excited you're on Reddit right now!

On to my question. I understand you've worked extensively with Amnesty International. What is a cause or conflict occurring right now that you think deserves more worldwide attention?

Thanks again for doing this AMA, Mira!

MIraSorvino13 karma

Thank you.

I'm currently the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime's Goodwill Ambassador on Human trafficking, and modern slavery has become my consuming passion in the last 5 years.

I spend a lot of time advocating for victims & survivors of human trafficking, both globally and in our own country, and making efforts to bring states' laws versus trafficking up to our federal standard.

Slavery affects every country, including our own. And is one of the grossest violations one human being can commit to another. So I feel this is the way in which I can be effective, not just in one area of the world, but in every area of the world.

Stewpid7 karma

how do you prepare for a role where the character is much different from your actual persona such as a street smart prostitute, a gun slinging document forger, or even a flighty airhead?

MIraSorvino9 karma

I believe that we all have every part of the range of human experience (or behavior) in us. So it's just about finding the part of myself that I share in common with the character. That being said, there might be some roles that I absolutely couldn't relate to and therefore would turn down.

twogunsalute6 karma

Hi Mira, what is the one fact you would want everyone here to know regarding human trafficking?

MIraSorvino7 karma

That it is in every country in the world. In the United States as well. And that it won't stop unless every person actively fights against it, because the profits are too great, and the risk too low for the criminals to stop.

You can read more on how to get involved in your state on http://polarisproject.org. If you're interested in fighting child sex trafficking, http://www.ecpat.net and https://www.ecpatusa.org are great places to start. Another great organization is http://www.castla.org/homepage

http://www.unodc.org or http://www.ungift.org are the United Nations organizations I work with on an international level.

http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com has great documentaries and articles on modern slavery, including everyday in Cambodia which I am the host of and wrote an online journal about.

There are so many ways to get involved. Just follow your heart and get started.

GrandMasterT6 karma

Mira, I am a big fan of you and your Dad. What was your favorite father/daughter moment growing up?

MIraSorvino16 karma

Oh, we had so many!

My father is such a wonderful father.

We did love watching old Star Trek re-runs together. Just talking with him was great. Listening to him play the piano or sing his favorite Neopolitan songs was always beautiful. But just spending time together as a family, so many times were special, it wasn't like we rarely saw him, we saw him when he wasn't working. I loved Christmas mornings, when he would have to construct an incredibly complicated toy, he spent hours on the floor building these palaces of childhood imagination - I'm just so grateful for everything he's ever done for me.

lectroboy6 karma


MIraSorvino20 karma

Can you keep one? ;)

My husband calls me a "squirrel" because everywhere I go, I will collect little bits of food, whether candy or protein bars or an uneaten bun from the catering table, and wrap it up in a napkin and keep it in my purse for later. Sometimes it resurfaces weeks later.

moombathon6 karma

How did you first get into acting? When did you become interested in it?

MIraSorvino8 karma

I did a school play when I was 8 called The Mystery of the Missing Capitalizations and Punctuations - and I was bitten by the proverbial bug. I was Miss Bigbrain - a white haired, bespectacled teacher with a very strange voice.

moombathon5 karma

Do you watch yourself in your own performances? Or is it weird to you to see yourself?

MIraSorvino10 karma

Just the way like nobody likes the way they sound on a tape recorder or the way they look in pictures, I think all of us actors feel a little uncomfortable watching ourselves. But I have to get over that feeling so I can watch my work critically and learn from it, make sure I'm on track with the character, and then ultimately to appreciate the group effort we made putting together a film or a tv show.

judomonkeykyle5 karma

What is your favorite role that your father has played?

MIraSorvino10 karma

The role of Lowell Myers, a deaf traveler who defended a deaf-mute young man played by LeVar Burton in the television movie "Dummy." He was amazing. His dedication to perfecting deaf-speech and how it would change for his character over time as he got further and further away from the moment he lost his hearing as a child was so inspirational to me. And his courtroom closing arguments blew me away. When I asked him later how many takes they had for that monologue, he said "Just one." He did it in one take.

Squidward95 karma

Mira what's your favorite animal?

MIraSorvino10 karma

I think a deer? I named my dog "Deer" and he recently passed away, he was 23 years old, he looked like a miniature deer. He was a mutt. He was a Heinz 57 from the pound in NYC, the ASPCA.

NinaBambina5 karma

Can you still speak fluent Mandarin Chinese?

MIraSorvino14 karma

It's mamahuhuda. Which means "so so" or "half-horse, half-tiger."

illuminateflow5 karma

What do you usually eat for breakfast?

MIraSorvino6 karma

Um... Okay. There's like 3 different versions.

One: a mixture of various health food cereals with greek vanilla yogurt on top and fresh berries, organic hopefully.

B: a hopefully healthier than not waffle, ideally organic but sometimes my husband buys Eggos, with organic peanut butter and once again, berries.

And the third would be one of scrambled eggs with truffles and gouda cheese. That's in order of least time consuming to most time-consuming.

GrandMasterT4 karma

Mira, you have worked with some of the best directors, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Guillermo del Toro. Have you ever considered being a director yourself?

MIraSorvino8 karma

Originally before I decided to go into acting 100%, I did consider for a time being a film director. I did direct some plays in college, including After the Fall by Arthur Miller (which is kind of about Marilyn Monroe) but ultimately I decided that at this point in my life - and up through this point - my main channel for expressing whatever it is I want to say internally is acting. There may come a day when I'm more mature and have more time, and I could take the 2 years that it requires to direct a motion picture. But at this point, I'm content to be a good mom to my kids, and let stories percolate in my mind that I can tell when I'm older as a director.

herecomesthedrums4 karma

Hi Mira, what's it like working with John Simm and are there any funny related stories you can tell us? :)

MIraSorvino7 karma

John Simm is an incredible actor, and colleague. He's warm, sensitive, intelligent, and really tremendous in his role of Jack Whelan in Intruders. He has an everyman quality but also hidden darkness that he can tap into when needed. He's also a heckuva nice guy, and a family man.

armirchou4 karma

What was it like dating Quentin Tarantino?

armirchou2 karma

He seems like a fascinating mind.

MIraSorvino8 karma

Quentin is brilliant. His mind is like a racehorse, it's hard to keep up but well-worth it.

CrawfordShepard4 karma

How was it working with Chow Yun-fat? Did he speak much Mandarin? I seem to recall he spoke Cantonese in a lot of his earlier movies before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

MIraSorvino5 karma

He does speak some Mandarin, but Hong Kong Cantonese is his native language. He is a terrific action star, I learned a lot by watching him.

GrandMasterT4 karma

Mira, what was it like being directed by Woody Allen and how did he bring out the best in you?

MIraSorvino8 karma

Woody gave the actors license to follow their own instincts. And that was an incredible gift and responsibility. And knowing that it was him, the bar was set very high so you tried your absolute hardest to be as present & inspired at every moment you were working with him. He encouraged improvisation, which I think personally brings out some of my better comedic moments. But he also wrote one of the greatest comedic roles ever that I was fortunate enough to be able to play.

drickavatten3 karma


How did it happen that you came to play a character with a multi episode arc on Psych? As seen from the bloopers and "Psych-Outs" the cast seems to be a pretty funny bunch even when they are not shooting a scene. Do you have any experiences to that effect that you could share?

I immensely enjoyed Romy and Michele's High School Reunion with the soundtrack even strengthening my love for the movie. Could you talk a little bit about making that movie and share any behind-the-scenes stories?

Thank you and greetings from Estonia.

MIraSorvino4 karma

It was the final season of PSYCH and they were having all kinds of guests come on and play, and I had a terrific time coming and being silly. The whole cast and crew were an amazing, tight-knit group. When anyone wrapped, they would all sing "Happy Birthday" to them with guitar and full-voice.

I just remember on ROMY having a hard time not laughing during certain takes. And sometimes ruining takes by bursting out into guffaws because something I was saying or doing was so ridiculous.

futurebillandted3 karma

What is the Dirtiest joke you care to share with us?

MIraSorvino8 karma

I wish I could - it nearly ruined my relationship with my high school french teacher. It was written in my notebook when he was gathering our notebooks to grade them during a test - he thrust the notebook back in my face midway through the test, and I nearly died. I immediately lied and said I hadn't written it, boldfaced. I didn't know what else to do. If I told you the joke, you'd be horrified. It's really disgusting.

beernerd3 karma

How do you balance motherhood with your work and do you think your kids will continue your family's acting legacy?

MIraSorvino11 karma

Good question.

My kids are at the heart of any decision I make. I agonize over taking long jobs, especially if they are away. In the case of deciding to do INTRUDERS, I reasoned we could take half of a school year and we could take the children up to Vancouver for the second half of the school year rather than me commuting back & forth. And it turned out to be a great decision. We had a wonderful time together as a family, in British Columbia, and tried lots of new things including snowboarding.

My daughter has shown great talent & interest in acting, however at this age she (and we) are very content to stay in amateur theatricals.

beernerd2 karma

That sounds wonderful. I hear BC is beautiful.

If you don't mind a follow-up question... I have a daughter myself (she's only two years old right now) and I want to make sure she has every opportunity to pursue whatever makes her happy. If she has a passion for theater, what kind of programs/activities should I look for that will let her pursue it?

MIraSorvino6 karma

Well, two might be a little young, because I think at that age they should just play dress-up and plays in your backyard. I forgot - I did direct and write and act in a play at 5, with Hope Davis, the actress, in my backyard for the neighborhood called The Dutch Doll about a doll that gets sick an has to be taken to the doll doctor and it almost dies!

So that was obviously a positive experience.

Maybe once she's in elementary school - you kind of have to be able to read to memorize lines. She can perform in plays at her school, there's also usually some fun community children's theater that she can join in on in the summertimes or after school, and my kids have enjoyed that.

forwardseat3 karma

First, thank you so much for Romy and Michelle. It makes me happy :)

Second, what's going on with "gray dapple" these days? I'm involved in TB retraining and rehoming and haven't heard anything about it recently. Is your family still actively involved in this?

MIraSorvino5 karma

My sister still is. That's really her charity. My focus is more on modern-day slavery, but I believe she is still on Facebook and rescuing horses and retraining them and putting them up for adoption.

theArnoldFans13 karma

Mira, Are you a tough girl who could handle a role in an Expendables movie and how often do you hit the gym?

MIraSorvino10 karma

Well, I have been known to work out at Freddy Roach's Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood...

I work out like 3-4 times a week. Not boxing as much these days, more dancing and running. But I could probably hold my own in EXPENDABLES. Bring it on!

HookerOnStilts3 karma

What was your favorite movie to work on, and why was it Romy and Michele's High School Renunion?

MIraSorvino11 karma

I do actually think that Romy & Michele was probably the most fun I've had. I loved working on several others, but in the case of some I was too nervous (as in the case of MIGHTY APHRODITE) to enjoy the full-on comedic experience, or too enmired in the seriousness of the story (such as in NORMA-JEAN & MARILYN for HBO).

Bigassbird3 karma

Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood.

Love your work Mira. Will Intruders be available on BBC over here in the UK?

MIraSorvino5 karma

Yes! It will be on BBC 2. Hopefully sometime in the fall!

nkleszcz3 karma

So much great talent came from Romy & Michelle's HS Reunion. Thank you for that film. Quick question: that dance sequence you did with Lisa Kudrow and Alan Cumming; how long did it take for you to practice that? Was there any story behind the making of that dance sequence?

MIraSorvino8 karma

We practiced it for about 2 weeks. It was choreographed using whatever our skill levels allowed us to do. So I had taken ballet as a kid, so I incorporated some ballet moves into it. I think I do some chainé turns and an attitude or two. But I tried to also look like I was a gymnast always finishing a routine with that kind of triumphant "V for Victory" arm pose, so she was a little ridiculous.

VerumInInanis3 karma

1#: Can you get me inspired to watch your new show?

2#: What would be the perfect move to sweep you off your feet?

MIraSorvino9 karma

1) Muwahaha. It's like nothing you've ever seen before. It is truly original, and chilling, and addictive. It's about the lives of normal people intersecting with a secret society that chases immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others. A creepy, paranormal thriller but with a human heart at its base.

2) Well, I'm married. So this is just in a hypothetical alternate universe. Hmm, now I'm stumped. My husband's already done it.

Jux_2 karma

Wikipedia states you were once an athiest but are now a Chrisitian. What triggered the change for you?

MIraSorvino12 karma

I was never an atheist. That's an error. I've always been Christian, I was raised Episcopalian and I am still Episcopalian. I was actually re-baptized along with my children by my minister, who is also my godmother, and who married me and my husband. Another error on Wikipedia is that I was born in New Jersey. That's a lie: I was born in Manhattan, New York.

Kr0w19632 karma

The clips we've seen for the Intruders look amazing. You mentioned in a TV interview today having seen the first 3 episodes. My question Mira, is just how good can this show be? It looks as though it will be amazing.

MIraSorvino5 karma

IT IS. It's incredible. It's an amazing show.

Episode 3 is even better than episode 2! They get better and better.

You're all going to love it, I assure you.

GiftTag2 karma

Hi Mira! What, please, is your favorite ice cream?

MIraSorvino4 karma

Okay. There's a few.

I'd say mint chocolate chip was the first one that came to mind. I always like chocolate chip cookie dough. And I love hazelnut gelato.

StormyJMaster2 karma

Hello Mira, what was it like working with Guillermo Del Toro?

MIraSorvino7 karma

Guillermo is a certified genius. There's nobody better than him in the genre. I absolutely loved watching his incredible mind work.

Whybambiwhy2 karma

How do you deal with negative comments/posts on social media?

MIraSorvino5 karma

Honestly? I don't read them much. I have actually found a lot of goodwill out there. I don't waste time on negativity.

dr3wfr4nk1 karma

Which do you prefer? Acting in movies or acting in TV series?

MIraSorvino3 karma

They're not that different, especially now with the incredible high quality that comes with certain cable projects, especially those by BBC America :)

I found that Intruders was like making a brilliant, artistic independent film, but instead of it lasting only 1.5 hours onscreen, you had 8 full hours to really mine the depths of the characters and story.

timnjax1 karma

Hey Mira, so happy to see you back acting again. It may be an elementary question, but...where have you been??

MIraSorvino4 karma

I haven't been anywhere, I've still been acting all of this time but a lot of the projects have been smaller independent movies. That doesn't mean they're not some of my favorites. Union Square in particular from a year and a half ago is one of my career bests (in my opinion). I also have had 4 children in the last 10 years.

man_mayo1 karma

Is there a scene from your career you'd like to have another shot at?

MIraSorvino3 karma


You know, ultimately you always make peace with whatever ends up in the film. One isn't coming to mind. Is that ridiculous? That I feel okay about all my scenes?

CobraCornelius1 karma

In 'Summer of Sam' there is a very tense love-making scene between you and John Leguizamo where he humps you very quickly for 8 seconds and then he rolls over and says goodnight. Was this scene difficult to film without laughing?

Thank you

P.S. you are a super babe!

MIraSorvino3 karma

Thanks. Sadly, there is no love scene that I feel like I can laugh during, because they are always so uncomfortable to shoot because you have a full camera crew aiming at you, and you are scantily clad simulating sex. I can say that John was a terrific scene partner, and we got through some of those difficult scenes by supporting each other (the worst of which was the Plato's Retreat scene).

Cmanrav1 karma

Thank you for doing this. It's been great to learn more about you. Very important reddit question. Would you rather fight a horse sized duck or a 100 duck sized horses?

MIraSorvino10 karma

I'd rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, Because ultimately I'm taller than them and horses aren't vicious usually. I was once bitten by a goose that was half my size as a child, and that was very traumatic, so a giant duck trying to bite me would be terrifying.

UnbeatableUsername1 karma

Hi Mira! As a cast member on Falling Skies, I was wondering what you like most about the character you play and also what you like about the show?

MIraSorvino3 karma

I love Sarah's moxie, her unexpectedness, sense of humor, toughness combined with vulnerability. What I liked most about the show is the people involved with it are terrific - it's a great cast & crew to join.

judes_dad1 karma

My wife made me do the dance number from Romy & Michelle with her and her sister at our wedding reception.

I'm hoping that's not something you get very often?

MIraSorvino3 karma

No, that's great! I love that! I have never repeated it. We did think of the possibility of putting Romy & Michelle on ice in a sequel.

We'll see.

BellisBlueday1 karma

Hi Mira, Can you tell me about 'The Intruders'? I'm a fan of Michael Marshall (Smith) and am very much looking forward to the tv series ... it's past time one of his books was converted to screen :)

Did you ever read Intruders, or any of his other books?

MIraSorvino3 karma

I've read The Intruders and our show "Intruders" is based upon it. I've had the good fortune of meeting him, and we are lucky to have his tremendous concept to act out. He really came up with a brilliant idea regarding immortality. And it's something that will intrude upon your subconscious once you're introduced to it - via our show or his novel.

El_Dubious_Mung1 karma

Will you ever look at a cockroach the same way again?

MIraSorvino3 karma

Actually, I worked with a wonderful professor from Cornell University in studying my role to play an entomologist. And learned to fear the little creatures a little less. That being said, I don't want to turn my light on in the middle of the night and find one staring back at me.

mrshatnertoyou1 karma

Are you close with Lisa Kudrow, you two were hilarious in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion?

MIraSorvino6 karma

We're very fond of each other. We very rarely get to see each other because our lives have gone in different directions, but when we do get to see each other, it's always a happy reunion.

Drunkery-2 karma


MIraSorvino5 karma

To answer the second one first: as I'm not a monkey, I would not. Definitely not. I'm not even sure if I were a monkey that I would!

And I think it was both difficult but also helpful to have a successful example that if you persevered and stuck it through the hard times, that you would eventually make it through. My father didn't become a successful working actor until he was 33. And having his example of being a great character actor, that the focus was on his work, rather than on the elements of fame or stardom, was very grounding and what I aspire to.