Mira Sorvino is being frank about her #metoo experiences in the entertainment industry, and it’s clear through her interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that she is a survivor. Some things she says she didn’t realize until she looked back to say that something was very wrong.
Page Six reports that Sorvino pulled no punches on a podcast called HFPA in Conversation about an experience she had when she was 16 years old and a casting director tried to scare her. She tells a story that would have been alarming at any age.
“In order to scare me for this horror movie scene, he tied me to a chair, he bruised my arm, and I was 16 years old, and then he gagged me, and I was all game because I’m trying to be scared for the scene.”
Sorvino explains that she was 16 and inexperienced, and didn’t recognize the smell or taste of a condom when he said “sorry about the prophylactic.”
“I was too young to even know, thank God, what a condom tasted like. It was so inappropriate, and what the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket in an audition?”
Mira Sorvino says that it’s the younger people in the industry who are fearless and don’t ask questions. She explains she thought she had to be tough and not complain.
“When you’re young, you’re like, ‘Oh OK, I’ve got to be tough, I’ve got to be down to really perform, and if that means they need me to go this extra mile’ — and you see many times we have awards given to people for giving particularly raw performances in very brutal, sexual scenes or things like that.”
The actor, who is best known as the star of Mighty Aphrodite, says that to be selfless, you need to let go of your ego to give the most “to your art.” But by doing that, you don’t always protect yourself, and it makes it easier for those who mean you harm to hurt you. She explains that when you don’t have the experience, you don’t know what’s normal and what’s crossing a line.
“Like nude scene days or love scene days — all of a sudden contracts being thrown out the window. Extra people on the set, coming close. Weirdness. A lot of weirdness. Directors pressuring you to have relationships with them, people casting you saying if you have a sexual relationship with them they’ll give you the part.”
Sorvino says that with time, she realized that she was put in positions where she was never really in the running for a role.
“Not that you were here fishing to see if I was going to have an affair with you. I know for a fact that’s why I didn’t get that part.”
She explains that these are the things you don’t know at the beginning of your career, and it makes you even more vulnerable.