Mira Sorvino’s first major screen appearance was in the teen television series Swans Crossing, where she appeared in six episodes. When the 1993 film Amongst Friends entered preproduction, she was hired as third assistant director, then promoted to casting director, then to assistant producer, and finally offered a lead role. The positive reviews she received led to more acting opportunities.
After supporting roles in Robert Redford’s Quiz Show and Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, she was cast in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995). Her portrayal of a happy-go-lucky prostitute made her a star, winning her an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
Her other credits include Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion with Lisa Kudrow, At First Sight with Val Kilmer, and Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. She portrayed Marilyn Monroe for the 1996 HBO film Norma Jean & Marilyn, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe; and had the lead role in Guillermo del Toro’s horror film Mimic. In 1995, she portrayed Conchita Closson in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers, based on Edith Wharton’s last novel. She starred as Daisy Buchanan in the 2000 television film The Great Gatsby.
In 2002, Sorvino appeared as the lead in The Triumph of Love, an adaptation of the 1732 Marivaux play. That year she also starred in WiseGirls alongside Mariah Carey and Melora Walters. In 2006, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Lifetime film Human Trafficking. She had a supporting role in the drama Reservation Road (2007) with Mark Ruffalo.
In February 2008, she guest-starred as psychiatrist Cate Milton in the “Frozen” episode of the medical television drama House. Plans to make hers a recurring character were interrupted by the writers’ strike.
She starred in Attack on Leningrad (2009), Multiple Sarcasms (2010) with Timothy Hutton and Stockard Channing, and Nancy Savoca’s Union Square(2012), with Patti Lupone and Tammy Blanchard. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to good reviews. In the same year, Sorvino played the mother of the lead in the film adaptation of Wendy Mass’s popular children’s book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.
In 2014, she reappeared as Head Detective Betsy Brannigan on the final season of Psych, and on the fourth season of Falling Skies as John Pope’s love interest, Sara. Sorvino also joined the cast of the television series Intruders, playing the role of Amy Whelan. In 2016, she appeared in the Netflix series Lady Dynamite as an actor working on a sitcom pilot named White Trash. In 2018, Sorvino played the role of Amy in the psychological thriller Look Away, alongside Jason Isaacs and India Eisley.
In 2019, Sorvino was cast in the Netflix miniseries Hollywood as an actor whose career stalled out after a relationship with a studio head.
In 2022, she played a supporting role in Sound of Freedom, a film about human trafficking in South America.