Mia Sorvino

  1. Courtney Love, The People vs Larry Flynt, 1996.     The subject was the porno king behind America’s Hustler magazine – a more gynecological version of Playboy.  T0 be played by Woody Harrelson. But who should be his wife, a bisexual stripper named Althea Leasure? Patricia Arquette, Showgirls’ Elizabeth Berkley, Georgina Cates, Cameron Diaz, Rachel Griffiiths, Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino (too busy playing Marilyn) – and Kimberly Williams-Paisley,who refused all nudity. Finally, Czech director Milos Forman chose  Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love.  Well, she had once been a stripper, herself.  ‘I’m not a woman, I’m a force of nature.”
  2. Rachel Weisz, Chain Reaction, 1995.       “Mira was exhausted,” noted director Andrew Davis. “She’d just finished playing Marilyn Monroe.She was, like, in deep depression.” So was Weisz when seeing how attrociously she was lit in her Hollywood debut.
  3. Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire, 1996.  “You had me at Hello…”Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteurCameron Crowe started searching for The Girl: Dorothy Boyd.  Sorvino was first and wonderful. Next? Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Janeane Garofalo, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Love, Parker Posey, Molly Ringwald, Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, even Zellweger, came and went. Recommended by Edward Burns (one of the Jerry possibles), Connie Britton made a good test with Cruise and she was Dorothy – depending on  Zellweger’s call back meeting with him. “We have video of that because I was filming,” Crowe told Mike Fleming Jr for Deadline Hollywood’s 20-years-later feature in 2017, “and you just see something happen when Tom sees her. He lights up…  As Jerry discovers Dorothy, we discover Renee. That was a very personal thing for me and the way I feel about movies.”  Renée had not enough money in her bank to get cash from an ATM on the day she won the film!
  4. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
  5. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz.  PS Emily Watson was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because  Alicia Nash came from El; Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian,  South African, etc.  Director Ron Howard seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.
  6. Iben Hjejle, Cuban Blood (aka Dreaming of Julia, Cuba Libre), US-Germany-Dominican Republic, 2003.       First choice Embeth Davidtz had been a previous lover of the film’s star Harvey Keitel. Next, Sorvino, ex-lover of Keitel pal, Quentin Trarantino, was seen. Finally, Hjele became La Gringa, the only American – the beautiful blonde Julia – in Holguín, at the opposite end of the island from Havana, during the last days of pre-Marxist Cuba.

  7. Alexandra Staden, My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure, 2003. 
    Closer to author Peter O’Donnell than Joseph Losey’s 1965 campy rubbish, this 18-day quickie was simply made to allow Miramax to retain the rights for an 007-ish series to star…  Sorvino, Natasha Henstridge, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Quentin Tarantinbo’s  very own future Dietrich: Uma Thurman. Plus Russell Crowe as sidekick Willie Garvin.  We all know what happened  to Miramax and how the brothers running it named their next combine after themselves. Weinstein. So, like  Sidney Gilliatt’s 60s’ British Lion version  and the ABC plans for a 1982 series with Ann Turkel, Quentin Tarantino’s dream project never happened. He had trailed his interest  by having John Travolta found reading an O’Donnell book on the john in Pulp Fiction.   Maybe it was Harvey Weinstein’s alleged inappropriate touching of the director’s then-lover, Mira Sorvino (among other allegations about the producer abusing Asia Argento, Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc) was why the big film version never happened… although such stories had not  stopped Tarantino making six features for Weinstein during 2003-2015, including Kill Bill and Django Unchained.  He later moved far from the producer,  when admitting: “I knew enough to do more than I did…. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard.” 

  8. Naomi Watts, King Kong, 2005.  Set for screamin’ Ann Darrow when New Zealand director Peter Jackson planned the re-make (of the re-make… of the re-make!) to follow The Frighteners,1996.  Except monsteritis  had set in and failed: Godzilla, Mighty Joe Young.  In  the new century, Jackson  got $20m, the highest salary  paid to a film director in advance of production.
  9. Dana Delaney, The Code, TV, 2019.   Change of actress – and  character importance – once Sorvino was replaced after the CBS pilot by the  top-ranking TV star – as Colonel Glenn Turnbull, head of the US  Marine Corps’ Judge Advocate Division.  A second pilot player, Dave Annable, was also substituted  – by Luke Mitchell.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9