Janel Spiegel had the honor of speaking with actor Bill Sorvino for THE VALLEY LEDGER. He stars in the new film “Who’s Jenna…?” alongside Tracey Birdsall, Joseph D’Onofrio, Vincent Pastore, Vic Dibitetto. The film was directed by Thomas Baldinger.
How did you become involved in the film “Who’s Jenna…?”
Bill Sorvino: The director Tom Baldinger had approached me before this for the lead of another film he was going to do called “Triple Play” and it was a drama, a murder-mystery drama and I was going to play the that character and his investors shifted gears. They wanted him to do a romantic comedy instead as his first feature film outing. He came back to me and said hey Bill I have two characters in mind for you. One is the lead character and one is the supporting character and I said okay let me read it and I said no Tom I have to play the lead. I petitioned for the role as hard as I could and I got it.
What was it like for you working with the incredible cast?
Bill Sorvino: I’ve worked with Joe on three or four films before this so it was a comfort zone there. Tracey is great. Having an actress who is strong to work against in a scene, it makes acting better. I couldn’t ask for a better leading lady. Everyone in this cast were great people and great actors.
What was it like working with the director, Thomas Baldinger?
Bill Sorvino: Tom is a great director. He comes from theatre acting himself so having someone who understands acting intrinsically rather than just kind of being a director who learns how to direct without acting. We had the opportunity to have a few long conversations discussing the character.
How did you get into acting?
Bill Sorvino: I got into acting when my daughter was born, a lightning bolt hit me. Paul Sorvino and Mira Sorvino are my uncle and cousin so I’ve been around the business my whole life. I was a singer-songwriter, musician and I used to play all over New York. I was signed to a small record label. I wanted to do something with a greater reach. I like trying to right the wrongs with my roles.
Who has inspired you professionally?
Bill Sorvino: I saw my uncle, Paul Sorvino in all these things growing up, he is such a great actor, and he is such a craftsman, such an artist. My uncle was my point of reference. He told me one time when I was preparing for a role a few years ago. I said Uncle Paul I am dealing with character, I was just asking for some pointers and he said listen Billy, if you think you need three months for a role, you need six months. If you think you need six months, you need a year. Double the amount of time you think you need for a role because every time you go back into you are going to find new things. That is how I approach all my roles.
What’s next for you? What projects do you have coming up next?
Bill Sorvino: I did a supporting role in “Confidence Game.” As far as future goes, I’ll be playing Mussolini in a comedy. I’ll be shooting that next week. It is called “Yellow Scare.” “Who’s Jenna…” the premiere is May 20th so really all focus is on that.
What challenges did you face filming?
Bill Sorvino: All the weather worked out in our favor. As far as when we were shooting on set, it was amazingly smooth.
What do you want to say to the audiences who will be seeing the film?
Bill Sorvino: I think if you want to enjoy a rom-com with a great moral story that leaves you satisfied with a rom-com that is more than just a romantic comedy they will enjoy watching it.
What advice would you offer to actors that want to have a long-term career?
Bill Sorvino: Perseverance and play well in the sand box and always be professional. Always come to set prepared. Be grounded, give the director what he needs, what he wants. You have to be well trained and well versed. You have to go to school. It’s a skill and you need to learn. I am still pushing myself.
For more information about Bill Sorvino
Bill on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BillSorvino/?fref=ts
Follow Bill on Twitter https://twitter.com/BillSorvino