“She’s almost milk-fed on the American dream of the happy ending,” declares Mira Sorvino about her role as fictional film actress Jeanne Crandall on Netflix’s “Hollywood.” In Ryan Murphy‘s and Ian Brennan‘s period reimagining of 1940s movie-making, Sorvino’s Jeanne is a capable actress stuck in a rut of B-level films while carrying on a long-term affair with the married studio head (Rob Reiner). In our exclusive video interview (watch above), the Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for 1995’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” discusses her love for the character and her first experience working with Murphy.
“When I was offered the role I was told she was sort of like a Lana Turner-ish type of character,” Sorvino recalls. “As the show evolved and I got more of the material, I realized she wasn’t quite as iron-clad as Lana Turner.” As filming progressed, Sorvino say the different layers of the character began to emerge. “The personality really evolved on its own because it came from the writing and it came from the innate goodness of Jeanne,” she says. “She’s just a little bit the butt of the joke. She kind of knows that, but she’s smart enough to know it and she ultimately has a sense of morality which kind of kicks in.”
“Hollywood” marks Sorvino’s first collaboration with Murphy, and the actress said it was clear why the filming environment was so pleasant. “I think it all comes from the top,” she says. “Everyone is delighted to be doing what they’re doing and they’re doing it at a very high level. And everyone loves working for Ryan, and I think he sets the tone for entire world of people that are faithfully coming back to his productions over and over.” Though the actress didn’t get the chance to be directed by Murphy, she says that his presence was clearly felt on set even when he wasn’t there. “When people have great talent and great vision, and they are good and kind a generous and empowering, it’s infectious,” Sorvino exclaims.
If the series were to continue as an anthology, Sorvino would love to see many eras of Hollywood get the Murphy touch, including the transition from silent movies to talkies. “I think the fifties is also very interesting. I think you have this dichotomy of this world of light and fluffy and glossy entertainment, and then you also started having these hard hitting kitchen sink dramas,” she says. “Only Ryan knows what’s in Ryan’s mind. I sure hope there is a season two. I think it would be incredible, but I will leave it to him to decide.”
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