More: Mira, you star in the new film Union Square (watch the trailer here), which is about estranged sisters. Have you ever been estranged from a sibling or someone else you love?
Mira Sorvino: I think everyone, at some point, has been. But my character, Lucy, is not the one who wanted the estrangement in this story. It is really more Jennifer’s doing [Jennifer is played by actress Tammy Blanchard]. She wants to get as far away from me as possible because I am crazy and come with a lot of drama. Then add to that the fact my character is also bipolar. Although I didn’t draw on any personal experience for the estrangement part, I did create Lucy's personality from pieces of me and other people I know and love.
More: Such as?
MS: I know someone who is bipolar. I really wanted to study bipolar people's behavior so I understood how strongly they feel things. I also learned they can be very lovable, creative and intelligent.
More: Tammy, what about you?
Tammy Blanchard: This character and the choices she has made are the polar opposite of the choices I have made for myself. I basically stayed in New Jersey, where I was born and raised, because of my love for my family.
More: You are that close, huh?
TB: They are not an easy family to deal with in any way, but my love and loyalty to them are what have driven me to make a lot of the choices I have made in life. To watch my character in Union Square, who has the need to get away from her family and run away from who she truly is—that is something I would never do with my life.
More: Tammy, because of your close relationship with your family, was it hard to play someone who is ashamed of hers?
TB: It was a little painful playing someone so uptight and so against her family. But I had to be honest with my character and tell the story as best I could. I am hoping that if people are in this particular situation, maybe seeing the film will make them pick up the phone and say hello.
More: That’s a pretty powerful message.
TB: People should always take the time to reach out to the people they love and tell them that they love them. That was the main reason I made the film. My family was going through this stage once. My nanny happened to be sick and there were 14 people fighting over who was going to take care of my daughter. There was separation in the family, and when the film came along I thought, Wow, if my aunts and uncles could see this, maybe it could help. I am so glad this is coming out now because I hope it will help more people come together.
More: Mira, you are the mother of four children. Even though your kids are so young, how do you teach them early on about forgiving and forgetting?
MS: I try to teach them about that now, but it is hard. As a mother, it is hard to watch them fight, because I see all of their ability to love and I want them to see each other in that same light. I always say, there is no need to fight. Instead, we need to work things out, because your sibling is going to be your best friend your whole life. You don’t need to fight—what you need is to love him or her. I never allow a small issue to develop into a large feud.
More: Tammy, what will you teach your daughter, Ava, about putting family drama in the past and letting go of it?
TB: I teach Ava to love and be kind. As long as you have love in your heart and treat people the way you want to be treated, it does not matter what others do to you. You always have to stay true to who you are and never harbor bad feelings. Love is also about understanding and respect.