My favorite memory of Paul Sorvino was of him, sitting in the audience, blubbering like the proudest parent who ever walked the Earth, when his daughter Mira Sorvino won an Oscar for playing a foul-mouthed hooker in a Woody Allen comedy.
Maybe that moment isn’t aging as well as it might have, all things considered. But Mira and I both started bawling when I brought it up in an interview a couple of years later. You know how it goes. SHE starts crying at the question and the memory, and I start crying. Pavlovian.
But for all the funnymen and Made Men this Italian American icon played over the decades, the clip below has to be my standout on screen moment for him.
It’s a dazzling impersonation of a politically-wired, money-grubbing hypocrite, a distinctly American “type” still with us, still separating rubes from their money, still steering our politics straight into a toxic pit. Sorvino? He brought it, gloves off, smirk hiding the sinister glower, the Full Falwell.