With Dermot Mulroney now moving onto other things, Hollywood needs a new charming every-man for their next batch of romantic-comedies. Better watch out Bill Sorvino, because you might just have what it takes to be the next object of our affection!
As the amiable Sorvino (and yes, he is related to legendary Goodfellas actor Paul Sorvino!) tells Movie Pilot, if that all happens... it's by accident, because he wasn't even supposed to be in Who's Jenna...?!
Bill, tell us how you got involved in this project?
Tom (Baldinger) had approached me to play the lead in another film he wrote and was raising funds for called Triple Play. I read the screenplay and absolutely loved it. As far as I was concerned I was about to do a dark drama with Tom in a few months. A few weeks later he comes to me and says hey Bill we have a change in plans, our investors want me to do my comedy script first and I have you in mind for either the lead role or a major supporting role. I read that script and absolutely loved it too! Well that was Who’s Jenna…? of course and the lead character of Jonathan really resonated with me. We discussed the two possible roles and basically I fought for the role of Jonathan by convincing Tom that I was going to hit it out of the park. He apparently appreciated my enthusiasm and of course he knew and loved my work, so I won the role. The rest as they say, is history!
Were the filmmakers looking for something specific from you?
I think Tom saw in me the type of demeanor and attitude and maybe even temperament that he wanted Jonathan to have. So in that respect I think I happened to fit the role quite well out of the gate. Where the specific expectations came into play was the work we put in together to get me to arrive at the best possible performance. It was very important for Tom that I deliver the performance through the filter that Jonathan views the world through which is of course how to give the best possible performance for any piece. We had several hours long discussions about Jonathan and his backstory, his feelings, his psychology. We did that a few months in advance so that I could give myself enough time to get into Jonathan’s mental space. I think Tom was happy with what I brought to set, and I hope the audience feels that way too!
Were you required to do a chemistry test with Tracey Birdsall?
No I wasn't asked to do that. Thankfully Tracey is such a cool chick and of course a beautiful woman! How could one not have chemistry in that circumstance! She was an absolute doll and pleasure to work with, we were able to have a great chemistry quite naturally. It was a blast working with Tracey!
How much time did you and Tracey get to get to know each other before filming began? Or did you have to cook up the chemistry in front of the cameras?
We basically got to know each other in the make up chair! But I will say that off the bat we had great interaction and natural playfulness. Tracey is also a very strong actor, so when you genuinely like a person and they are a highly talented professional it is quite easy create an on screen romance.
The film touches on the adult entertainment industry, as other films have, but is it – as the trailer suggests - more romantic and classy than, say, Boogie Nights?
Oh please! There is almost no porn in this! HA HA! But seriously this is truly just a zany comedy that doesn’t delve anywhere near into the porn industry like Boogie Nights does. It’s actually a moral tale with lots of twists and turns. Let’s just say the film’s hook is a case of almost mistaken identity.
And finally, we have to ask. Are you related to the great Paul Sorvino?
Yes, he’s my uncle! And the greatest mentor an actor could ever ask for!