Mira Sorvino Dishes On Parenthood and "Finding Mrs. Claus"
Q: What was it like playing Mrs. Claus and getting a chance to be an older lady on screen?
A: I think my kids were a little frightened by the latex facial mask—the prosthetics were so extreme. I looked really old in person and at first it unnerved them and it unnerved me -- I thought please don’t let me age that extreme or look that old! It was really fun- we all have an idea of what these archetypal characters will be so when deciding what my young Mrs. Claus's hair should look like I remember watching the Claymation show and Jessica (Kris kringle's girlfriend) had strawberry blonde hair. So we got a strawberry blonde wig and that helped me feel like her-- they were so welcoming to my ideas! Originally in script- she left the North Pole and came to Vegas as a modern young person. But I thought we should have her be more of a fish out of water. She should possess a personality from 500 years ago and then be dropping into Vegas, as then she wouldn’t have irony or modern catchphrases. So we played with that angle and we put a lot of that into the script. She's from the world of gingerbread cookies and milk; the happiest place on earth where they’re delivering toys to everyone. But she's also like a lot of women in America who feel underappreciated and overlooked by their husbands and who need a purpose- and when she gets a letter from a little girl asking her to help her find a husband for her mommy she gets a new found purpose. Of course once Mr. Claus finds out, he tries to win her back. Will Sasso is a delightful guy - we did a lot of laughing off cameras. There is one tiny reference to a girl who comes to Santa's room that may or not be a woman of night but I told the network that I wanted my kids to be able to watch it – so they cleaned it up!
Q: Do you find you are taking more roles that are kid-friendly because you are a mom?
A: This is the third project I have done where the film is for all ages; however this is a Lifetime movie so obviously it appeals to adults, but I’ve done two films specifically for kids. I just shot "Space Warriors" with Dermott Mulroney which is a movie about five teenagers who get accepted into space camp and have to save space cosmonauts stranded on space stations. It was cool to be down in Alabama at the mission control and I got my kids all enrolled in space camp. I figured they would never have an opportunity to be in space camp again! And they got to do astronaut training, handle machines simulating shuttle takeoff and landing.
Q: What are some of your go-to favorite family meals?
A: Trying to make a separate meal for each kid is getting out of control! At breakfast we will do cereal for one and eggs for another and a waffle and peanut butter for another. But at dinner we try and make things that everyone can eat. I’ve recently become a vegetarian but I still make traditional Italian Bolognese sauce - you can do it with Tempe which looks likes ground beef and if you cook it same way it ends up tasting almost same as with real meat. You sauté garlic and onions and add in fake meat, chopped carrots and celery and then you add in a bowl full of fresh tomatoes. I'm actually trying to avoid the linings of cans - I read the book "Healthy Child Healthy World" and have since become insane about chemicals leaching into food. I use fresh tomatoes and I will blanch them if I have time and throw them in the pot with olive oil and onions and garlic and carrots and then simmer it all with tomatoes for half an hour. It's a one pot meal- it’s fantastic way to get your kids to eat a bunch of different veggies over pasta.
I also do a modified Mac n cheese - I use truffle sauce to try and get them to eat more protein. We also do a lot of homemade cakes-- and my kids love making gingerbread cookies—we’ll be whipping out cookie cutters soon!
Q: Best advice you would give to other moms with big families?
A: Create one on one time with each child and spend a few hours with each one doing something special for them so that they don’t feel they are being replaced by the newest baby. Of course we try and do things as a family and I carry the baby in an organic carrier, so our routine doesn’t necessarily need to change that much. I’m a big proponent of involving siblings in the baby’s routine. The other day I taught my eight year old how to change a diaper so that she could feel this sense of accomplishment that she is involved in raising her baby sister. I think involving her in the process helps her understand why her sister needs so much attention and it has really changed her whole attitude from being sulky to understanding. My three-year-old is rough and he loves doing violent moves right next to his baby sister so I always tell him that he has to protect her. I remember when I was 10 and my brother was born and I became a mommy's helper and I loved taking of my brother. So I’m trying to instill that same feeling in my kids.
I think every woman has to find out what works best for her situation. There is a tug of war that women have to deal with in this modern economy and we have to make the best of it for our families and try and be as loving and present parents as we can be.