Mira Sorvino is opening up about sexual harassment in Hollywood.
In an interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association she stated “In looking back over at my career, I realized that one of my very first auditions when I was 16, I was completely treated inappropriately by the casting director.”
“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,” she claimed.
“And at the end he takes the gag out of my mouth and he said, ‘Sorry for the prophylactic,’ so he had gagged me with a condom,” further alleged Sorvino, who did not name the casting director or movie.
“I was too young to even know, thank God, what a condom tasted like,” she added. “It was so inappropriate, and what the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket in an audition?”
Sorvino said that audition was one of her first “introductions to how the acting system works” and explained that “when you’re young, you don’t question.”
“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,” said the “Mighty Aphrodite” star.
“There’s that aesthetic of letting go of the self and trying to submit yourself for the art. People take advantage of that. People have always taken advantage of that,” added Sorvino, who went on to share there have been “other situations that have happened throughout” her career.
“Like nude scene days or love scene days — all of a sudden contracts being thrown out the window,” she claimed. “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.”
“That has happened to me several times,” shared Sorvino, who has previously come forward about disgraced producer Harvey Weisntein sexually harassing her.
The Golden Globe winner also claimed that she’s had friends “who were advised: ‘You’re absolutely going to have to have sex with all kinds of people to advance your career.’”
Sorvino added that because she “never did that” and “was never willing to,” she lost out on acting roles.
“That was horrendous to me,” she said. “I felt that was just a betrayal of who I was as a person. If I was going to do that, I was not myself anymore, so I always refused all of those things, and lost out on certain acting opportunities in big movies because of it.”
Sorvino recalled one audition in particular with a “big director.”
“A big director who has gotten Oscars and is known for his social justice profile in some of these movies literally said to me at a very end-stage audition meeting, ‘You know, as I look at you my mind can’t help but traveling from the artistic possibilities and the sexual,’” she alleged, adding that her “mouth just opened” and she “just smiled nervously back.”
“You know my silence was deafening, I’m sure,” said Sorvino, who did not name the director or role she was auditioning for.
“In my mind, the thing going on in my head, was ‘Oh. I thought this was a legitimate meeting,’” she added. “I thought this was an actual, you had me here, because you thought I was talented or that I brought something that would be good for this role.
“Not that you were 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.”